…Allowed ‘Uncle Sam’ to take advantage of ‘Mother Ghana’ over non-surrender agreement
As the US Embassy’s notice of intent to vandalize diplomatic courtesies to Ghanaian leaders, including withdrawal of visa protocols to former Presidents trends, Uncle Sam’s superiority complex over Ghana serves as personal Karma on former President Kufuor.
Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, whose ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is currently criticizing the predecessor National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for accepting two former Guantanamo Bay detainees into the country without Parliamentary approval, used his eight-year presidency to virtually prostitute Ghana to the US.
Between 2001 and 2009, Ghana Government’s policy was determined by the United States with the President frequenting the US Embassy in Accra for tutorials from ambassadors.
Matters came to a head when President Kufuor, in 2003, snubbed Parliament and signed a Non-Surrender Agreement with the US.
The agreement, which made US citizens immune to prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC), was signed by the Kufuor government without recourse to Parliament which is supposed to approve every international agreement.
Parliament had only got to know of the agreement belatedly after it had been published by Human Rights groups, including Amnesty International. However, even after the issue had come to attention, the NPP government at the time had refused to rescind the agreement.
Today, the same NPP is lambasting former President Mahama and the predecessor NDC government for accepting two Guantanamo Bay former detainees from the US government into the country without approval from Parliament.
Following the Supreme Court’s last week judgment, that an agreement between the erstwhile Mahama government with the US to host Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, was illegal, the NPP found a loud critical voice.
Pouncing on the court’s ruling that the two, one of whom is said to have married since arriving in Ghana, can only stay if government ratifies their stay with Parliamentary approval, the NPP denounced the Mahama administration’s hosting agreement with the US as a cardinal undermine of Parliament’s authority.
Interestingly, the lambasting is in spite of the fact that President Akufo-Addo had been notified of the government’s decision to bring in the Gitmo 2 before they were accepted in 2015.
The criticism has even been stretched into claims that the Mahama government should be blamed for the US Embassy’s last week announcement of intent to withdraw diplomatic courtesies to Ghanaian officials, including former Presidents, seeking to visit the US for unofficial purposes.
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, a well known journalist in the cause of the ruling party, has even said the fallout from the Gitmo 2 issue is a personal embarrassment to the NDC and former President Mahama.
What is interesting is that Kweku Baako was in this same country when the Kufuor regime signed the Non-Surrender Agreement with the US in 2003.
The agreement had made Ghana a laughing stock to the rest of the world as it had directly undermined the country as a signatory to a statute supporting the International Criminal Court.
Ghana had been one of the first countries to sign the Rome Statute on July 18, 1998 ratifying same on December 20, 1999. As a signatory to the statute, Ghana had undertaken not to shield or protect any individual against whom charges of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes are made.
However, in clear breach of treaty obligations, President Kufuor, had on July 1, 2003, turned round to sign an agreement with the US, to immune citizens of Uncle Sam who are accused of war crimes from being prosecuted by the ICC.
The agreement with the US had been done without public discussion or parliamentary approval, with Parliament only hearing about it through publications on the internet by groups including Amnesty International.
Even more shocking, Ghanaians would later find out that the reason President Kufuor had secretly signed the deal at the time was that the US had threatened to withhold military support to Ghana worth a paltry $4million.
The revelations had led to uproar, with public interest groups, including the Socialist Forum of Ghana, demanding that the Kufuor regime rescind the decision. However, Mr. Kufuor, whose administration had tied Ghana to the apron strings of the US, had refused to back down from licking the boots of Uncle Sam.
Today, the same NPP, which rode roughshod over Parliament to force the Non-Surrender Agreement with the US, is berating the erstwhile Mahama regime for bringing in the Gitmo 2 from the same US without approval by Parliament, even though the Kufuor regime’s 2003 agreement with the US was a perfect precedent.
Their loud criticism is in spite of the fact that President Akufo-Addo had been made aware of the government’s acceptance of the Gitmo 2 before they came into Ghana.
In April 2016, US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, had told journalists that Nana Akufo-Addo, then flagbearer of the NPP, had been consulted ahead of the acceptance of the Gitmo 2 by the Mahama government.
However, as that revelation had come at a time of upheaval over the two former American detainees, Akufo-Addo’s press Secretary, Eugene Arhin, had responded that Akufo-Addo had only been informed and not consulted.
A desire to milk the situation of political points by the NPP would later see two NPP apparatchiks, Margaret Banful and Henry Nana Boakye, sue the government at the Supreme Court over the Gitmo 2.
The Supreme Court, led Justice Sophia Akuffo, eventually, ruled last week that the Mahama government’s acceptance to host the two in the country was illegal because it had not been subject to Parliamentary approval.
The judgment retrospectively makes Kufuor’s 2003 Non Surrender Agreement with the US an illegality, as well.
Meanwhile, years after the 2003 Non-Surrender Agreement, Julian Assange’s Wikileaks would reveal how President Kufuor had made himself a ‘school boy’ to various US Ambassadors, including Pamela Bridgewater.
In one trove of the Wikileaks expose’, the lid is opened on the dirty secret for instance that President Kufuor had fired former Attorney General, Ayikoi Otoo, because he was seen as unhelpful to US interests by the US Embassy and recommended for dismissal.
“…Ayikoi Otoo was unresponsive so his removal may be helpful. Papa Owusu Ankomah was unhelpful to us as Attorney General but cooperative and friendly as Interior Minister. Shirley Botchwey is well-regarded. Oboshi Sai-Cofie’s shift from Deputy Chief of Staff to Deputy Minister for Information removes a helpful ally in the Castle,” one of the threads of leaks from the Embassy had revealed.
In another thread, President Kufuor, who was revealed to have practically frequented the US Embassy for tutorials from US Ambassadors, is disclosed to have run to ‘Big Sister’ Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater to weep on her shoulders about former President Jerry Rawlings being a fearful boogeyman to his government.
Mr. Kufuor had suspected that Mr. Rawlings’ fingers were itching to stage another coup in 2006, and begged Ambassador Bridgewater to use the US to forestall any such coup endeavors by Rawlings.
Today, the same Kufuor who pandered to the US with glee and virtually prostituted Ghana to Uncle Sam, is one of the Ex Ghanaian Presidents who may have to queue like ordinary Ghanaians to obtain visa anytime he wants to travel to the US.
A very arrogant US Ambassador, Robert Jackson, last week told Parliament’s Select Committee on Foreign Affairs that all officials aiming to visit the US for private reasons will not be accorded special visa protocols and that they will have to queue like everyone else.
The US Ambassador to Ghana had been invited to Parliament to explain the inhumane deportation of Ghanaian immigrants from the US who had returned to the country in chains like animals.
The officials who are to be denied protocol courtesies, he listed, include former Ministers and former Presidents like Mr. Kufuor.
The announcement has since invoked public anger with some people interpreting it as a reprisal by the US to the Supreme Court’s judgment that two ex-detainees of Guantanamo Bay, whom the US had sent to Ghana, are in the country illegally since the erstwhile NDC government had not sought approval from Parliament before accepting to host them.
The development has led to some NPP supporters saying that the NDC is to blame for the US Embassy’s reprisal, even though Ambassador Robert Jackson has since claimed that the withdrawal of the protocol courtesies is not peculiar to Ghana alone.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels