Who Should Manage Security Councils?
The Hohoe incident has triggered a national conversation about the management of security in the regions. There is no denying the fact that there was a security failure in the municipality, the reasons for which are not far-fetched.
A few months ago, the issue as to whether political appointees in the districts and regions be heads of the various security councils or not gained currency.
While one school supported the maintenance of the status quo, another proposed that professional security officers head them.
In the light of recent security challenges which have reared their heads in various parts of the country, we are compelled to support the latter.
Security management, especially the ability to read early warning signs and therefore take the appropriate measures to forestall mayhem, is something political appointees lack.
Instances abound to support this premise, if we care to recall them. Some regional police commanders have, in the course of their duty tours, clashed with their regional ministers because certain actions which the political heads demand of them are turned down.
While such refusals might be misconstrued as insubordination, we think otherwise. Some of such demands are driven by political motives which, when carried out, would mess up the security chemistry of the areas in question.
It is even more serious when the areas in question are conflict zones waiting for the least spark for the inferno to start.
Many regional police commanders have had the misfortune of being given negative names by political heads of regions and districts and transferred forthwith, in sometimes ignominious fashions. The 'I can no longer work with the regional police commander' mantra, the theme of the correspondence from the regional minister to the IGP, is a worrying trend which should be stopped in the interest of security management in the country.
In the face of strife in a given area, the trouble lies on the bosom of the security chiefs to deal with. It stands to reason therefore that such officers would be insistent on the application of certain measures, the position of the political heads notwithstanding.
The Hohoe debacle, whose resolution is still out of the reach of both the security and political heads, would have perhaps been nipped in the bud had the security chiefs been in charge.
When the interference of political heads becomes too irritating, the security heads tend to become indifferent, folding their arms and watching. The outcome of such situations is not farfetched, often detrimental to security.
A number of questions therefore need to be asked about the Hohoe trouble regarding the coordination between the political heads and their security counterparts.
How come the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the district police command and even the appropriate division, did not have an inkling of simmering trouble in the municipality?
In the matter of security management, let the authorities consider the significance of intelligence gathering and the necessity of security personnel such as the regional police commander or in the case of a district, a district police commander taking charge of the security councils.
Let this issue be considered once more without the political lens, with a view to ensuring that security heads are able to work without hindrance from regional and district political heads who always have their hidden agenda.