By Kwesi Pratt Jnr.
The United States of America (USA) branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) does the electoral fortunes of the party no favours by its brazen defense of imperialism especially from the stand point of absolute ignorance.
This branch of a party which believes in “Property Owning Democracy” feels offended by my calling for the defence of the national interest in the exploitation of the natural resources of Ghana. It ignorantly tries to decouple the establishment of US military bases in Africa from US attempts to control West African oil resources and it claims that Ghana did not spend any resources to acquire valuable data which KOSMOS Energy distributed illegally to oil companies.
The USA branch of the NPP demands that the Ghana Police Service should pick me up and put me before court for daring to speak out against US interference in the management of our oil resources. Interestingly this is the same branch of the NPP which screamed loudly against the arrest and prosecution of Nana Darkwa for claiming that former President Rawlings burnt his own house. They claimed that the arrest of Nana Darkwa was a violation of his right of free speech. However their commitment to the right of free speech evaporates into thin air when the subject of criticism happens to be the Almighty United States of America.
Many of the claims of the USA branch of the NPP are completely false. It claimed that “The actual amount spent to collect 3D seismic data was just over $30 million and all that cost was borne by KOSMOS, not Ghana. “This is obviously meant to debunk my statement that Ghana has spent in excess of $300 million to collect relevant data which KOSMOS illegally made available to oil companies without the consent of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Perhaps the USA branch of the NPP needs to be reminded of the fact that data acquisition on Ghana's oil fields have a more than 100 year history. Indeed at the time that data acquisition began KOSMOS did not even exist. The Geological Survey Department, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, the erstwhile Soviet Union, Romania under communist rule and several other entities have all contributed in varying degrees to the acquisition of data on Ghana's oil resources. As a fact between 1984 and 1994, Ghana spent in excess of $300 million on data acquisition and related projects. KOSMOS was itself attracted to Ghana after the data had been made available to it.
The USA branch of the NPP does not deny that the United States of America intended or wished to establish a military base in Ghana. It stated inter alia that “….plans to establish a United States military base in the country surfaced at least four years before the oil discovery and that it has more to do with the war on terrorism than the control of oil resources in Ghana”. Clearly what this branch of the NPP seeks to do is to admit the intent to establish a US military base in Ghana but to delink it from the control of the country's oil. Unfortunately, the United States itself coupled its intention to establish a military base in Ghana with its control of the oil resources of West Africa.
When President George W. Bush became the President of the United States of America in 2001, he set up what has come to be known as the Chenney Committee, chaired by his Vice President good old Dick Chenney with a mandate to review US strategic energy requirements. The report of the Chenny Committee predicted that US oil imports from West Africa will rise from 11 per cent in 2001 to 25 per cent in 2015 as a result of several factors. The report recommended that as a measure to protect US interest in West African oil, military bases needed to established in West Africa. Following this recommendation the late president of Nigeria, Omaru Yardua stated that Nigeria will not allow the establishment of foreign military bases on its soil and will use all of her influence to prevent the establishment of US military bases in West Africa.
The USA branch of the NPP states that ….”Ghana's proven oil reserves of 1.8 million barrels, whiles contextually significant and greatly appreciated, constitute only 0.17 per cent of proven oil reserves on the entire African continent” and therefore the US will not spend more than $10 billion to establish a military base in Ghana. The ignorance of the USA branch of the NPP is more than apparent. The US military base in Ghana was to serve the strategic interest of the US in the entire West African sub-region and beyond. Secondly, it is only the Jubilee Oil Field in Ghana which has been assessed to have reserves of up to 1.8 billion. There are several other fields with huge potentials and the US unlike the NPP branch knows this.
In attempting to refute my claim that the NPP has supported the KOSMOS – EXXON – MOBIL deal, the branch wrote “certain individuals who may be sympathetic to the NPP have expressed support for the deal, but the party itself has not made any declaration in support of it”. What a pity and who are these individuals who support the deal?
The loudest supporter of the KOSMOS – EXXON deal has been Mr. K.T. Hammond, former NPP Deputy Minister of Energy who has acted as the party spokesperson on Energy in many instances. Other persons with substantial influence in the NPP have also spoken out in favour of this rather dubious deal which frowns on the laws of Ghana. In any case the USA branch of the NPP leaves no doubt about what the party's position is, when it asks “…why would Pratt be so vehemently opposed to an American company buying out another American company, but demonstrates tacit support for the Chinese Company's purchase? Although it was supposedly a GNPC/CNOOC offer, with the Chinese putting up the entire $5 billion, who do you think would control the stake when purchased? Do not forget that when the opportunity presented itself for the Chinese to invest money to explore for oil in Ghana, they laughed at what they called the “oil graveyard”. Can the NPP's position on the KOSMOS-EXXON deal be more clearer?
Statements by the USA branch of the NPP which tend to glorify gold exploitation in Ghana are at best misinformed. As at today, Ghana gets only five per cent of the total value of gold it exports. Is the USA branch of the NPP happy with this situation too?
I am sick and tired of these imperialist attack dogs and their anti-national machinations and if these types get anywhere near power we might as well begin to sing the requiem mass for Nkrumah's Ghana.
Source: The insight Newspaper