The leader of the Great Consolidated Popular Party has slammed those criticizing Ghana’s military cooperation agreement with the US.
Dr. Henry Lartey becomes the first leader of an opposition party to publicly declare his support for the agreement.
“We are trying to fight terrorism and it is in our interest to get the support that we need,” he told Joy News in an exclusive interview.
“We need a powerful neighbor and a powerful friend and America is one of them,” he reiterated.
He describes as ‘ridiculous’ the claim by opposition elements who claim that the agreement is a mortgage of Ghana’s sovereignty.
“Fifty other nations have signed the same agreement with the US including Great Britain, South Korea Japan, and even in Africa we have Kenya. Have they lost their sovereignty?”
Dr Lartey believes the fierce opposition being vented on the government because of the agreement is just a ploy to score political points.
Dr. Henry Lartey
Opposition MPs including ranking member on Foreign Affairs committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa have said such agreement with the US makes Ghana a prey to terrorists because ‘anywhere they [US] have gone terrorists have gone after them’.
But the GCPP leader rubbished this point arguing that terrorists have gone after immediate neighbors of Ghana and none of them have any similar agreement with the US.
“Does Nigeria have a military cooperation with the US, does Burkina Faso have it, does Mali have it, yet terrorists went there,” he argued.
He says the demonstrators and critics are the ones advertising to the world that Ghana has such an agreement with the US.
“They should shut up!”
He also defends the confidentiality of what the US brings into the country as part of the agreement.
“When we talk about fighting terrorism, it’s not everything you discuss in public and you don’t tell your opponent the sought of weapons that you have…there’s a military reason why that is done” he said.
He added that he supports the current government's decision to go for the agreement 100 percent.
The military agreement was ratified by parliament last month after a heated argument from both sides of the House. The Minority eventually walked out leaving the Majority to ratify it alone.
A coalition of political parties calling itself the Ghana First Patriotic Front has also been organizing demonstrations against the agreement.