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10.03.2009 Politics

Aning, Frank Agyekum lock horns over Kufuor's vehicles

By myjoyonline
Aning, Frank Agyekum lock horns over Kufuor's vehicles

Security Analyst Dr Kwesi Aning has described as pure intimidation and empty talk comments that changing the vehicles of Mr John Agyekum Kufuor would pose a security threat to the former President.

Government has requested the office of the former President to return all BMW luxury vehicles in his possession to be replaced with Chryslers.

Spokesman for the former President has described the move as a security threat as well as varying conditions of Mr Kufuor to his disadvantage, which he said is unconstitutional.

The vehicles were among some 250 vehicles which were imported into the country during the African Union Summit and the Golden Jubilee anniversary celebrations in 2008 for use by foreign dignitaries.

But reacting to the issues on Monday, Dr Aning argued that suggestions that the Chryslers which are to replace the BMW luxury cars do not meet standard security features, is moot.

He insisted that the BMWs equally did not meet any unsurpassed security features, stressing Mr Agyekum's concern over the security of the former President is rather untenable.

Security experts say the best amoured vehicle could have a driver's window tough enough to withstand an amour-glencing bullet. The body work made of a combination of dual-hardness steel and ceramic material to break up possible projectiles, with puncture and shred-resistant steel-rimmed tyres that allow the car to continue moving even if the tyre is missing or deflated.

But Mr Aning said the current state of these BMWs miss out on all these features.

Dr Aning also added that the country is gradually becoming politically fixated on issues of state vehicles while the citizenry struggle to make ends meet.

The genuine threat both to President Mills, the sitting president, and to President Kufuor is not whether they have amour-plated cars; it's as to whether they can fulfil the dreams and aspirations of ordinary Ghanaians. If they don't, no amount of amour-plated vehicles can save them.

“Let us deal with the realities of our genuine security challenges and not the flimsy issues of protecting an individual,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile National Security Coordinator Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey in an earlier interview with Joy News' Cyrus De-Graft Johnson insisted that the vehicles could not be used by the former President because “they were purchased for the Presidency and not for any individual.”

He said the BMWs have long been under the VIP protection unit and could only be for the use of the sitting president.

“There are vehicles which were purchased for the presidency and they are on the inventory of the VIP protection unit. And we are saying that we want all those vehicles back and handed over properly,” he insisted.

Government's ultimatum to the office of the former President demands that the vehicles be returned to the national security outfit by close of Monday, March 09, 2009.

Story by Fiifi Koomson