Taking a decision to go to court to settle the maritime dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire was the toughest decision John Dramani Mahama made as President, former Minister of Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has said.
According to him, Mr Mahama, despite his personal relationship with the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, whom he considered as a “brother”, went to court because he put the interest of Ghana first.
Mr Buah’s comment comes on the back of Ghana’s victory over Cote d’Ivoire in the four-year maritime dispute.
The Special Chamber on Saturday, September 23 ruled unanimously that Ghana did not violate the rights of Cote d’Ivoire in exploring oil at the maritime boundary. It further stated that Ghana did not violate the right of the French-speaking West African country.
Reacting to this development on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM, Mr Buah said: “I recall vividly quite frankly, a letter that broke the camel’s back where, at some point, there was a clear indication from Cote d’Ivoire that work must be stopped on TEN.
“That really put everything we have worked for at risk. And that was the time that the FPSO Mills was about to arrive close to the border of Cote d’Ivoire and here’s Tullow with a clear letter [from Cote d’Ivoire] saying ‘stop work, this is our area and you can’t work’. And so it left President John Mahama no choice but to take the toughest decision of his presidency.
“He [put aside] his relationship with President Ouattara, they were called brothers, but he [Mahama] took an oath to protect and defend the territorial integrity of Ghana and so he made a decision that he had to go to court and I think on a day like this, we have to recall all the great heroes who worked very hard for this success…”
Mr Buah also commended the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government for the continuity which has resulted in the overall victory for the country.
“I’m very happy for Ghana,” he stated, adding: “I think the continuity led by President Akufo-Addo on this, that has culminated in this conclusion must be mentioned as well, and so it’s good news for Ghana…”