Feature Article of Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea
“Akufo-Addo Subverts Ghanaian Interests At The IEA Debate!” - Kwesi Pratt, Jnr.
By Nana Akyea Mensah | November 25, 2012
Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. takes the host of Radio Gold, Mr. Alhassan Shaibu Suhini, host of the famous Alhaji & Alhaji Show through an analysis of the essential bankruptcy that underlie the foreign policy postures of the presidential candidate of Ghana’s opposition party, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, of the New Patriotic Party, NPP at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ recent Presidential debate at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra, Ghana. Transcript by the Office of The Odikro, Nana Akyea Mensah.
Listen: ? KWESI PRATT ON THE IEA DEBATE NOV 2012 by Pan-Africanist International. http://soundcloud.com/pan-africanisr-internatio/kwesi-pratt-on-the-iea-debate#
“I feel so uncomfortable about the fact that the discussion of foreign policy was reduced to a discussion about our relationship with La Côte d’Ivoire. Because foreign policy is much, much, more broader! Much, much more broader than our relations with La Côte d’Ivoire. And yet Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo managed to reduce the whole discussion to our relations with La Côte d’Ivoire, and I felt it was hugely problematic.
I think that foreign policy issues are essentially about how to maximise our advantage in the comity of nations. Foreign policy is simply the appreciation of the fact that no country has everything it needs in terms of resources and so on. And therefore, it is important to relate to the rest of the world so that we can deal with the things that we are not capable of dealing, and so that we can also help others overcome problems which confront them, for which we have an advantage. That is the basis of foreign policy.
Again, I think that foreign policy ought to have ingredients. And if you look at Ghana’s foreign policy from 1957, one of the key ingredients in Ghana’s foreign policy has been international justice. The search for justice, the struggle to end exploitation, whether it is in the form of slavery, whether it is in the form of classical colonialism, or it is in the form of modern day neo-colonialism. And that is why Ghana has been firmly committed to the decolonisation process throughout the world. The element of international justice is key in foreign policy. And that was skipped.
Now with reference to La Côte d’Ivoire, I am surprised that anybody discussing the relations between Ghana and La Côte d’Ivoire could ignore the claim that our oil resources, or part of our oil resources belong to La Côte d’Ivoire! Over the last year or two, La Côte d’Ivoire has made all kinds of claims on Ghana’s Jubilee Field, to the extent that the Ivorian National Petroleum Company issued a threat to the operators in the Jubilee Field to stop work or face the consequences.
Now, any Ghanaian with an interest in the protection of Ghana’s resources and its utilization for the development of our people if he wants to comment about the relationship with La Côte d’Ivoire ought to focus some attention on the claims of the Ouattara Administration that part or all of our oil resources belong to them. Nana Akufo-Addo was not interested in that. His main interest was how to keep Ouattara in power. And as a Ghanaian, I am totally disgusted by this picture of a man who wants to be the President of the Republic of Ghana!
He is not interested in the Ivorian claims at all! But, you know what makes it worse? When Nana Akufo-Addo was asked how he would find resources to support his free Senior High School proposal, he said it would be revenue form the oil. Now, if that is the case, just in case La Côte d’Ivoire succeeded in claiming a substantial part of our oil resources, it would mean that the free SHS proposal have collapsed at birth. And yet Nana Akufo-Addo is not interested in protecting source of the resources he would use to fund the free SHS system that he has proposed. That is how serious he appears to be about the free SHS! The very source of funding, he is not interested in protecting, and I find that worrying.
My brother, it is interesting for us to go back into history. And it is interesting for us to go back into history because in this very instance, history will teach us why the New Patriotic Party and its Presidential candidate, is jumping over itself to have a collaborative relationship with the Ouattara Administration, even if it means subverting Ghana’s interests. And I recommend very strongly that those who can, should try and read Mahoney’s book, “JFK, Ordeal in Africa”. I think that portion starts from page 185 onwards. They should try and read that. Nkrumah’s government suffered tremendously as a result of sabotage, planned and executed by the Danquah -Busia elements, with the full support of the Houphouët-Boigny government in La Côte d’Ivoire.
Throughout Nkrumah’s reign, he never had a day of peace, as a result of the subversion of the Danquah-Busia elements and the reactionary neo-colonialist government of La Côte d’Ivoire, headed by Houphouët-Boigny, a government in which Ouattara served. A government in which Ouattara served!
Today, in Dansoman, lives a woman called Asantewa. And I am sure all of you know the story of Asantewa. Asantewa was a young school girl, Young Pioneer, for that matter, who went to the Accra Sports Stadium to participate in an activity that Nkrumah was to address. Danquah-Busia elements stormed the stadium with bombs in one of their terrorist activities, and Asantewa had one of her legs amputated. Today, you should see Asantewa. The other leg is so badly swollen, and up till today, Asantewa is in extreme pains. Those bombs came from La Côte d’Ivoire and other countries, but they came principally from La Côte d’Ivoire!
Again, it is important to go back into history and to learn. And Dr. Tony Aidoo mentioned that but Dr. Tony Aidoo did not mention the role played by La Côte d’Ivoire! Busia’s government teamed up with La Côte d’Ivoire to subvert the aspirations of the African people with regards to toppling Apartheid, when the Organisation of African Unity, had come to the conclusion that Apartheid needed to be uprooted, and that one of the means of uprooting Apartheid was to isolate Apartheid and to impose sanctions on Apartheid.
The Danquah-Busia elements in Ghana and Houphouët-Boigny’s government in La Côte d’Ivoire, decided to subvert the Organisation of African Unity, and opened up trade links and other diplomatic links with South Africa to the shame and horror of Africans everywhere in the world! So the collaboration did not begin today! It began a long time ago, working against the interests of the African people!
