President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that though he has not offered USA Military Base in the country, keeping cooperation for the Agreement will strengthen Ghana’s defense capability and will help ensure peace in the country.
Addressing the state on Thursday evening, the President said that with challenges the country currently face in peace-related issues, his administration has seen the need to continue the country’s relationship with the USA.
“In consideration of the realities of our circumstances and challenges to peace in our region in our time, we have deemed it prudent to continue the Cooperation Agreement with the United States of America.”
“It is our firm belief that the Agreement will help enhance our defense capability and offer an important layer of support in our common effort to protect the peace in our region”, he added.
He however, made it known that the 2018 Agreement which has generated a lot of public outcry especially from members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has earlier been signed in 1998, 2000 and recently by his successor (Mr. John Mahama) in 2015 in “secrecy”.
According to him, for the sake of transparency, his administration chose to put the agreement in public domain as democracy demands unlike what his successors did.
“I was fully aware of how such agreement had been handled in earlier administrations but I decided that under my watch, any such agreements should be subject to the appropriate scrutiny of the people’s representatives in Parliament in consonance with the requirements of accountable governance and teaching of the constitution.”
The President then emphasized that despite keeping relationship with the USA, he has not given a place to the US Military Base and he will not sell the sovereignty of Ghana as being speculated.
“I will never be the president that will compromise or sell the sovereignty of our country. I respect deeply the memory of the great patriots whose sacrifice and toil brought about our independence.”
He debunked the assertion that a military base will be established in the country. “Let me state with the clearest affirmation that Ghana has not offered a military base and will not offer military base to the United States of America”, he assured.
WHAT IS THE AGREEMENT ABOUT?
Parliament last month in a drama that saw the Minority staged a walk-out, approved the Ghana-USA Military cooperation agreement which will allow the US forces to have access to some installations in the country for their exclusive use.
Cabinet accepted to provide the US forces a land near the Kotoka International Airport, the country’s famous airline facility.
Also in the deal, the US Military will not pay taxes on their equipment that are to be brought to Ghana and are expected to utilize the country’s radio spectrum free of charge.
In return, the US Military will offer training and equipment to the Ghanaian Military.
By: Albert Kuzor/voltaonlinegh.com