ADDRESS BY ERNESTO YEBOAH

Fellow Ghanaians, Dear Pressmen and women, it is with a heavy heart that we welcome you to today’s press conference. I am sure you will all remember Friday 23rd March 2018 as the day the second Bond of 1844 was signed. The events of 23rd March mark a new low in our bid as a country to sell ourselves back into slavery and colonialism.

There has been much debate about the agreement our Parliament has just ratified. Characteristically, this very serious issue has been clouded in NDC-NPP stupidity. So the real issues have been lost on many people. They will not tell you for instance that according to Article 2 of the agreement, the United States can stage and launch military operations in Ghana against our neighbouring African countries. They can for instance use Ghana as a base to bomb Togo or Burkina Faso or any West African country for that matter. Our President hypocritically went to sign the so-called Continental Free Trade Agreement with much pump but at the same time he was offering Ghana to be used to bomb those other African countries with whom he was in so much cheer in Kigali. Or didn’t he know that this is the logical implication of the agreement he just signed? That in the event of disagreement between the US and any African country, Ghana could be a potential base for launching missiles against that African country? They will also not tell you that according to the Article 12 of the agreement, the United States can bring in their vessels, warships, fighter jets and so on. All these while being brought into the country cannot be inspected by our security agencies. The question is if the US knows that it means well, why do they not want their equipment inspected? They are clearly hiding something and when a dangerous person such as the Americans is hiding things from you, shouldn’t you be wary? How dumb can you be not to take precautions? They will neither tell you that according to Article 15 of the agreement, a United States soldier can rape your wife, or your sister and even shoot you dead and you cannot do foko; you can neither fight back nor even go to court; when they commit crimes on our land, they are above even our Supreme Court. Nor will they tell you that according to Article 11 of the agreement, everything they import into this country will be free of charge. They will not pay a dime for anything. Juxtapose this with the high import taxes that our own businessmen and women have to pay for things that are not made in this country. Whose interest is the government serving? Certainly it is not yours. These are some of the obnoxious provisions of the US-Ghana agreement for which we have opposed the it from the beginning but which have found favour with your Executive and Parliament and which they have faithfully signed and ratified. Fellow Ghanaians whose interest does our so-called democracy serve? Certainly not ours.

So if you wanted to know why we were in Parliament on Friday to resist that obnoxious, utterly dangerous deal, this is it. We brazed police intimidation and harassment to stand up for our country. We were denied entry and locked out of Parliament. Most of you media people were there and you saw what happened. We were only a few thousand determined fighters, yet they brought over 100 police officers heavily armed with guns and bullet proof vests, with several rounds of reinforcement. They thought we would be intimidated, we were not. They thought we would be scared and stand down, but we stood our grounds. The reason they gave for not allowing us to enter the Parliamentary chamber was because we were holding Ghana flags. They told us without mincing words that we could not be allowed into the House of Parliament because we were holding Ghana flags. Yes, you heard that right. We were prevented from entering Parliament because we were holding Ghana flags. Perhaps if we had gone there with American flags, we would have been saluted and allowed to enter. Let that sink in.

Friday’s events show two things. First, our struggle as young people of this country is real; our struggle to get the resources of this country to benefit Ghanaians rather than foreign monopoly capital is real; our struggle to get the resources of this country to serve the necessities of all rather than the luxuries of the few is real; the many challenges we will face as we seek to change our country and continent for the better are enormous. If any of us was having illusions about these things, Friday’s events should wake you up. But second, the events of 23rd March which shall never be forgotten also showed the promise of our struggle. They showed that when we come together as young people, we can shape our own destiny and future; we can demand and achieve a re-alignment of the system to the needs of the people who it should serve. For how can it ever be imagined that we the youth who constitute majority of this country’s population are always ignored. We say we want Right to Information Law, for 17 years they have refused to pass it but when we say we don’t want US military base, they pass it in 3 days. 3 days. When we say we want jobs, they go and sign IMF deal that says we should not be employed. Who does the Ghanaian system serve? Certainly not us. When we say we want our gold to build our schools and hospitals, they go and bring AngloGold Ashanti, Ashanti Goldfields, Newmont and other foreign companies to take all of the gold away. All you need to do is to visit Tarkwa and ask yourself if it the area where gold has been mined for over hundred years. When we say we want our oil to provide better living conditions for us, they go and bring Tullow and lately Exxon Mobil and other foreign companies to take all the oil money away. Ad3n? what wrong have we committed?

