President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday April 5 addressed Ghanaians for the first time on the controversial Ghana-US military base deal that has taken over the news for the past weeks.
The issue resulted in a demonstration that brought several people to march against the deal. Below is the full speech of the president's address and it's accompanying video.
ADDRESS TO THE NATION, BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, ON THE “US-GHANA MILITARY CO-OPERATION AGREEMENT”, ON THURSDAY, 5TH APRIL, 2018.
Fellow Ghanaians, I have come into your homes this evening to talk about a matter that has generated a lot of heat in our country these past days.
Last week, at the height of the furore triggered by the US-Ghana Military Co-operation Agreement, a good friend of mine came to caution me on what he called the “hazards of this democracy thing”. He told me, just in case I needed reminding that my predecessor as President, who had also been democratically elected, had chosen to avoid any possible controversy by signing and keeping secret some agreements. So, why did I not follow this precedent, instead of exposing the nation to all the hazards of the past few days?
My friend, no doubt, had a point. Indeed, I acknowledge that there are many very well-meaning citizens who would have preferred the peaceful process of agreements reached behind closed doors, to the furore of the past few days. Yet, far from being daunted, I take what has happened not to be symptomatic of the hazards of democracy, but a show of the strength of democracy in action. We are seeing being displayed before our very eyes, not the triumph of disorder, but the value of openness in governance, and of the need, the crucial need, for the people to be fully and accurately informed.
You cannot claim to believe in democracy unless you have faith in the people, faith in their inherent goodness, faith in their capacity to make the right decisions, given the right information. It is this faith in the people that has shaped my entire political career, and it is this faith that propels me to lead an open and transparent government.
I was fully aware of how such agreements had been handled in earlier administrations, but I decided that, under my watch, any such agreements should be subject to the appropriate scrutiny of the people’s representatives in Parliament, in consonance with the requirements of accountable governance and the teachings of the Constitution. After all, you, the Ghanaian people, had voted massively for change; therefore, there was simply no way my government would ever keep hidden from you, the people, agreements of such a nature. I believe that the fall-out from this decision only shows the growing maturation of our democracy.
In the video below, the deputy education minister, Mrs Barbara Ayisi, speaks on how President Akufo-Addo inspires her, and how the president's success story must also inspire the youth of Ghana to greater heights.
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