A security analyst has criticised the government’s decision to take it upon itself inform the country about the rescue mission of two kidnapped Canadians.
Col Festus Boahen Aboagye (Rtd) said the Information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, at a presser detailing the rescue, should have allowed the police CID boss, Mama Tiwaa Addo Danquah and Albert Kan Dapaah, National Security Minister to speak.
“I find it a bit revealing that the minister chose to use the prerogative of the government to tell us about the rescue and release mission…and nobody else on that platform had anything else to say,” he told Evans Mensah on MultiTV/Joy FM’s news analysis show Newsfile, Saturday.
“We may choose to do thing our way in this country but anything similar incident happen elsewhere like in the U.S., you will see behind the microphone, the mayor, governor, Sherrif and police chief. All of them are given the chance to explain a bit of their angle to the operation,” he observed.
Some journalists who were at the presser on Wednesday were unhappy that the CID boss, National Security minister and other top security officers were not allowed to speak or answer questions on the operation.
Col Aboagye (rtd) says going forward, they should be allowed to speak to the media to speak about their contribution.
“While we chose, this time, not to allow the police to speak are we trying to gag them?” he quizzed.
The teaching consultant at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC) said the fact that the police previously said something deemed politically incorrect does not mean they should be silenced.
He argues that giving someone in a top hierarchy in the security agencies the opportunity to engage the media qualifies adequately as “a capacity building” move.
“If someone misspoke on one occasion, it does not mean that they should not be given an opportunity to talk again," he stressed.
Col Aboagye (rtd) also disagrees with the minister’s assertion that the rescue or release mission had not external assets.
The former CEO of the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA) Secretariat in Nairobi, said the minister’s statement was not comprehensive.
He expected the Information minister to have taken all the dimensions of the processes of the operations and pronounce on that.
“The term operations is not only the tactical aspect. Operations start the moment when the girls were kidnapped and all the efforts that the government with or without collaboration put it. That process included intelligence gathering, processing, monitoring certain activities as well as interrogating certain individuals remotely suspected to be connected.
“When the Canadians came in consultations might have happened, they might have had some views and recommendations to make. We now know contrary to what the minister said there was some aspect of ransom, not paid but demanded,” he said.
He said the call to the family of the two girls in Canada would have been made available to the Canadian authorities which they would, in turn, have told their Ghanaian counterpart.
Col Aboagye (rtd) find it “a bit difficult that throughout all of this process, the Canadian authorities did not make any substantive contribution.”