US agreement: More demo ahead after Akufo-Addo's "tirade"- Mornah

Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah
Date: 6th-april-2018 Time:  6:57:34 pm

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The controversy over the Ghana-US military cooperation agreement will continue unabated.

If anything, the president’s televised broadcast on the matter has triggered renewed controversy, with critics of the deal promising a feisty resistance.

Barely a day after that broadcast members of the interparty coalition have promised a litany of demonstrations across the country to oppose the agreement.

A spokesperson for the coalition and chairman of the People’s National Convention Bernard Mornah said at a press conference the president did not address the substantive issues during his televised address.

Background

The government has signed an enhanced military cooperation agreement with the US with the hope of improving security in the sub-region.

But some clauses in the agreement including an unimpeded access to some agreed facilities by the US military have left the country thoroughly divided.

The Minority insisted the agreement would lead to the creation of a US military base in Ghana and accused the president of mortgaging the country’s sovereignty.

The Minority walked out of Parliament but that did not stop the Majority from ratifying the agreement.

Days after the ratification, there has been a demonstration by leading members of the opposition National Democratic Congress as well as the People’s National Convention kicking against the ratification.

A day before the demonstration the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC Koku Anyidoho was arrested for suggesting there will be an over throw of the government on account of the controversial agreement.

He was released two days later by the Police CID.

Koku Anyidoho was arrested

Days after the demonstration has been held, the president broke his long silence on the matter, defending why the agreement had to be ratified and condemning frontline political leaders for being “hypocritical” on the matter.

According to him, some of these frontline politicians are benefitting from the “largesse of the US and at the same time promoting anti-American sentiment to a populist constituency.”

Such persons he said are “running with the hares and hunting with the hounds.” 

He did not understand how some of those leaders who signed similar military agreements with the US will turn around and create the impression as though the 2018 agreement is new.

He said even though his predecessors decided to sign the document in secret with the US, he decided to bring it to Parliament for ratification despite the hazards of a potential politicization of the issues as is happening, sharing anecdotal evidence of a friend who wondered why he did not simply follow the path laid by those before him.

“You cannot claim to believe in democracy unless you have faith in the people; faith in their inherent goodness; faith in their capacity to make the right decision given the right information,” the president said.

His comments have stoked more fire. Bernard Mornah said the president turned his address into a tirade to attack his political opponents, adding, if the president hopes to win the argument through fear mongering that is his choice.

“The shambolic national address leaves with no choice but to continue our campaign of demonstrations,” he said.

“We cherish our sovereignty and will jealously guard it,” he added.

Chairman of the Defence Committee of Parliament Seth Acheampong has however applauded the president for his comments.

“I saw a commander in chief of the Ghana Armed Forces speak to the issues,” he said, adding the president was candid on the matter.

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