Military agreement: Fuseini demands Nitiwul debate, gets Baako instead

Military agreement: Fuseini demands Nitiwul debate, gets Baako instead
Source: Ghana||Nathan Gadugah
Date: 31-03-2018 Time: 03:03:23:pm

The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central is demanding a debate with the Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul to expose what he says is a poor US Military agreement that has sold Ghana’s sovereignty.

Inusah Fuseini said the 2018 agreement entered into with the US would only turn Ghana into a satellite state.

Speaking on Joy FM/Joy News TV’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday, the MP said he is convinced beyond every doubt the agreement will lead to the setting up of a military base in Ghana.

He said there are ample clauses in the 19-point agreement upon which he can make “reasonable inference” that the agreement as it is will lead to the creation of a US military base in Ghana.

Inusah Fuseini was quick to add that the NDC is not opposing a security agreement with the US government but will not accept the content of the 2018 agreement in its current form.

The agreement and its ratification have triggered a lot of controversy in the country with the Minority boycotting the ratification process.

But the boycott did not stop the Majority in Parliament from ratifying the document. There has since been a demonstration organised by a coalition of political forces kicking against the agreement.

Apart from the demonstration, the Minority in Parliament has taken advantage of every opportunity to criticise the government and oppose the operation of the agreement.

On Newsfile, Inusah Fuseini stated the NDC’s opposition to the agreement is founded on four main grounds.

According to him, the agreement is unconstitutional; it is legally flawed, ethically and morally impaired.

Quoting Article 75 of the constitution, the MP cum Legal practitioner said for a treaty or such an agreement to be ratified by Parliament it has to be signed by the executive.

“A treaty must be executed by the executive and later ratified by Parliament. This agreement has not been executed by the executive.”

For an agreement to be executed it must be signed by the executive before coming to Parliament for ratification.

Inusah Fuseini said there were many phrases in the agreement which indicate the 2018 agreement has not be signed by the executive.

He quoted portions of the document which suggested the agreement before Parliament was a draft copy, something he said was illegal and unacceptable.

“The power to ratify by Parliament is invoked only when it is executed or signed by the executive,” he said.

According to Mr Fuseini, there are more than six clauses in the agreement which support the view that by signing the agreement, there will be the establishment of a US military base in Ghana.

He mentioned Article 5 of the agreement which among other things calls for an “unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas to United State forces.”

He also cited the portions of the agreement which allow US military equipment to enter the country without any inspection.

Such an agreement he stated will compromise the country’s security and sovereignty, he stated.

No military base

But the Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, who was also on the show disagreed.

He told host, Samson Lardy Anyenini, that if the agreement was to establish a US military base in Ghana he would have vehemently opposed it.

He said what the agreement seeks to enhance is a "military presence" and not establish a military base.

“There has always been a US military presence in Ghana,” he stated, adding, the NDC members have since 2003 been citing a military base in Ghana which is non-existent.

While he agrees the 2018 military agreement signed with the US is not exactly the same as those signed in 1998 and 2015, he was quick to add that there are significant similarities.

Shortly after the 2018 agreement was made public, Malik Baako said the Minority sought to suggest that issues relating to tax exemptions given to the US military, use of telecommunication gadgets and other conditions were new and exclusive to the 2018 agreement. But that is not true, he added.

Quoting portions of the 2015 agreement, Kweku Baako Jnr said the NDC cannot pretend to be outraged by the tax exemptions when in 2015 tax exemptions were given to the US military in Ghana.

He also cited the logistics support supplies services including food, water and communication and suggested that the communication referred to in the 2015 agreement was not Vodafone and MTN credit cards but the same use of radio spectrum in the 2018 agreement which the NDC now appears to have a problem with.

He read from letters indicating that former President Mahama, after meetings with the Americans in 2014 permitted the use of Ghana's territories - air, sea, and land - by more than 200 US soldiers for some military exercises in the Africa region. The letters made reference to facilities at Ghana's military base which the American had been using. 

Malik Baako said he would not have a problem if the criticisms were coming from neutrals who had nothing to do with both agreements but for the NDC, a party which had been power and signed similar agreements with the US to be making the kinds of claims being made only smacked of hypocrisy.

He was also concerned that the NDC government signed an agreement of such nature in 2015 and never bothered to put it in the handing over notes to the new government.