Now, you see a discussion of La Côte d’Ivoire crisis has been skewed in such a way as to create the impression that Laurent Gbagbo was some kind of monster who needed to be booted out of power. I totally disagree with any analysis like that, no matter where that analysis is coming from! Why? The electoral regulations of La Côte d’Ivoire, the Constitution of La Côte d’Ivoire, allowed any of the contesting parties to ask for a recount of the votes. In much the same way that Ghanaian electoral laws and the Constitution allow for a recount of votes. You understand what I am saying?
At the end of that election, the only demand made by the Gbagbo Administration was that the results should be recounted. And Gbagbo stated very clearly that if those results were recounted and he had lost, he was willing to leave power. So it was not a case of Gbagbo hanging on blindly to power. It was a case in which Gbagbo said, let us recount the ballots, in conformity with the Ivorian Constitution, in conformity with Ivorian electoral laws.
Alassane Ouattara said no! Daabi da! We will not allow the recount! If you don’t leave office, we will bomb you to ras! And don’t forget that before the elections, the rebels supporting Alassane Ouattara had been armed to the teeth, ready to shoot their way to power. That is what happened in La Côte d’Ivoire! Because Gbagbo insisted on the proper things being done, and Alassane Ouattara objected to the proper things being done, more than 3000 Ivorian citizens lost their lives! Many of them killed by rebels supporting Ouattara.
You should be reading reports of Human Rights Watch. You should be reading reports of Amnesty International. And since they love UN reports, you should be reading UN reports. In one day, the rebels supporting Ouattara killed more than 200 innocent Ivorians who were taking refuge in a church! Isn’t it interesting that today Gbagbo is standing trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity? The wife has just been indicted also, and Alassane Ouattara is walking free! Isn’t that interesting? That is justice! I am disgusted! Completely disgusted!
But Suhini, back to the point. Guillaume Soro was in Accra. Guillaume Soro was a Prime Minister, now he is the Speaker of the Ivorian Parliament. And Guillaume Soro said that the Ivorian government was eternally grateful to Professor Mills for helping to resolve the crisis of the Ivory coast. Guillaume Soro said if it was not for the wise counsel of Professor Mills, the Ivorian crisis could not have been resolved.
Guillaume Soro’s visit was followed by a visit by President Ouattara. And President Ouattara made it clear that President Mills had played a key role in the resolution of the Ivorian conflict. I interviewed Laurent Gbagbo. And Laurent Gbagbo said that President Mills was one of the wisest leaders in Africa. Ouattara repeated that. The opponent of Laurent Gbagbo came to Accra and repeated that and said, look, President Mills was one of the wisest African leaders, and that without him, the crisis could not have been resolved.
Apparently, Nana Akufo-Addo did not listen to all of this. The man who was so interested in protecting Ivorian interests and so on, did not even listen to his mentor Ouattara, when Ouattara praised President Mills to this level, and went on to make the kind of statements he made at the IEA.
But my brother, listen to me and listen to me carefully. Nana Akufo-Addo claims to have read the UN report. I don’t think he has read the UN report because anybody who has read the UN report would notice that the UN report was quoting from a French intelligence company! And indeed, some of the quotations were in quotation marks. Clearly indicating that the UN, whilst using the report, was distancing itself from the report. It was not adopting the report as its own. The fact that they were in quotation marks is clear. But Nana Akufo-Addo would have us believe that that report was a UN report!
There is something also which is interesting about that so-called UN report. One, it was leaked even before it had been presented to the UN for adoption, you understand what I am saying? So, is that what Nana Akufo-Addo is going to base his policy on? Leaked documents which do not have the stamp of approval and so on? Is that what he is going to base his foreign policy on? I wonder what Ghana will become! We will be moving towards a banana republic if this is going to be our attitude in foreign policy!
But, be that as it may. Nana Akufo-Addo, who has been a Foreign Minister before, should be familiar with the UN Charter and other regulations. The UN is estopped by its own Charter from carrying out espionage activities in member countries. So, the UN could not have sent secret agents quietly into Ghana to establish the things that the French company established. It is against the UN Charter!
Now, if the UN is violating its own Charter and operating as if it were a band of guerilla movement and so on, we expect Ghanaian people, especially those who want to be our President, to defend Ghana’s interests, and not to insist that the UN should behave properly! Unfortunately, we have a man who wants to be President of Ghana, who is condoning the violation of the UN’s own Charter. And I am worried about this development.
In any case, Radio France International had an interview with an Ivorian military officer, in charge of the area where the so-called rebels were supposed to have attacked from Ghana and so on. We published it in The Insight, I am sure you saw it, in which the officer stated clearly that there was no Ghanaian involvement, and that the territory which was described as being Ghanaian territory was indeed an Ivorian territory, and that the attack came from within La Côte d’Ivoire! A La Côte d’Ivoire army officer! Nana Akufo-Addo did not hear that. He does not want to hear that! He is interested in subverting Ghana’s interests and so on. And I am so, so disgusted by this development!
Now, I can say more about La Côte d’Ivoire because for me, it represents a betrayal of Ghanaian interests. The posture taken by Akufo-Addo is a clear betrayal of Ghanaian interests! Now, why would any Presidential candidate betray his own country, and route for another country? Of course, there are so many rumours about the linkage between Nana Akufo-Addo and some of the people in La Côte d’Ivoire. Some of it have been published. I am not the one to repeat these allegations, but you see, this conduct at the IEA can only lend credence to some of those rumours!