Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Professor Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, has expressed concerns about the inability of state document to kept without leakage to the public.
In his view, it is not every state document that ought to be public knowledge especially if it is going to lead to undue fear, misunderstanding and public anger.
Prof Aning was speaking to TV3 regarding the letter written to the Office of the Speaker announcing the withdrawal of the four soldiers who were attached to that office, by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
The GAF had said that the four soldiers were attached to that particular office without proper procedure hence, the decision to withdraw them while efforts are made to regularise their attachment.
“The under-named military personnel were attached to the Office of the Rt Honourable Speaker of Parliament without the proper procedure,” a letter signed by the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, NP Andoh to the Speaker said.
“It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment.”
This development has resulted in hue and cry among Ghanaians. Some including a former UN Special Advisor , Professor Baffuor Agyeman-Dua have endorsed the move whereas others including the Minority in Parliament have rejected it and further accused the President of masterminding this.
Prof Agyeman-Duah condemned the military protection for some important personalities such as the Speaker of Parliament.
In his view, the protection of the Speaker should be the function of the Police and other security agencies apart from the Military.
The Chief Executive Officer of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation told TV3’s Noble Crosby Annan on the Mid day news on Monday January 17 in connection with the withdrawal of military personnel that soldiers should only be called in to help when the need is critical.
“First of all, the issue of security must be treated very carefully because people’s lives depend on it. The issue of security protection in most democracies, we have what we call permanent protection for the executives. If you go to the United States for instance, they formed a special group fully dedicated for presidential protection .
“All other kinds of protections are interim and temporary depending on the security threats to those individuals or institutions. So, when we talk of giving security it has got to be based on a threat assessment which basically is the process whereby you evaluate and verify perceived threats including their likelihood.
“In that respect, if you look at the Speaker for that matter you just have to find out whether there is a current threat to the person and the nature of the threats, based on that you devise the protection.
“Another point to make on this important conversation is that when it comes to the military we have to be careful. If in fact military protection was provided over the years, to speakers I will be surprised and and it was wrong.
“Because I think such individuals do not require military protection. We have to be careful and avoid militarizing civilian governments just as we should avoid civiliazing the Military. We have Police and many other security agencies who can do the job unless there is a serious need for combat battalion to make a protection.”
The Minority, for their part, described the withdrawal of military personnel as being motivated by politics.
It is also calculated to diminish the Speaker’s confidence in his bid to impartially and independently steer the affairs of the legislature, a statement signed by the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has said.
“The minority is certain that the action of the military high command relative to the withdrawal of Mr Speaker’s security detail is politically motivated and calculated to diminish his confidence in his bid to impartially and independently steer the affairs of the legislative arm of government”, parts of the Minority statement reads.
The Minority has also indicated that should the security of the Speaker be compromised, they will not hesitate to hold the Akufo-Addo-led government responsible.
“In the circumstances, the minority shall hold the government of President Akufo Addo responsible should the security of Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin , the speaker of Parliament be compromised in any way,” their statement said.
Commenting on this development, in interview with TV3, Prof Aning said among other things that “For me, my real worry relates to the inability of state documents to be kept securely without leakage. Because you and I will not be having this conversation had that letter not gotten to to the public domain.
“It is not everything that ought to bel laid and placed within the publics domain if it is going to cause undue fear, misunderstanding, anger and contribute to creating a state of insecurity and suspicion.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana