By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Sunday, March. 26, 2017
Folks, news reports that the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator (Mr. Agyei) was attacked by about 200 members of a pro-New Patriotic Party group known as “Delta Force” on Friday are alarming for several reasons. Why?
Because it raises very alarming concerns. The primary reason given by the attackers (that “a party person has to be given the position” or that the appointee should have come from the Ashanti region) is porous and unacceptable. It belies a huge damaging agenda that must be exposed and tackled outright before it materializes to worsen matters).
The attackers had been reported as contending that they couldn’t work with Mr. Agyei because “he has not been part of the struggle” to deliver victory to the NPP in the 2016 elections. In other words, he was not from the Ashanti Region and shouldn’t be tolerated.
No word of condemnation from Akufo-Addo or the government as a whole. Instead, executives of the Ashanti Regional branch of the NPP held a crunch meeting to discuss the matter. Also, the police have arrested one of the leaders of the “Delta Force” and urged all involved in the rumpus to report themselves to the police to assist in investigations.
Bare facts to bother Ghanaians:
The appointment of a “Regional Security Coordinator” by Akufo-Addo is alarming. As Kwaku Baako, the most irksome journalist on the Ghanaian scene trumpeting everything in favour of the NPP, has stuck his neck out to say, such an appointment is “unconstitutional”. I agree with him and will explain why it is also dangerous for our Ghanaian situation.
For those who don’t know what the country’s security setup is, let us put out some views to educate them so they can see why what Akufo-Addo has initiated as a major threat to national security. Of course, the stiff opposition coming from within the NPP fold speaks volumes already.
Before Kufuor appointed a Minister of national Security in the person of Francis Poku (whom he fell out with and got rid of), the security apparatus of Ghana has always been circumscribed within the traditional military, police, and intelligence domains. No need to expatiate here; but I want to say that these institutions have existed all these years and done a lot to protect Ghana and its citizens.
Maybe, a bit of history should be chipped in here for us to see clearly why Kufuor created the Ministry of National Security in the hope of bringing all security work under one umbrella with a political clout. Thus, everything was to boil down to a political authority to control security matters. But the centre couldn’t hold for him.
Paranoia played a huge role (Do you remember his wild allegation at Offinso that Rawlings was plotting a coup against him?). More lay behind his creation of the Ministry of National Security, which no other government hitherto had dreamt of. Don’t ask me why.
It might be a leaf taken from what the Rawlings system had initiated, establishing the National Security Secretariat (known as the “Blue House” and headed by retired military Captain Kojo Tsikata, who left the baton for capable hands like Gbevlo-Lartey and Yaw Donkor) that coordinated the activities of all the security agencies.
Indeed, this National Security Secretariat did sterling work to protect the Rawlings system, which would make it useful for the later Atta Mills and John Mahama administrations that retained it without appointing any Minister of National Security. In that formation, national security remained intact.
Those who know the nitty-gritty will raise thumbs for Rawlings, Atta Mills, and John Mahama because they successfully handled security matters without crying wolf. Only benighted cowards afraid of their own shadows won’t; and they are running around dismantling that architecture and replacing it with their own wayward structures that cannot stand any test. The confrontation put up by the NPP’s internal security wing (“Delta Force”) against Akufo-Addo’s appointee says it all. Where else will such a rumpus occur?
More lessons. The apparatus of functional state security is visible to those who have eyes and can see beyond their noses. Let me blow it all here for us to know why what Akufo-Addo has initiated is not only misplaced but is also misconceived, misdirected, and dangerous for the country.
There is a National Security Council made up of the President (as chairman) and the various national commanders of the security agencies (or any other co-opted person with clear credentials as a security-capable person). It has the ultimate authority to act on security-related issues in the interest of the country. No more explanation.
The next tier is the Regional Security Council, which embodies the Regional Minister (as Chairman) and the various heads of the security agencies located and operating in the 10 regions of the country. Its purview is clear, and it reports to the National Security Council.
The third tier is the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Security Committees, chaired by the CEO (political head) and made up of the local commanders of the security agencies (military, if ever present, police, fire service, prison service, etc.). It reports to the Regional Security Council.
We can see from the constitutionally framed and mandated tier system that there is no room for a “Regional Security Coordinator”. In clear terms, such a position is misguided because no room exists for it in the parameters defining and guiding security matters throughout the country. It is a mere politically motivated muck to be condemned.
For purposes of emphasis, let us repeat here that the legitimate security apparatuses are already in place: the National Security Council, chaired by the President of Ghana; the Regional Security Council, chaired by the Regional Minister; and the Metropolitan, Municipal, District Security Committees, chaired by the CEO’s for the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies.
There is no room for a “Security Coordinator” (whether at the national,. Regional or local levels). So, where is Akufo-Addo coming from with this appointment of characters of Agyei’s type? And what is the background of such characters? We can tell from the vitriolic reaction of the “Delta Force” elements (and others thinking like them) that Agyei and Co. don’t belong. And what does “belonging” in this context mean?
More troubling issues emerge from this angle!! What is the situation in the other regions of the country? Who is a “Regional Security Coordinator” and what is he/she to do that the Regional Minister (as chairman of the Regional Security Council) cannot do?
In truth, though, the only designation that has survived thus far is that of the National Security Coordinator, who (under normal circumstances) reports to either the Minister of National Security (under Kufuor and Akufo-Addo) or directly to the President (under Rawlings, Atta Mills, and john Mahama).
We can tease out some deeper meanings here to suggest that the Kufuor and Akufo-Addo approach is hollow and obfuscating. No wonder that Kufuor would have a huge fight with Francis Poku —his trusted appointee as Minister of National Security who is known for his anti-Rawlings manouevres—and Gbevlo-Lartey—a Rawlings strongman who was framed up and kicked out on the weak and unfounded allegation of plotting a coup against Kufuor). Folks, do you see what I see?
Why are we going all this distance? Just to prove wrong what Akufo-Addo has started doing, appointing Regional Security Coordinators to subvert the existing order. There is a lot for us to worry about. And we will not rest until we get to the root of the matter. Putting Akufo-Addo in charge of Ghana seems to be a huge burden to carry. Too bad all too soon.
Truth be told, Ghana’s main problem now is not about security but about how the government can do what it accused its predecessor of not doing so the citizens can live their lives in measured comfort (granted that Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia had already set them up to expect honey and milk in their rule).
Only when they fail to meet the needs of the people will there be cause for concern. if the silver lining doesn’t appear, then, the people will rise up to cause security problems. Until then, let no one waste time and energy on security issues. Ghana is still safe!!
I shall return…
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