By-election violence: Summon National Security Minister - Aning urges Parliament

By-election violence: Summon National Security Minister - Aning urges Parliament
Source: Ghana| |Abubakar Ibrahim
Date: 04-02-2019 Time: 11:02:29:pm

A security analyst wants Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee to haul the Minister of State in Charge of Security before it to answer for the behaviour of masked men who brutalised people during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

Dr. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning says Bryan Acheampong seemed to have little or no control over the supposed officers, hence he should not have ordered the masked security personnel to carry out any security-related operation.

“Let Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee haul him before them and let him demonstrate when they were recruited, how many of them were trained and who they report to? 

“This is a parallel organisation, increasingly dangerous, uncontrolled and uncontrollable. History teaches us one lesson; Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leonne, La Cote D’Ivoire started that way. We are heading down a dangerous and slippery slope,” he said. 

His comments follow the violence that ensued when masked men who are alleged to have fired gunshot and even slapped Ningo-Prampram MP Samuel George.

The MP, in a video, appeared to be questioning the security personnel during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election last Thursday.

The men, dressed in black polo shirts and khaki trousers stormed the La Bawaleshie Primary School polling station where voting was ongoing to elect a new MP following the death of Kyeremanteng Agyarko.  

According to the analyst, there is the need to differentiate between professional National Security operatives and ad-hoc operatives who are emanating from the vigilante groups.

He said his analysis of the activities of the security personnel suggests that they may have been recruited based on their vigilantism. These types of personnel, he said, usually who lack the professionalism and nuance to deal and handle very critical situations.

“What happened last Thursday is a precursor to what is going to happen in 2020,” he said.

“Violence has become a political currency in this country, the more violent you become, the more the political leadership recognise you and the more you are given access to power and finances," he condemned.

He said the reference to violence in 2020 election is not surprising as the number of vigilante groups has increased from 16 to 28 in the last four years.

Dr. Aning said, tying the violent activities during the by-election with former President John Mahama’s comment is a declaration of war although he is not surprised an opposition leader will be speaking in that manner.

According to him, such excessive rhetoric that glorifies violence is a mobilising tactic as done by the now governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) when they were in opposition.

“We saw the NPP in opposition mobilising Akans to seize their country back and in doing so not to be afraid because every single death is the same.

“We need to ask ourselves what does this increasing mobilising language mean towards election 2020; the guns are in abundance, ammunition is there and we see young people willing and waiting to use the violence to mobilise and political leadership that is totally immobilised," he said.

The security analyst warned that come 2020, it will not be the politicians who will call the shots but thugs would.

According to him, if the National Security operatives cover their faces, shoot ordinary people and a comatose parliamentary committee on defence and interior cannot speak about it, it is the beginning of the end.

Dr. Aning said the security institutions in the country have failed and urged Ghanaians to raise their voices.