President Needs Face-Saving Tactics; Backing Out Of Military Deal Suicidal

President Nana Akufo-Addo has been advised to soften his stance on the US military co-operation agreement, in order to meet his critics halfway.

Prof. Baffour Agyeman Duah, a former UN Senior Governance Advisor, told TV3 there is room for the agreement to be made better in the interest of Ghana.

“I think the president certainly feel very strongly about what he has done, just like those who are opposed to this agreement feel very strongly about their position. So I think it is about time for some kind of dialogue,” he observed.

Prof. Agyeman Duah is therefore asking President Akufo-Addo, as the leader, to take the lead in engaging those opposed to the agreement, which was ratified by Parliament on March 23.

“In diplomacy or conflict resolution, we have what we called face-saving device; the president cannot step down, it would be suicidal for him to step down.

“Just as perhaps those who are opposed to him cannot step down, so there must be a face-saving device that will help the two sides to come to a certain level of consensus, to let this thing work,” he advised.

President Akufo-Addo was so passionate when he addressed the nation on the defence agreement with the US, taking things personal to the doorstep of his political opponents.

Some Ghanaians felt the president’s anger drowned the essence of his message, which Prof. Agyeman Duah concurred.

He noted that it was “regrettable” that the purpose of the message to educate Ghanaians on the agreement were missed to some extent due to his demeanor.

He was however convinced that Ghana’s sovereignty has not been sold out by the agreement, in its current form.

But he pointed out that external powers – multinational companies, the developed world – will also want to shortchange the less privileged, the onus is therefore on Ghana to sharpen its negotiation skills.

Meanwhile, the inter party coalition for national sovereignty, a group of opposition parties has vowed to oppose the Ghana-US military cooperation agreement despite the president’s assurance that the deal does not seek to establish a military base in Ghana