The New United States US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Porter Jackson had a meeting with the Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP,) Nana Addo on Tuesday, February 23. The Ambassador called on Nana Addo at his Nima residence to discuss some issues regarding Ghana’s pressing issues.
The ambassador who was accompanied by the political chief at the US embassy, Robert Carlson, introduced himself as the new US ambassador to Ghana.
The following people were all present at the meeting were Isaac Osei, MP for Subin and Minority Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs; Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, MP for Anyaa Sowutuom and former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs; Boakye Agyarko, Policy Adviser to Nana Akufo-Addo; Charles Owiredu, Director of International Relations of the NPP; Saratu Atta, Executive Assistant to Nana Akufo-Addo; Francis Asenso-Boakye, Political Assistant to Nana Akufo-Addo; and Eugene Arhin, Press Secretary.
One of the issues discussed was that of the the two ex Guantanamo Bay prisoners who were transferred to Ghana few months ago. The US ambassador to Ghana, acknowledging the unrest of Ghanaians concerning the transfer explained to NPP’s Nana Addo that due protocol was followed in their transfer. He also said they posed no threat to national security as they were properly screened before their transfer.
Robert noted that Ghanaians were very much concerned and disturbed due to misinformation as well as lack of information on the part of the government. He however said that the transfer was done with the understanding that the United States will be responsible for the upkeep of the detainees for 2 years, stressing that there are similar agreements in 55 other countries.
I understand Ghanaians are concerned, and this is largely because of misinformation and lack of information,” he said
Nana Addo, explaining the motive behind the concerns of the people, said that the Mahama government did not treat the issue as that with high importance. He complained that they did not involve the parliament or other stake holder institutions in the country. Having heard from the side of the US, he expressed Ghana’s willingness to co-operate with the US now and in the future.
Nana Addo also added the importance of the US support to the country during the November elections. Buttressing on the pendulous moves by the EC towards a fair election he said:
‘We continue to be concerned about the way the EC is handling issues ahead of the November 7 election. The procedures and steps being taken for the election appear to be still up in the air. There is an air of uncertainty about the whole preparatory process towards November 7. We in the NPP are not interested in a sham democracy.
Nana Addo was also asked his plans for the nation, should he win the elections. He pointed out that he would take significant steps towards improving the disturbing economy of the nation. He said he would transform the economy from a raw material producing one to a value added economy.
Isaac Osei, who is the minority ranking member on Foreign Affairs, at the meeting, thanked the US for Millennium Challenge Account Compact programme signed with Ghana, as it had impacted greatly on the lives of Ghanaians.
The NPP flagbearer in conclusion pledged NPP’s commitment to a peaceful election in Ghana. He thanked Ambassador Jackson for the courtesy of his visit, and asked the Ambassador to extend his regards to US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.