Speech on military deal: Akufo-Addo’s emotional outburst bad – University Don

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Prof. Ransford Gyampo
Prof. Ransford Gyampo

Outspoken Political Scientist Prof. Ransford Gyampo has described as unnecessary President Akufo-Addo’s emotionally fiery defense of the controversial military agreement between Ghana and the United States of America.

According to the Senior lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, even though he subscribed to the President’s unflinching resolve to expose the hypocrisy of the opposition regarding the agreement, he erred in his choice of language.

“The president in his speech at certain times was a bit emotional. But I was thinking that he could have still exposed political hypocrisy without being emotional and then also sounding or insinuating that a section of the Ghanaian population are anti-America,” Prof Gyampo said.

“I don’t think that it is helpful,” he stressed.

In a televised address Thursday evening President Akufo Addo tagged those opposed to the agreement as naysayers and hypocrites.

“And how else would we have exposed the unspeakable hypocrisy of the fraternity of some frontline politicians, who make a habit of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds, who secretly wallow in the largesse of the United States of America, whilst, at the same time, promote anti-American sentiments to a populist constituency?” Ghana’s President said.

In his reaction however, Prof. Gyampo stated speaking against the agreement does not make one anti-American and that as a father of the nation the President shouldn’t be seen as being intolerable to criticisms.

“For the want of a better word serious emotional attack on those who were peddling hypocrisy and all that, I think he is the father of the nation and so his words on an issue like this should put all debate to rest. It should not stoke further debate,” he stated.

Address insulting

The Minority in Parliament’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa also described President Akufo Addo’s address on the defense cooperation agreement as “insulting.”

Reacting to the 15-minute address, the National Democratic Congress MP for North Tongu, who mounted pressure on the president to break his silence on the issue, said Mr. Akufo-Addo failed Ghanaians.

“A terribly sad night indeed,” Mr. Ablakwa said in a Facebook post.

He added: “This is not how a President talks down to his own people. The intolerant, condescending and insulting response to genuine concerns of Ghanaians from all sections of society is very regrettable.”

No military base

In his address, the President also dismissed claims that the US is seeking to build a military base in Ghana.

“The United States of America has not made any request for such consideration and, consistent with our established foreign policy, we will not consider any such request. In consideration of the realities of our circumstances and the challenges to peace in our region in our time, we have deemed it prudent to continue the Co-operation Agreement with the United States of America.”

He was confident that the US-Ghana Military Co-operation Agreement “will help enhance our defence capability, and offer an important layer of support in our common effort to protect the peace in our region.”

Explaining why his Government had departed from the previous norms of predecessor governments to keep military co-operation agreements entered into with the United States of America secret, President Akufo-Addo indicated that his government was of the view that such agreements should be subject to the appropriate scrutiny of Parliament, in consonance with the requirements of accountable governance and the teachings of the Constitution.

“But for this decision to be open about this agreement, how else would we, the people of Ghana, have ever known that, for several decades, Ghana has had defence and security co-operation collaborations with the United States of America? How else would we have known that, in some instances, we have provided them with facilities for the movement of personnel and equipment to help some of our neighbours who were facing security and health challenges?” the President asked

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