Arrest Kwesi Pratt
The US branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have called for the arrest and prosecution of the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr. for peddling falsehood that the US government was scheming to control the country's newly found oil resources. "Kwesi Pratt's causing of fear and panic by peddling falsehoods should not only be ignored by discerning public, but must be prosecuted, especially since this government has made it its mantra to prosecute similar statements in the public domain", the group maintained. According to the group, in a recent panel discussion on Radio Gold's Alhaji and Alhaji political programme, Mr. Kwesi Pratt claimed that there is a grand conspiracy by the United States to gain control of Ghana's oil resource through the establishment of its military base in the country. Again on the same platform, Mr Pratt alleged that the NPP is rooting for the American oil company Kosmos and claimed that the opposition NPP was more interested in the goodies which will fall from the table of the Kosmos/Exxon Mobil and the US State Department's deal than protecting the interests of Ghana. According to them, what makes this claim infantile is that in reality, Ghana's proven oil reserves of 1.8 billion barrels, while contextually significant and greatly appreciated, constitute only O. 17% of proven oil reserves on the entire African •continent. "Pratt would have us believe that the US would spend $ IO billion (the minimum spent on even the smallest of military bases) for that amount of oil? It is true that the United States does not build military bases for charity purposes, and that it does so to protect its interest. That said, a cost/benefit analysis does not support the puerile claims made by this third rate debater," they pointed out in a statement copied to this paper. The US branch of NPP noted 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. The group also refuted Mr Pratt's allegations that the NPP was supporting the Kosmos/Exxon Mobil deal, stressing that the NPP as a party has not supported the Kosmos/ExxonMobil deal and that if anything, the opposition party has been loudly silent on the proposition. "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. That said, revelation that the GNPC was not actually buying Kosmos for Ghana, but for Chinese interest have been confirmed by a joint GNPC/CNOOC offer of $5 billion for Kosmos stake, the statement argued. "The question then is 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 was then called the "oil graveyard", they queried the Insight Editor. The NPP-US branch also quoted Mr. Pratt as further alleging that in order to promote its interest, Kosmos distributed free of charge to interested parties, seismic data that the country, through the GNPC, spent over 300m dollars in collecting. "That was yet another lie by Pratt. The actual amount spent to collect the 3D seismic data was just over $30 million and all that cost was borne by Kosmos, not Ghana. We present these facts not to render support for Kosmos but to educate Ghanaians about the true picture of our infant energy industry", they continued. The group urged all who speak on public platforms to restrict their comments to facts and not innuendos that serve no other purpose than to divide a previously united Ghana, saying that true Ghanaians are humble and patriotic and "in our collective patriotism, we have been able to sustain ourselves with gold, cocoa, and other mineral resources for six decades now." They noted that oil and gas that constitute less than half of one percent of the entire continental output should not turn the country into arrogant radicals and that the notion that the United States would ignore the Libya's, the Nigeria's, the Angola's and other oil producers of Africa in order to invest heaven and earth to gain control over Ghana's oil smacks of childishness and arrogance which is "unGhanaian" according to them. The group argued that if there is evidence that the United States wants to build a military base in Ghana "we believe it is a matter best left to our government to interface with its American counterpart to find out if there are areas of mutual interest to the two countries", saying that is the responsible thing to do. "Finally, we want to alert Ghanaians that those masquerading as seeking our national interests in the likes of Pratt's fashion are in fact stoking nationalist sentiments for their personal gains. They rally the public to support their claims while all the while having not an iota of Ghana's interest at heart. The NPP-USA will always seek to provide the facts to the Ghanaian public when we are in the position to do so. Then Ghanaians can draw their own conclusions", the group concluded.
Source: The Ghanaian Observer