President Nana Akufo-Addo has taken a swipe at his political opponents, labeling them hypocrites for “misleading” the public through the strong opposition they mounted against the US military cooperation agreement.
Leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been vocal on the agreement which they said gives the United States military unfettered access to key installations in Ghana.
When the agreement was laid in parliament for ratification on March 23, the Minority NDC staged a walkout, accusing the government of mortgaging Ghana’s sovereignty. The agreement was however passed by a one-sided parliament after a charge debate on the floor of the house.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu had said ratifying it amounted to “opening the floodgate of Ghana to Americans to come and abuse” Ghanaians. “Ghana first”, he warned, “the sovereignty of Ghana cannot be on sale”.
But President Akufo-Addo who spoke on the agreement for the first time on Thursday evening said critics, especially leading political figures exhibited pure hypocrisy.
“But for this decision to be open about this agreement, how else would we, the people of Ghana, have ever known that, for several decades, Ghana has had defence and security co-operation collaborations with the United States of America? How else would we have known that, in some instances, we have provided them with facilities for the movement of personnel and equipment to help some of our neighbours who were facing security and health challenges?” he asked
“And how else would we have exposed the unspeakable hypocrisy of the fraternity of some frontline politicians, who make a habit of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds, who secretly wallow in the largesse of the United States of America, whilst, at the same time, promote anti-American sentiments to a populist constituency?” President Akufo-Addo quipped.
It was obvious the president was outraged that a political group under whose leadership two similar agreements were signed, would turn around to discredit one being entered into by a government other than theirs.
The president pointed out that Ghana’s foreign policy has time immemorial been traditionally above partisan politics. He said this bi-partisan tradition has consistently been upheld by successive governments that do not tamper with agreements entered into by the predecessor.
“But we have to take issue with the front-line politicians who have sought to mislead the people in this blatant manner, and those who, for mischievous purposes, leaked the document destined for the scrutiny of Parliament prematurely to a section of the media, who then went on to describe it as a “secret document”. How could a document intended for the consideration of Parliament be described as a “secret document”?
“How could anyone who has been in government and run the administration of this nation feign ignorance of the conditions under which Ghanaian troops undertake peace-keeping operations, or the conditions under which our country has collaborated with major international institutions? It is difficult to understand that such people, knowing what they do know, would set about so blatantly to confuse people, and go as far as calling for the overthrow of our democracy?”
Hundreds of Ghanaians poured on the streets of Accra on March 28 in support of a demonstration by Ghana First Patriotic Front, a pressure group, demanding the abrogation or review of the agreement. The group had a massive support from the opposition National Democratic Congress with the former Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur joining the protest.
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