This situation has ensured that we have nothing to show for more than hundred years of gold mining in our country; we have nothing to show for almost a decade of producing oil in commercial quantities. The only thing the people of Ghana have been hoodwinked into accepting as enough is the so-called peace and stability. But even that is about to be taken away with this new deal that has been ratified. There is a saying that when your neighbour’s beard is on fire, you must get water and wet your own beard. Let us remember what has happened  to many countries across the world after they accepted US military bases in their countries.  If you have been deceived that you have peace in this country. That is about to be taken away from you, meaning you will soon have no Ghana to call your own. This is the danger we face.

Now let us not for a moment deceive ourselves that this was going to be any better if NDC was in power. We continue to maintain that the NDC and the NPP are one and the same. They serve the same neo-colonial masters. There is no doubt that if the NDC was in power, the NPP would have been the one attacking this agreement from all angles; their MPs would have been the ones walking out of parliament and NDC MPs would have been the ones ratifying the agreement without a minority. That is why Ghanaians must not be deceived that when the NDC MPs came to meet us at the gate of Parliament, they were with us in protest against the agreement. While we were seriously and passionately against the Agreement and were prepared to braze police intimidation in our resistance, they merely saw a political situation and sought to take advantage of it. What they did was nothing more or less than political opportunism.

If you watched the live telecast of the debate, you could see clearly that for the NPP and NDC, this was a joke; they were laughing and joking with each other. I have no doubt that both sides probably met after the agreement was ratified to congratulate themselves for ensuring that the oppressive system which they have in turns supervised over almost three decades finally succeeded in sending us back into the hands of the foremost neo-colonialist master in the world. The NPP government has repeatedly talked about a Ghana beyond aid. By signing this draconian agreement, they have officially abandoned that idea. 23rd March was the day the NPP proved to Ghana that those are mere empty words; they are merely paying lip service, engaged in empty sloganeering; it was a day that they took a U-turn on ending our reliance on aid and dependency. It was the day that they stopped pretending. We cannot take them seriously on anything they say from now onwards.

Fellow Ghanaians, how long is it going to take us to realise that this NDC-NPP nonsense is nothing but a scheme to keep us divided while the high class and their foreign masters enjoy the spoils? How long is it going to take us to realise that partisanship has assumed the role of “opium of the masses”? And how long is it going to take us to finally vote for the national interest instead of the corrupt cliques we have as NDC or NPP or CPP or PNC or any other political party? That is why Fighters has no association whatsoever with any political party in Ghana or anywhere. Indeed we have neither a Ghana-centered government nor a credible opposition. So we are on our own. Our destiny is in our hands. What do we do with it?

When our forefathers and foremothers were faced with this question, we know what their answer was. That generation of courageous, selfless people determined that it was independence or nothing and they toiled day and night to achieve it. The time has now come for the young people of this country to have that generational conversation. What do we hope to do in our lifetime? And what kind of country do we hope to bequeath to our children and their children’s children? We in Fighters have determined for ourselves that our mission shall be to liquidate neo-colonialism, the system by which the resources of our county benefit foreigners rather than us; the system which makes it possible for our vast resources to serve the luxuries of the few rather than the necessities of the majority. Where do you stand? You are either for or against the system; remember there are no “neutrals” in this fight.

We call on all Ghanaian youth to join the fight against the exploitation of the majority by the few; against the exploitation of our country by foreign monopoly finance capital in collaboration with internal traitors; the continuous ownership of our economy by foreign interests; and above all by the recolonization of our country with obnoxious, utterly dangerous agreements such as the US-Ghana military pact. The youth of this country must not allow themselves to grow old in this system; it is a poisonous system.

Going forward, we give our support to all genuine nationalists who are openly resisting and protesting against the agreement. We support the court case filed by Nana Adjei Ampofo challenging the now ratified US-Ghana military agreement. Other organizations and groups are making efforts to openly protest and we encourage them to stand firm in their protests and we call on all Ghanaians.

We wish to assure all Ghanaians that as fighters we are ready to commit our lives to this struggle and to see it to its logical conclusion. And there can be no conclusion to this unless it is the total liquidation of neo-colonialism. This struggle is beyond any individual or group. It is the spirit of Kwame Nkrumah awakening; it is the spirit of Patrice Lumumba awakening; it is the spirit of Sekou Toure awakening; it is the spirit of Thomas Sankara awakening. One can kill a few revolutionaries but nobody can kill revolutionary spirit.

Amandhla!

Down with neo-colonialism!

God bless our homeland!

God bless our motherland African!

God bless us all!

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