MP challenges Akufo-Addo's authority to commit troops to Gambia

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu in the Volta Region has questioned the decision by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to commit 200 troops to ECOWAS forces.

Kwame Governs Agbodza is asking what comprehensive plan has been laid out by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to evacuate Ghanaian residents in the country should matters escalate.

Speaking to Joy News’ Elton Brobbey Thursday, the legislator said the action of the President amounts to surrendering Ghana’s sovereignty to ECOWAS.

Ghana as part of the sub-regional body’s multilateral armed forces has committed 200 troops to help end the political crisis in Gambia which erupted following the failure of President Yahya Jammeh to step down after losing the presidential election.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh

Mr Jammeh had initially conceded to his opponent Adama Barrow in a fashion lauded by international community, but this was short-lived as he later questioned the credibility of the election process.

He claimed he had discovered that some infractions were committed during the voting process and has since refused to leave office.

Clause 49 of the Gambian Constitution states that, “Any registered political party which has participated in the election of a Presidential election or an independent candidate who has participated in such an election may apply to the Supreme Court to determine the validity of the election of a President by filing a petition within ten days of the declaration of the result of the election.”

It however took President Jammeh more than ten days to file his petition at the Gambia’s Supreme Court to adjudicate on the matter.

Gambian President-elect, Adama Barrow

Gambian Constitution also states that new Presidents are to be sworn-in on January 19, but the President has secured a three month extension of his presidency in order for the issue pending before the Supreme Court to be dealt with.

ECOWAS has resolved to oust him militarily if he fails to hand-over power to the President-elect by 4:00 GMT on the day of the swearing in.

In an interview on Joy News, Agbodzah Governs said the resolution by the sub-regional body to adopt a military intervention in the Gambian crisis would be fatal for the region.

“I feel very horrified to know that ECOWAS basically passed a resolution saying that if their diplomatic efforts failed they will intervene militarily,” he said, adding the action would undermine the sovereignty of Gambia.

He was, however, concerned with the decision by Ghana’s leader to commit troops on the blind side of Parliament.

“Parliament must be informed to give that authorization,” he said, adding “if there was an aggression against Ghana the president can do that [but] this is not a humanitarian action against Gambia.”

He said had the House been notified a plan might have been drawn to safely evacuate Ghanaians resident in the country.

“Ghanaian citizens are in Gambia if they are killed who takes the blame for that?” he quizzed.

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