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Opinions of Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Columnist: Michael Bokor

Why is this NPP government ridiculing itself?

Folks, when we pick on this lame-duck Akufo-Addo government to criticize, we don't do so just because we hate it. We do so because it doesn't know how to administer affairs of state/governance to justify its being put in power. And we have poked its ribs all along; but it seems the more we castigate it over its incompetence, the more it does a lot to give us the rod with which to do the poking.

Is this government really made up of people who know how to use political power to make the difference that their stentorian call for "CHANGE" deceived the electorate into preferring them to the NDC?

One particular instance that justifies whatever we do to them is given by the unpopular ratification of the obnoxious defence or security cooperation agreement with the United States that the NPP Majority in Parliament ratified after the opposing NDC faction had walked out and is now telling us that the final report of the committee that looked into the agreement was "cooked" (subverted) overnight by the NPP Majority.

Too bad for Ghana, especially when placed in the context of the overwhelming condemnation from cross-sections of the Ghanaian society. Security experts, former heads of state (excluding Kufuor), political groupings, reasonable civil society groupings not selling their conscience to the NPP, and ordinary Ghanaians are on edge. They don't like the agreement. Tension is building up and fear of political instability is looming large!!

Much bitter criticism erupts everyday even as the government attempts deflecting it by referring to precedent (if ever anything of the sort exists). They have cited previous agreements under the NDC administration of Rawlings in 1998 and Mahama in 2015 in their attempt to equalize whatever there is. Their defence of the agreement aggravates all the more.

Now, we have the most weird aspect to worry about:
"Members of Parliament are likely to be recalled to the House for an emergency meeting to reconsider and ratify a 2015 Ghana-US Military agreement signed by former Foreign Affairs Minister Hannah Tetteh.

"Information Minister Mustapha Hamid said the government needs to give “proper legal authority” to the 2015 agreement which forms the foundation of a similar agreement signed with the US in 2018...



Why does this panic move to pursue a cause that isn't in Ghana's interest? (Of course, we have in focus a government made up of those who think that they are the best for Ghana when, indeed, they are the worst. Self-seekers, murderers, and liars they are!!), even as they intensify their empty rhetoric as captured here:

"But government spokespersons have said the 2018 agreement is not significantly different from the 2015 one signed by the NDC, except that the John Mahama led government failed to bring it to Parliament for ratification as required by law.

"Mustapha Hamid told Joy FM’s Evans Mensah on Top Story, Monday, in order to avert a possible suit that may torpedo the current agreement with the US, the government had to send the 2015 agreement to Parliament for ratification.

"In the absence of the ratification of the 2015 agreement, “somebody can go to the Supreme Court for a declaration that the agreement is null and void,” he said."

So much for the tosh from them. Interestingly, their own security "experts" have condemned the rashness. Capt. Budu Koomson made it all clear in his stance. Others have also given us to know how daft the government has been in dealing with this agreement that spent 8 months on the desk of the Minister of Defence and many more in the dark chambers of the government before Cabinet could sign it; but that which spent only a few hours in Parliament to be ratified. What mystery isn't there to make us cringe?

(Let's remember that our own military establishment hasn't commented on the matter. Too much to worry about here, especially when the agreement aims at putting the US soldiers on the ground to roam around in a showery show of force when our own soldiers can't do so.
Interestingly, in the United States, soldiers don't go about displaying their "soldiery" as will be done in Ghana per this agreement. Hardly does any soldier come out as a soldier to do what the agreement would empower the US soldiers to do in Ghana, especially in a mass. In a democracy, the presence of the soldiers---wielders of the instrument of violence---is not felt upfront. If the US won't position its troops upfront in the country, why should it be allowed to do so in Ghana?



Foer the uninformed, let it be said that the US is calculating in how it uses its military in domestic politics and in pursuing its international political interests. The military always stays at the background while the national reserves/guards and other institutions are deployed in times of crisis.

That being the case, why should it position it soldiers upfront in Ghana and have unfettered access to Ghana's security facilities? What is mysterious or too difficult that Akufo-Addo and his government cannot grasp here to ditch this agreement? I expect open confrontations to torpedo this agreement. And I hope of the US has any conscience, it will react as such not to impose its will on Ghana).



My final thoughts and niggles

So, by just a stroke of her pen, Hannah Tetteh signed an agreement and singularly committed Ghana to the US' military hegemony? Is it now that the NPP is getting to know of this "commitment" to warrant its own version of what Ntiwul submitted to Parliament to be ratified by the NPP Majority?
At the time that Hannah Tetteh signed that 2015 agreement, where were these self-righteous NPP people not to know what was happening upon all their "too known" assertions as "interrectuals"? Did Hannah Tetteh succeed in outwitting them and Ghanaians, generally? How so?
Granted that the Hannah Tetteh version of the agreement was implemented without its being forwarded to Parliament for ratification, what did the NPP know at the time but didn't raise any protest about?
(We know how much the NPP did to penetrate the NDC government. How come that they couldn't get any hint of this agreement that Hannah Tetteh signed so they could factor that insight into their manifesto regarding national security before Election 2016?)
More importantly, what is the sense in what the NPP administration intends Parliament to be recalled to do?

It is simple. Parliament after the 2016 elections is not the same as it was in 2015. Clearly put, the MPs in office in 2015 but got defeated at Election 2016 won't be eligible to decide on the fate of the Akufo-Addo government's version of the agreement.
Does it make political and legal sense to recall Parliament to ratify an agreement that the current crop of MP's were not at post to deal with?

My point is this: If the agreement was signed in 2015 by a Hannah Tetteh who is no more an MP, what sense will it make to resurrect that "dead" agreement now for ratification by a Parliament constituting mostly those not in power in 2015?

Folks, I hope you get the drift. Hannah Tetteh lost the Parliamentary seat. Under what circumstance would she be invited to Parliament to help ratify the agreement that she is said to have signed? As an ordinary citizen or what? And if she refuses to have anything to do with the issue, what happens?

Again, what does this NPP administration seek to accomplish by returning to the 2015 agreement and not the 1998 one?

Finally, what is the legal backing for all that Mustapha Hamid is spewing out? Hannah Tetteh is no more an MPP, Minister of State, or whatever. Under what circumstance will she be compelled to appear before Parliament to clarify that agreement and to get her to help ratify it to lay the foundation for this Akufo-Addo government's version? And what happens if she refuses to be cajoled or forced to go where she doesn't want to? I don't get it.

An agreement signed in 2015 did what it was to do. A new one brought up in 2018 has its own life to live, even if it is built on preceding ones. But to say that Parliament would be recalled to ratify an agreement that it had no hand in enunciating or endorsing in 2015 muddies the waters and paints a really nasty (uncomplimentary) picture of these NPP empty braggarts.

It's just like recalling an ex-husband to help resolve the crisis of identity and self-worth of a former wife now in a relationship of sorts with a "new" husband. How unconscionable? How unreasonable? How stupid?

Are these NPP empty braggarts really intelligent or intellectual at all?

I shall return…