Member of parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has criticized President Akufo-Addo’s position in deploying troops to Niger, amid the coup in the francophone country.
According to him, the President should have gone through the necessary channels before making such commitments to ECOWAS military intervention efforts in Niger over the latter’s defiance in ignoring ECOWAS order for restoration of constitutional rule in the country. He indicated that all pundits agree that there’ll be a “bloodbath” and lives lost in such a military process.
“As he goes out there communicating a Ghanaian position, how sure is he that that is the popular will of the Ghanaian people, and how democratic is that position? So, I deplore, I condemn and strongly criticize President Akufo-Addo’s neglect of the Ghanaian parliament. Look, such a sensitive matter, I would even say should go beyond parliament and attract a certain multi-party consultation with our chiefs, parties’ opinion leaders, civil society organizations because it’s such a major decision…”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Furthermore, Mr Ablakwa expressed profound worry about the approach of the President in not consulting broadly by resorting to parliament and democratic institution. He noted that it is not a good sign for the President to go on “the frolic of his own and appears to align with Tinubu on this matter”, when all the experts are saying there’s the need to exercise caution.
Approval of parliament on troops deployment
Mr Ablakwa stated that although Ghana’s constitution does not expressly state that when it comes to ECOWAS, AU or UN deployment the President needs express parliamentary approval, it is the “saner, objective and democratic position” because it’s a major decision. He explained that it is “really a travesty, and tragic” that the President and the foreign minister has had no engagement whatsoever with parliament on the matter.
“We are all talking about the ethos of democracy and democratic credentials. The President himself goes out there lecturing others on democracy and what the democratic tenets are. It is only proper that [for] such a democratic position, the President should engage the parliament of the republic of Ghana… At least in the case of Nigeria and other countries, you see their legislative bodies meeting to deliberate on the matter. Why is Ghana not being given that opportunity? Why has the position of Ghana not been a position that evolves democratically from the people?”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Furthermore, Mr Ablakwa highlighted that apart from the risk of losing the lives of Ghana’s troops, there’s also the financial aspect, especially with the state of the Ghanaian economy. With this, he questioned whether Ghanaians would accept such a costly move by the President.
Moreover, the North Tongu legislator emphasized that it’s important for diplomacy to be exhausted by ECOWAS. He emphasized that another war will not help the West African continent as others are raising questions about discrimination on the part of ECOWAS.
“I don’t see that the diplomacy channel has been exhausted in the matter… Why didn’t ECOWAS do this in Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea? Yes, there have been a few times that ECOWAS armed force was deployed to Gambia, but it’s a different situation… We want to see more tact, diplomatic finesse and skills brought to bear.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Furthermore, Mr Ablakwa emphasized his reservation on the President stance, noting that he does not “support a military deployment”, just like most Ghanaians and Africans in the subregion. He reckoned that it will be a “mindless operation which leads to needless death”, and those found in the middle of such military intervention do not even have the financial muscle to be supporting such operation.