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Minority stages walkout over US ‘Military base’ deal

The Minority in Parliament have staged a walkout from Parliament over the Ghana-US defence cooperation agreement currently before the House for consideration.

This was after the caucus leader, Haruna Iddrisu, made known his side’s reservations about the agreement on the floor on Friday evening.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, spoke for close to 17 minutes giving a litany of reasons why they believe the agreement should not be ratified by Parliament.

Cabinet approves MoU

Ghana’s Cabinet had agreed to provide the US’ military troop a place near the Kotoka International Airport, and also give them unhindered access to some key installations following a Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Ghana and the US government.

The MoU was laid before Parliament on Tuesday recommending to Parliament to ratify the agreement, but it was rejected by the opposition in Parliament.

With the agreement ratified, it means that the US troops will among other things be exempted from paying taxes on equipment that are brought to Ghana as well as use Ghana’s radio spectrum for free.

The troops and their equipment will also have unhindered access to the US forces and their equipment.

Although many Ghanaians have expressed resentment over the clauses of the agreement, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, said the agreement is in the best interest of Ghana.

Minority blocks report

The Minority on Thursday blocked the laying before Parliament, the report of the Joint Committee on Defence and Interior and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, on the agreement seeking to ratify the hosting of  US military troops in Ghana.

It was however laid today, Friday, March 23, 2018, and subsequently approved late hours on the same day.

‘Protests today, expect more Wednesday’

Earlier today [Friday], a number of protesters who tried to gain access to Parliament to kick against the anticipated approval of the deal were prevented from entering the House.

The main entrance of the House was shut with strict access checks being conducted for members of the public and workers seeking to enter.

The protesters however chanted slogans and songs outside the House.

The leader of the protesters, a suspended CPP executive member, Ernesto Yeboah, who was dissatisfied with Parliament’s decision, said they posed no threat to the security of the House.

“Are we holding guns? So on what basis are we disallowed from entering Parliament to have a sight of the proceedings in Parliament? They have absolutely no basis to restrain us from entering to have a sight of the proceedings. We are going to enter, we are going to sit down, we are going to observe the rules of Parliament.

The Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul, on Tuesday laid before Parliament the document seeking to ratify an agreement for space around the Kotoka International Airport, which will serve as a camp for some US military forces in Ghana.

The agreement will among other things, exempt the US government from paying taxes on equipment that is brought to Ghana.

They will also be given the chance to set their own telecommunication system, although they will be allowed to use Ghana’s radio spectrum free of charge.

Although many Ghanaians have expressed resentment over the clauses of the agreement, government had defended it and said the agreement is in the best interest of Ghana.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana

One comment

  1. I am afraid the Nana Akufo-Administration has ‘goofed’ to have ever considered at all this USA request to be allowed a camp-base access creation in Ghana. This error is unthinkable when we consider the errors that pushed Mahama anD his NDC cabinet to have tolerated the TWO GITMO CONVICTS space of rest in Ghana. What did the Americans say to Mahama? Is it the same story they told Nana Akufo-Addo Dankwa and his cabinet to have acceded to consider their quest for the USA army base creation near KOTOKA International Airport?
    I pray the Minority in Parliament get through quashing this agreement. Save Ghana!
    Just you consider the philosophy behind Nana Akufo-Addo Dankwa’s The Ghana Beyond Aid paradigm…They appear to conflict in purpose from our view point. Sure, let us do all we can healthily and sanely to push Ghana to healthy growth!

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