Hon James Agalga,MP Builsa North
The Minority Ranking Member on Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, Hon James Agalga has said, any agreement that allows the United State of America (USA) to create a Military base in Ghana is to undermine the sovereignty rights of the country.
According to him, Ghana has long in the history been the pace setter of Africa freedom from colonial control and should be the last country to allow a foreign nation to establish its military base.
Mr Agalga was reacting to a purported cabinet approved agreement between the Republic of Ghana and the USA which has been laid before parliament on Tuesday morning by the Minister for Defence.
The Minister for Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, after laying the document before parliament told Media that, the agreement has nothing to do with establishment of a military base innGhana and that it is a security cooperation.
According to the Defence Minister, Ghana stands to benefit a palpable sum of GHS20 million and that there was no fear of alarm.
Portion of the agreement between Ghana and the USA, Ghana would, among others, reads that,“unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas to United State forces, United States contractors, and others as mutually agreed.”
It further stated that, such agreed facilities and area: or portions thereof, provided by Ghana shall be designated as either for exclusive use by United States forces or to be jointly used by United States forces and Ghana. Ghana shall also provide access to and use of a runway that meets the requirements of United States forces.
But in an interview with THE REPUBLIC, Mr Agalga, a former Deputy Minister for the Interior and MP for Builsa North said, a military base in its classical terms is where equipment and troops are stationed and operate for a period or permanent for a purpose.
He said, the Minority caucus are not convinced with what is on agreement paper and that Ghana would be a new colony if the agreement is allow to be pass in parliament.
He stated that there are some unclassified clauses in the agreement between Ghana and the US government which suggested that the world superpower wants to create a military base in the country.
“This agreement has been drafted in a manner that does not state a termination point. In other words, it would exist in perpetuity. This, therefore, binds all successive governments and yet little or no input was sought from political stakeholders and the citizenry,” he added.
Mr Agalga argued that, the non-availability of restraints on movements of US Army personnel in Ghana with weapons and others as spelt out in Article 12 of the agreement, troubling, as it opens up the country in a more compromise manner that undermines both our sovereignty and security.
“I must state that the interest of any truly free State as Ghana which has been thee forefront of Africa independent from colonial rule is the preservation of our sovereignty and the autonomy of our people. The proposed agreement denigrates both, as well as the authority of our government and laws,” the Former Deputy Interior Minister said.
The Builsa North MP said, considering that the US military would be deploying forces from the airport as well as having an unfettered access and spectrum available to them makes the situation even murkier.
Allowing the US military base in Ghana, Mr Agalga said, would undermine the sovereignty rights of Ghana, pointing that thought the access given to the US army was restricted, the mention of agreed facilities and areas in the Republic of Ghana proposes otherwise.
He further told paper that the statements made by Defence Minister, contradicts what the agreement says, pointing out that, “it is unacceptable for the government to giving exclusive areas where Ghanaians could not have access.”
The Minority MP said, in countries where the US established its Military Bases, those countries in one way or the other suffered attack by terrorists and creating one in Ghana would undoubtedly make the country prone to external insurgents.
In the light of the above issues, the Minority Ranking Member, demanded an immediate withdrawal from the military agreement between the United States of America and Ghana to save Ghana’s sovereignty.
He dismissed claims by the government that similar agreement was signed under the previous administration of the National Democratic Congress(NDC), stating, “if there is any agreement of the same by the previous government, I have not seen it and I will be happy to see it. If any body have the evidence, let the person proof it.”
In his considered opinion, there was the need for the agreement to be vetted for a clear definition of the said areas of access,saying, “When these areas are designated and they bring in their materials, equipment, staff and it becomes a staging ground, then we are getting into a military base,”
He said, no amount of benefit from the agreement to the country and it’s people could be compare to the sovereignty rights independent from any other state interfering and control.
Mr Agalga also reminded Ghanaians of similar agreement between Ghana and the US under President John Kufour, nothing, “it was one of such agreement that former US president George Bush described Ghanaians disagreement as baloney.”
He affirmed the Minority commitment to safeguard the country sovereignty to scrutinize the agreement which is purported to have been approved by cabinet waiting parliament endorsement.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Quaye on Tuesday ever red the argument to joint committee of Defence and Interior and thee Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs.
Sources: www.therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba