Pollster and Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch, Ben Ephson has said that the Commander who ordered soldiers to storm the chamber of parliament when pandemonium broke out during the election of a speaker for the 8th parliament on January 7, 2021, did so because of the unprecedented rowdy nature of the lawmakers.
Mr Ephson who commended the Commander for his initiative, while speaking on the Key Points programme on TV3 Saturday February 13, noted that the conduct of the Members of Parliament on that particular day was unprecedented.
When told that the soldiers usurped the marshals in parliament when they attempted to control the MPs, a situation many have criticized, Mr Ephson told host of the programme Abena Tabi that “If my memory serves me right what was playing out had gone on for about 30 minutes before the soldiers came in and the Marshals, I don’t think they will be even 50.”
He added “What happened was unprecedented and the response was unprecedented too. I believe that moving forward , once it has happened it doesn’t happen again. So, moving forward I think we should be able to have indicators that in future should something like that happen maybe the commander himself should visit inside before he goes to bring in the people.
When his attention was drawn again to the fact that the Police was supposed to have assisted the marshals and not the military, he said “Well, as I said it was unprecedented and moving forward the marshals should be told that once it has happened, and given the closeness of the representatives in terms of the numbers, there could be something like that so when that happens the marshals maybe will inform the Police first, if the Police can’t handle it then the military will come in.
“But I think that given the unprecedented rowdy nature of our Honourable, I think the commander used his initiative. Looking back, I think it is a lesson we must all learn.”
National Security Minister-designate, Albert Kan Dapaah has told the Appointments Committee of Parliament during his vetting on Wednesday February 10, that the President and other government officials were unhappy that soldiers stormed the legislature during the election of the Speaker for the 8th Parliament.
He said the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) has been asked to investigate the matter for the appropriate measures to be taken.
“This is obviously a strange thing when you have soldiers going into parliamentary chamber for whatever reason. When I saw it, I was also alarmed, my colleagues were alarmed, all of us in government were alarmed that something like that has happened. So I did take the trouble to find out how it happened.
“Somebody, a commander, in his opinion, thought that things were getting out of hand in the chamber and that they needed to go there to try to restore order.
“I posed the question, what order? Did you think your presence there was going to frighten the Members of Parliament? No! You were not going to be able to frighten them. Were you going to arrest them? No. You couldn’t have arrested them.
“So I asked why? What was the motivation? I can only say that this is not something that should have happened. Going forward this is not something that we should encourage.”
He added: “The CDS has been asked to investigate the matter and to take the appropriate action if he also comes to the conclusion that what was done was unprofessional.”
Regarding this matter, Ben Ephson said “When a commander takes decision he is responsible for it. I believe that being outside the interior of what was happening and nobody hadn’t briefed him, if I were to give the commander a pass mark for his initiative at the time, I will give him an A.
“Because when you are outside the perimeter of parliament and you hear angry words exchanges, the soldiers came in they came in with a very dignified manner.”
He added “The other side of the coin was, if the commander had just stood outside and pardon my language, the MPs had knives on them and decided to stab each other will we have criticised the officer in charge of the military that when they heard the noise why didn’t he intervened?”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana