Some executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Economic Fighters League, a pressure group, Friday March 23 stormed the parliament house to resist the possible ratification of a Ghana-USA Military Defense Agreement.
The ratification of the agreement which has already been approved by cabinet will grant US military personnel, defence contractors and agents among other executive officials unrestricted access to Ghanaian facilities for military and humanitarian purposes.
TV3’s parliamentary correspondent, Evelyn Tengma, reported that members of parliament from the opposition NDC came into the house with red bands, a situation she described as unusual.
She added some NDC executives were also spotted in the public gallery of parliament, notably among them were the Chairman of the party, Kofi Portuphy, General Secretary, Johnson Aseidu Nketiah, and the deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho .
The General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Aseidu Nketiah said he went to Parliament to express his objections about the agreement between Ghana and the US Military.
He refuted the claims by the Defense Minister that the agreement was started under the NDC government saying “we have explained that one, it’s a lie, there is nothing like that which was started by NDC government”.
The Minister for defense, Dominic Nitiwul, had said the agreement was not a new thing the NPP government is introducing but a renewal of an existing joint military exercises.
“It is not a new agreement, but I have decided that as long as it is a foreign agreement, it must come to Parliament. We could have signed it under cover like Gtmo two; we could have done it under cover as what happened in 1998 and 2007.” the minister said.
Putting these claims before the NDC General Secretary, he challenged the minister to lay before parliament the document he claims was an agreement started by the NDC. He argued that per his 12 years experience as a parliamentarian, it is the practice that if an existing law has to be changed, the original law has to be laid for parliament to determine what is wrong with the law before making amends.
Meanwhile, the Economic Fighters League, a pressure group that has also vehemently opposed the agreement also stormed the parliament house to register their discontentment with the move. Many others, who denied being members of any group told the news team they had travelled from various parts of the country to witness parliamentary proceedings only to be refused entry by the police on duty.
However, some had made their way into parliament as early as 6am. The leader of the Economic Fighters League, Ernesto Yeboah expressed disappointment at the situation.
BY P.D Wedam|3news.com|Ghana