A former Chief of Defense Staff, Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah says operatives of the National Security have no business moving in or taking action into dealing with violence or crime situations.
Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah’s comments come on the back of fallout from the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry investigating the incident of violence which occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on January 31, 2019.
The Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah told the Commission on Thursday that the armed masked men who went to the residence of the NDC candidate based on intelligence are National Security operatives.
There were some altercations when these men went to the house, and this resulted in the shooting of some persons. Available videos also show these personnel assaulting citizens outside the house in areas close to polling stations.
“I am told that for this operation, they were acting based on intelligence report that there were weapons in the building within the constituency where the by-election was taking place. They therefore mounted surveillance around the place so that they can stop the use of the weapons and if it was possible to retrieve the weapons without any confrontation.
“They were informed that that building was being used as the operation headquarters of the NDC candidate,” Mr. Kan-Dapaah told the Commission on Thursday.
But speaking to this issue, Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah said on TV3’s Key Points on Saturday that the National Security operatives work end at gathering intelligence, hence, they had no business following up to retrieve the arms alleged to have been in the NDC candidate’s house.
“They are intelligence teams. When it comes that there is violence…, they don’t go there, they inform the Police who go and take action, it is not for them to take action, it is not their job.
“The only people who can use force are the police and the military. The rest support them with intelligence.
“When it comes to the arresting of somebody, it is given to the military and the uniformed police. National Security should not have troops,” Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah explained.
He expressed doubt over the armed masked men who were at the NDC candidate’s house being real National Security operatives.
According to him, in most instances of election, political parties unleash their vigilante groups to be on the ground together with security personnel dispatched on the day.
“Everybody should not be calling mad men to cause confusion. Political parties are holding party functionaries, crazy people who are used.
“These elements who people call invisible forces or what not, they are the problem. They are unleashed by political parties to cause mayhem. If they were not there, there won’t be any confusion,” he said.
The work of the Commission of Inquiry
Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah (retd) tasked the Commission currently investigating the incidents that led to the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence to do a holistic work.
He also charged Government to ensure that recommendations by the Commission are put to use and not shelved like has been the case in the past.
“If the Commission comes out with recommendations, they must be implemented. Otherwise Ghana will be on fire. If we repeat what happened two or three weeks ago in December next year, there will be fireworks,” he warned.
He also urged the Commission to question the Inspector General of Police on the incident, stating that the Interior Minister had no business appearing before the Commission since his duties are more geared towards policy formulation.
“There is complete confusion about what the ministers must be doing, and what uniformed people should be doing. Ministers should not concern themselves with deploying moving troops. That is not their jobs.
“The Minister has no business getting involved with this. It is the IGP who operationally is in command. The Minister of Interior is involved with the policy decision. It is therefore IGP’s problem.
“No minister has any business to be involved in what happened that day,” Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah explained.
The former National Security Advisor called for swift measures to bring perpetrators to book.
By Irene Amesimeku| 3news.com| Ghana