Social and political activist, Ace Ankomah, wants military experts to be given the microphone in the raging controversy over the impact of a US military deal with Ghana.

The legal practitioner indicated that he is out of his depth on the controversial deal which critics say sells Ghana's sovereignty to the US.

Mr Ankomah, a member of a public watchdog OccupyGhana, which has grown in its influence over public debates noted, there is more to the fine prints in the 19-page agreement yet to be approved by parliament.

"I have no clue what this contains' he said pointing out that military experts will better understand what the agreement means in operational terms."

Ace Ankomah who maintains a strong social media presence said, he is open to accepting it if he is assured by experts that the deal is good for Ghana.

Ghanaians appear uneasy over terms which include the surrendering of the country's radio spectrum to the US and exclusive access to some military installations.

There are about 200 soldiers expected to be deployed in Ghana, the US Ambassador, Robert Jackson has told Joy News. The entire military contingent is also immune to Ghana's laws.

Ace Ankomah says the government needs to do more to assure citizens that this deal represents their best interest.

A Ghanaian should, for example, be able to get compensation from the government if diplomatic immunity bars him from suing the US government in case of wrongdoing on the part of the soldiers.

If a soldier crashes into his car, the Ghana government should pay for it, he gave examples of how negotiations should be conducted to protect the interest of Ghanaians.

The US is also throwing in $20million, the Ambassador has said.

Djibouti receives $63 million annually from the US where a military force is stationed. China is also paying it $20 million a year besides the billions they are investing in building a railway, a port, an industrial park, and banks.

Ace Ankomah said he is unsure if $20m Ghana expects to receive as part of the deal is good enough.

The joint military training, however, is a beneficial aspect of the deal, he noted.

He said the government can also leverage the Achiase jungle, used for military training and believed to be one of the best, to attract more military cooperations with other countries.

Countries could send their military officers to come for jungle training in Ghana.

Sticking to the legal aspects of the deal, the legal practitioner rejected the view expressed by the Defence Minister that there is no turning back on the deal.

He said international agreements need to be approved by Ghana's parliament before it can become binding in law.

"If parliament says I don’t agree on it there is no agreement – simple as that," he said. 

 

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