Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said President Akufo-Addo ought to have been more tactical and diplomatically skillful in his comments about the alleged security alliance between Burkina Faso and Russia’s Wagner Group.
In a meeting with US authorities, President Akufo-Addo accused Burkina Faso of hiring the Wagner group, despite being fully aware of the risks of working with such mercenaries, from Russia.
“Today, Russian mercenaries are on our northern border. Burkina Faso has now entered into an arrangement to go along with Mali in employing the Wagner forces there,” he said.
“I believe a mine in southern Burkina has been allocated to them as a form of payment for their services. The prime minister of Burkina Faso, in the last 10 days, has been in Moscow. And to have them operating on our northern border is particularly distressing for us in Ghana,” Nana Akufo-Addo added.
This, Mr Ablakwa believes “was most certainly an avoidable faux pas.”
According to the MP, the President is very much aware of liberties that could be taken behind closed doors vis-à-vis the need to be more cautious and restrained when the cameras are on due to obvious ramifications.
He said “it’s most needless and unpardonable for a prominent and founding nation of the Non-Aligned Movement to be deliberately courting the wrath of Russia, Burkina Faso and their allies, particularly in this time of turbulent geopolitics and seeming recalibration of the world order.”
Also, he noted that Ghana cannot afford to be seen “as a meddlesome busybody in the ongoing contentious reassessment and reconfiguration of colonial ties with France and the forging of new relationships by some Francophone African nations.”
He wondered why President Akufo-Addo who was on this same US visit advocating the need for Africa to stop begging and look within for solutions to its challenges did not consider resolving his concerns within the AU or ECOWAS framework but chose to seek the assistance of the Americans who are not the best of friends with the Russians.
“Now we are witnessing very disturbing fallouts after the Burkinabe military regime summoned our Ambassador today for ‘explanations.’ Indications from multiple sources are that Moscow is considering its own response,” Mr Ablakwa alleged.
As Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Ghanaian Parliament, Mr Ablakwa said he hopes that urgent steps will be explored to mitigate the consequences of the President’s faux pas.