By Frank Amponsah
Documents in the possession of the New Crusading Guide has finally exposed the hypocrisy of the former president, John Dramani Mahama and the NDC government under whose watch the controversial military deal between Ghana and the United States was signed and approved.
The said documents plainly suggests that ex-president John Mahama gave approval for Ghana to be used as base for a US military operation that will protect “US citizens and facilities in the sub-region.”
The letter dated February 12, 2015 and signed by Hannah Nyarko for the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister made numerous references to the agreement reached between the ex-president Mahama and the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Miss Bisa Williams at the Flagstaff House on 4 September 2014.
According to that document, the US government wrote a diplomatic note dated February 5, 2015, a copy of which was attached to the February 12 letter, in which the US government sought approval from their Ghanaian counterparts to use “Ghana’s territory and airspace” for the operation.
It also stated that, “The operations involved the deployment of 200 US marine forces, Africa personnel, 4 MV 22 Osprey and 2 C130 Hercules aircraft. The deployment was scheduled to begin on 10 February 2015 and last for approximately 5 weeks if approved.”
The leaked document which also exposed the erstwhile NDC also requested for “clearance for US aircraft to conduct over flights within Ghana’s airspace for the duration of the mission. Permission for the six US aircraft to operate from and be staged on the airforce rump and for the deploying forces to leave and operate out of the US expeditionary reception facility located at the Air force base at the Burma Camp.”
The said agreement which was concluded and approved by John Mahama was recently ratified by a one-sided Parliament, after the minority walked out had a purpose to “Reaffirming the strong defense relationship between the Parties based on a shared commitment to peace and stability and common approaches to addressing regional defense and security issues.”
Shortly after the 2018 agreement, the Minority in Parliament 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.
The NDC continues to pretend to be outraged by the tax exemptions when in 2015 tax exemptions were given to the US military in Ghana under the agreement in the leaked document.
There was also logistic 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.
It has become obvious 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.
Certain clauses in the agreement have sent a lot of tongues wagging.
For instance Article 5 states that “Ghana hereby provides unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas to United State forces, United States contractors, and others as mutually agreed.
Under Article 5, the agreement notes “United States forces are hereby authorized to control entry to agreed facilities and areas that having been provided for exclusive use by United States forces, and to coordinate entry with the authorities of Ghana at agreed facilities and areas provided for joint use by United States force and Ghana, for purposes of safety and security.”
Even though it was not stated in the agreement, it has been reported and confirmed by the US Ambassador to Ghana Robert Jackson that Ghana was given an amount of $20 million as part of the agreement.
Many, including the ex-president John Mahama have since kicked against the agreement. A demonstration has been organized for thousands to vent their anger about the deal the minority insists will sell the security and sovereignty of the country.
It also emerged that apart from the 5 week US military operation, the then Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh also signed a separate agreement with the US government in April 2015 which formed the basis of the enhanced military cooperation agreement in 2018.
Under the Hannah Tetteh agreement, the same facilities the US marines used while in Ghana in 2015 are the same facilities they will use in 2018.