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"I'm Extremely Sad" - Kwesi Pratt Rebukes Defence Minister & Gov't   
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Audio Attachment:Listen to Kwesi Pratt Jnr. on Peace FM's 'kokrokoo'

Kwesi Pratt Jnr.
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Seasoned Journalist Kwesi Pratt has vehemently kicked against the agreement by Government of Ghana for the United States of America government to set up a military base in Ghana.

The Defence Ministry has submitted to Parliament for approval a memorandum on the controversial agreement.

Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul believed the agreement will contribute to enhanced security cooperation between Ghana and the US.

He however denied certain claims in the public domain that the agreement grants the US military free access to "a host of Ghanaian facilities and wide-ranging tax exemptions.”

Mr. Nitiwul stated emphatically that the claims are untrue; adding that what is being considered a military base is only a “defence cooperation agreement” between the two countries to train Ghanaian soldiers, a Daily Graphic publication on Tuesday noted.

The Minister further explained that the Ghana and the US have had a mutual relationship over the years and carried out joint exercises but what the US Military force seeks to do now which includes the use of two buildings in the Kotoka International Airport area is not different.

To him, there is no cause for alarm.

But Kwesi Pratt, speaking on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo' programme, expressed disappointment in the Defence Minister and the Akufo-Addo government for having such a contractual agreement with the US.

Mr. Pratt was extremely saddened and likened the agreement to a betrayal of Ghana's independence saying "no benefit is more important than the protection of our national sovereignty”.

“That sovereignty, that independence, should not be toyed with. It should not be thrown away for nothing. And in fact, with that sovereignty, even if you bring billion (billion) dollars; you cannot buy that sovereignty. It should not be able to buy that sovereignty", he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.

Pointing out some ridiculous clauses in the agreement, Mr. Pratt said Government of Ghana has agreed to grant access to the US Military to use the nation's radio spectrum without paying an amount to the country, whiles US soldiers have been exempted from the payment of taxes.

He further stated that US soldiers, when they come to Ghana, have already been absolved from any claim of compensation should their activities cause damages or any kind of loss to the country.

“If an American soldier comes here and faults and shoots his gun to kill a Ghanaian soldier, we cannot claim compensation. Under this agreement, we cannot claim compensation . . . This agreement takes the relationship to a higher level. So, tell me why there’s the need for this agreement?”.

Kwesi Pratt found these privileges outrageous and wondered why the government would trade such grants with the US.

“When these United States forces come to our country, they will not pay taxes for anything. We have exempted them from the payment of tax . . . There’s even something which is worse. The United States now, when they come to Ghana, they can use our radio spectrum without paying for it; for free. [Peace FM] we all remember what happened recently with Ghanaians who are using radio spectrum to set up their radio stations and television stations, and so forth. They told us because they cannot afford to pay, we’re closing them down. These are Ghanaians. For United States Armed Forces, when they come, they are given the spectrum free of charge...

" . . when you sign international agreement, the privileges you give to your partners; they must give you the same privileges. Look at this agreement and see what is reciprocal in this agreement. There’s nothing reciprocal in this agreement. One-sided agreement, all benefits accrue to the United States of America. Nothing accrues to us . . . I’m extremely sad”, he stressed.
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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