Members of the pressure group, Ghana First Patriotic Front (GFPF) on Saturday hit the streets of Tamale, the Northern Regional capital to protest the ratified Ghana-US defence cooperation agreement.
The over thousand people who joined the demonstration were members of the various opposition parties including the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The demonstration dubbed ‘Put Ghana first’ is to get the government know that majority of Ghanaians are not happy with the agreement it wants to enter with the United States.
The agreement states the US forces will have unfettered access to certain key security and other installations of the country while the troops enjoy a diplomatic immunity during their stay in Ghana. US government is also expected to spend $20 million in training and supplying equipment for the Ghana Armed Forces.
Ghana is also expected to bear the cost for securing US military facilities in the country, according to the ratified agreement.
Clause 3 of Article 2 of the Agreement also states: “United States forces may undertake the following types of activities in Ghana: training; transit:support and related activities; refueling of aircraft; landing and recovery of aircraft, accommodation of personnel; communications; staging and deploying of forces and materiel: exercises; humanitarian and disaster relief; and other activities as mutually agreed.”
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) have kicked against the agreement, saying Ghana will lose its sovereignty if the agreement is accepted by the president.
Speaking to Power News, Edem Agbana, the Convener for the group condemned the Majority in Parliament for the ratification of the agreement and urged well meaning Ghanaians to rise and kick against the agreement.
Pic:Edem Agbana, leading the demonstrators
“This is not about politics” he said while calling on the youth to support the movement to send signals to the government that the security pact is not in the interest of the youth.
“Ghanaians care about their security, that’s why they are here. We didn’t bus anyone here. We are not saying we don’t want a security cooperation, we want portions of the agreement reviewed,” he said.
The Minority leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu who addressed the crowd assured the Minority will support the Ghana First Patriotic Front (GFPF) to kick against the military cooperation agreement.
The General secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, who also addressed the crowd said the NDC does not support the agreement and will do every legitimate avenue to kick against the government’s decision.
Present at the event was North Tongu MP who doubles as the Ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committe in Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minority leader,James Kludze Avedzi and other NDC MPs.
The Northern regional executives from the All Peoples Congress (APC), Progressive Peoples Party (PPP), Conventions People Party (CPP) joined the demonstration and urged their party members to support the call to get the agreement reviewed.
This is the second time the GFPF has demonstrated against the US security cooperation deal. On March 28,2018, the group hit the streets of Accra with its first demonstration.
Present were some former ministers under the erstwhile Mahama, Mills and Rawlings administration.
Bernard Mornah, the National Chairman for the Peoples National Convention (PNC), Hassan Ayariga, the founder and leader of APC and renowned journalist, Kwesi Pratt Junior were part of the first demonstration.