We deem it important to use the platform of our 59th National Executive Council which brings together representatives of workers in the maritime industry to rededicate ourselves to a sustained struggle against the Atuabo Oil and Gas Freeport Project which we have continuosly described as a bad project that serves foreign interest and not national interest.
We wish to reiterate the fact that the Atuabo Oil and Gas Freeport Project would violate the laws of Ghana, undermine national security and most importantly erode the sovereignty of our nation . We are deeply worried that our government has decided to exchange the security of the nation and our sovereignty for a bad project that has generated opposition from all sections of our national life especially organised labour.
Part of the commercial agreement of the project states with arrogance that , “ The Government of Ghana(GOG) shall not exercise , and shall use its reasonable endeavours to ensure that no Relevant Authority shall exercise , any discretion granted to it under the constitution of Ghana , any Applicable laws or otherwise in a manner which is arbitrary or discriminatory to the Project , the developer or any affiliate thereof.”
The description of the Atuabo port as a freeport was done deliberately by government and and its newly found ally, Lonrho to mask the blatant violations of the laws of Ghana especially the PNDC Law 160 which states clearly that it is only Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority that is mandated to plan , build , develop , manage , operate and control ports in Ghana .
We wish to state that a Freeport is a port and must be subjected to the national laws regarding the establsihment of ports . Defining a port as a freeport is only a custom arrangement . It constitute a grand deception to place a port in Ghana under the Freezones Board just to deceive Ghanaians. The attempt by government and Lonrho to violate our laws and mask it with a freeport cover is an attempt to throw dust into the eyes of unsuspecting Ghanaians.
We are very surprised that government is prepared to go to any length including the violation of our national laws to sell our national security and sovereingty to foreign interest.
Our representatives in Parliament who were part of the decision to legalise the Atuabo Freeport project when everything shows that the project is not in the short and long-term interest of our country should feel ashamed about the harm they have caused to this country. Indeed, they brought the high office of the land into disrepute by their actions and the current and future generations of our great nation would remember them for serving other interest and not national interest.
We are proud workers of the maritime industry who are very conscious of our rigths as citizens of Ghana. In exercise of our inalienable and God-given rigths as citizens of this great nation , we call on the government to stop any engagements and negotiations with Lonrho in the establishment of the so-called Atuabo Freeport. We make this demand on the strong conviction that the so-called Atuabo Freeport project would undermine national security and our sovereignty as a nation.
The security and sovereignty of a nation cannot be negotiated for any other economic, social or financial benefit.
We wish to serve notice that we are prepared to use our union power to protect the sovereignty of our nation becuase Ghana is the only thing we have and we would not allow any politician of any political persuasion to sell our great nation for selfish and narrow political gains.
Long Live MDU
Long Live TUC
Long Live the Solidarity of Workers
Long Live Ghana