Our dignity is priceless, $20m can’t buy it – Ablakwa responds to US Ambassador

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The Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs has described as insulting and regrettable a justification by the US Ambassador that the $20 million that Ghana stands to gain under the military deal is substantial.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said Robert Jackson’s comment reduces Ghana’s “sovereignty and very existence” to money which is not good enough.

“It is debasing and depressing to reduce the argument to ¢20 million,” he said, stressing even the amount the ambassador quoted is not captured in the said agreement.

He said the offer of cash is akin to “one saying Ghana is a failed state with total insecurity” where there is no law or order and the US government is coming in to save the situation.

“That is not what is happening here, so it is important that we don’t reduce such important issue about the peace of the country, image and dignity of the citizens to a pittance,” he said.

The former Education Minister’s comment follows Ambassador Jackson’s interview with Joy News arguing Ghana stands to benefit substantially from $20 million it will be given for its cooperation in the agreement.

“$20 million being invested in the Ghanaian army in a year is pretty significant return,” he told Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah.

He also added that the US armed forces are only around to conduct operations and they will leave afterwards.

But Mr Ablakwa says that is inaccurate per the agreement and they will be in the country as long as they choose to.

“Several articles in this agreement talks of a permanent military presence…they are even going to come in with contractors who are going to undertake construction activities and other services with military and civilian personnel,” he stressed.

He said someone is not being forthright with some information so it is important it is not rushed through.

“Let us take our time and withdraw this agreement from parliament; It has too many errors, it has not been signed or executed, which is in gross violation of Article 75 (2).

“So even what you are seeking to rush through parliament, if someone goes to the Supreme Court, this whole thing will be thrown out,” he said.

The North Tongu legislator also chastised the Akufo-Addo government for rushing to get the agreement ratified before parliament rises Friday.

Mr Ablakwa is proposing a dialogue with all the political parties to decide the way forward with the agreement as a country since whatever is agreed on will affect successive governments.


Source: myjoyonline

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