Joy News has uncovered a plan by Upper West Regional Coordinating Council and its Regional Security Liaison Office to recruit and train activists of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the 2020 elections.
The activists, who will be called “Election Security Team”, are expected to, among other things guard ballot boxes during the elections.
This is contained in a leaked letter supposedly addressed to the NPP Constituency Chairman in the Upper West region signed by Regional Security Liaison Officer, Capt. Simon Ansu Tengabo (Rtd).
The letter was also copied to the NPP Regional Chairman, Upper West Region, the Regional Minister, Alhassaan Suleman and all Municipal and District Chief Executives in the Upper West region.
In the letter, Capt. Tengabo said, “Grateful you submit a list of suitable security oriented party members for training as Election Security Team to closely monitor the 2020 elections starting from the re-opening of the voters register through to the actual elections and up to the declaration of results.”
The list, according to the Regional Liaison Officer must include a leader of the party in the region and 10 others.
“After their training/orientation, the teams will in turn select and also train polling station Elections Security Team to cover all polling stations in your area.
“Please carefully select and submit your District/Municipal list to the Regional Security Liaison Officer, Regional Coordinating Council, Wa, Upper West region.”
Specific telephone numbers were included in the letter and the list was expected by February 2019.
This revelation comes barely 24 hours after government sponsored a two-day national security stakeholders’ forum to deliberate on ending political vigilantism following the violence at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
While government has set up and inaugurated a three-member Commission of Inquiry to investigate that violence, the emergence of this letter appears to throw a spanner into the spokes.
A Joy News reporter posed as one of the constituency chairmen and called Capt. Tengabo about the list of party activists he wants selected and the purpose of the letter.
He said in the telephone conversation that the team is needed so that in the event that some people want to disrupt the voting process and the police is incapable of handling the situation, they will intervene.
“Don’t bring weak people that when you shout at them they run away, they should be courageous people,” Capt. Tengabo stressed.
The development terrifies Security Expert, Dr. Kwesi Aning.
He is shocked that just days after the violence that disturbed the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections, the governing party which should be condemning and working towards ensuring that subsequent elections go on a similar tangent are rather planning worse.
“The front line institution for election security is the Ghana Police Service supported by allied services with the military as the last security institution.
“So to find a political party that sends this letter out two days before the stakeholder meeting at Aburi poses very disturbing issues about the trust that the stakeholder process seeks to engender among different interest groups,” he said.
A disturbed Dr Anning added that “And I think some people within the NPP would have to explain to the people of this country why state resources are being abused and used for parochial party political interest. This ties in to the national security business that took place at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election,”
He said the move by the NPP is unconstitutional, undermines the role of official security services, and threatens their loyalty to the state and their willingness and preparedness to lay down their lives for Ghana.
The implication of such irresponsible behaviour, in his view, is what was witnessed at Ayawaso on January 31.
“These disparate acts of irresponsibility almost come together to read as a declaration of war,” he said.