Nana Akufo-Addo, the new President of Ghana, has denied that he secretly agreed to have a USA military base in his country.
Please read the full statement below:
In our country these past few days. Last week, at the height of the fear already triggered by the US Ghana, military cooperation agreement, a good friend of mine came to me on what he called the hazards of this democracy.
He told me, just in case I needed reminding, that my predecessor, as president, who had also been democratically elected, had chosen to avoid any possible controversy by signing, and keeping secret, some agreements.
So why did I not follow this precedent.
Instead of exposing the nation to all the hazards of the past few days. My friend, no doubt. Had a good point.
Indeed, I acknowledge that there are many very well meaning citizens who would prefer the peaceful process of arguments reached behind closed doors to the jury of the past few days.
I take what has happened, not to be symptomatic of the hazards of democracy, but of a show of the strength of democracy in action.
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 decisions, given the right information.
It is this faith in the people that has saved my entire political career.
And it is this faith that propels me to lead an open and transparent government.
I was fully aware of how such agreements have 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 the teachings of the Constitution.
After all, you, the Ghanaian people had voted massively for change. Therefore, there was simply no way my government would ever keep hidden from you, the people agreements of such a nature.
I believe that the fallout from this decision only shows the growing maturation of our democracy. 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 defense and security cooperation collaborations with the United States of America.
Elsewhere, 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 nation’s neighbors who are facing security and health challenges.
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 the hounds, who secretly wallow in the largest of the United States of America, while at the same time, promote anti American sentiments to a populist constituency submitted submitting disagreements.
Open scrutiny, now, allows us to clear the unhealthy fog, that has clouded our relations with the United States of America.
The conduct of Ghana’s foreign policy, and its relations with the nations of the world has happily been traditionally above the past sins of partisan politics, allowing for the normal differences of approach, which was sometimes our foreign policy has been consistently bipartisan and no successive government has found the need to tamper with any agreement of a non commercial nature entered into by its predecessor.
We respect the age old norms of international diplomacy that when a country has accorded privileges and concessions to another, these are not removed or altered by successive government.
Unless firstly, the conditions under which they were granted have been reversed.
Or secondly, there’s proven evidence of abuse.
My government came to know that Ghana had entered into a cooperation agreement with the United States of America, in 1998 2000, and under the government of my predecessor in 2015.
We were satisfied that the conditions which necessitated the agreement, namely the creeping threat to the peace of the region had not disappeared.
If anything, the threat have increased, and therefore the need has arisen for continuing with our cooperation, no suggestion had ever been made that the United States of America had abused, any of the privileges or concessions granted under any of these agreements, and it would have just been deemed an unfriendly act to attempt to deny that any concession granted them under these agreements.
The crux of the matter is this Ghana has built a formidable reputation for his contribution to peacekeeping around the world.
Although these peacekeeping operations have always been under the aegis of the United Nations. No one doubts, the fact that they have been made possible by the contributions of the United States of America.
The Cooperation Agreement, which has subsisted, which we have approved can only enhance the global effort to preserve the peace in our region. It is important also to state that the conditions of the agreement mirror closely, the conditions under which Ghana participated in peacekeeping operations under the United Nations, when our troops went on most peacekeeping duties.
They do not carry their national passports. They carry their military identity. Quite apart from how this agreement involves the military as an institution.
It is worth pointing out the righteousnesses independence, Ghana has had very fruitful relations with a range of foreign embassies and major international institutions.
These include the United Nations, the World Bank. International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation amongst others.
All these agents, enjoy similar conditions, as the the cooperation agreement offers to the US military here.
No one has dared suggests the granting these foreign embassies and international institutions, these concessions constituted as an attack on the sovereignty of God.
Not as anyone also felt that the concessions have in any way, worked against the interests of Ghana.
Indeed, I have no doubt that it will be the general consensus of all well informed Ghanians that this nation has benefited significantly from the presence and activities of these institutions, over the past decades.
It is clear to me that if the people of Ghana knew the conditions under which foreign embassies and international institutions operate in Ghana.
Nobody would have been surprised that a defense cooperation agreement would make such provisions.
Such knowledge would have spared many citizens, the genuine anxiety and concern that they have felt about the agreement.
It is my firm belief that the case for openness and transparency in our governance has been clearly demonstrated.
And the argument conclusively settled by these events.
But we have to take issue with the frontline politicians who are thought to mislead the people in this blatant manner.
And those who for mischievous purposes leaked the document destined for the scrutiny of Parliament prematurely, the 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.
Surely, this is the kind of cynical manipulation by reckless self seekers, which in the fullness of time, the people of Ghana will acknowledge and condemn.
I’m sure that as the facts become clear, and widely available, and as the people come to terms with the evidence, they will reject the false and deliberate attempts to destabilize a peaceful country.
Truth is sacrosanct.
So let me stay to the clearest affirmation that Ghana has not offered a military base, and will not offer a military base to the United States of America.
Indeed, the United States of America has not made any requests for such consideration and consistent with our established foreign policy, we will not consider any such request.
However, in consideration of the realities of our circumstance. And the 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 offered believe. 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.
Let me conclude by saying how concerned I am by the defamatory comments from my political opponents, some of whose patriotism, can be so easily questioned that the sovereignty of this country has been sold by my government and myself.
I will never be the president that will compromise the sovereignty of our country.
I respect deeply, the memory of the great patriots who sacrifice and toil brought about our independence and freedom.
I have stood with you. The Ghanaian people, all my adult life fighting for individual and collective rights, everything I have done since assuming the great honor and privilege of serving you as President of the Republic demonstrates that I remain focused on building a self reliant, free, prosperous government, which will be able to make our own unique contribution to the growth and development of Africa, and the world.
Let us concentrate and spend our energies on working together to achieve this vision.
Please watch the video above this post for more details.