The National Security Coordinator, Col. Gbevlo Lartey has vowed to retrieve all security cars and gadgets meant for the protection of the sitting President, but have been taken away and still in the possession of former President Kufuor.
He said he would not sit down unconcerned for the former President to take away security customised cars meant for the protection of the sitting President, because he would be the one who would be held responsible should anything untoward happen to President Mills.
The National Security Coordinator, who dismissed allegations of pay back time against the former President, told The Chronicle in an interview yesterday that his outfit was just doing a professional job. “As a former President, you don't just stand up and take cars (or equipment) meant for the presidency.
It is not done any where in the world. When President Bush left office, he did not take any equipment that belonged to the presidency away. He has not done it. Former President Rawlings did not also do it.
When he left office, he left the equipment meant for the presidency behind,” he said.
According to him, the former President was ill advised into taking those security cars that belonged to the VVIP outfit of the presidency, saying that Mr. Kufuor should rather blame his advisers for giving him such a bad advice that has generated a lot of hue and cry.
“What I am saying is that the matter is simple. People should stop embarrassing the former President. If he had known, he would not have taken it.”
Col. Gbevlo Lartey said Mr. Kufuor would be feeling embarrassed by now, due to the current situation. “In my view, I believe that there is no need to continue with this issue because President Kufuor was ill-advised.
I think that he should feel sorry that he did that because it is not done anywhere in the world where an outgoing President carries away items that belonged to the presidency.”
When his views were sought on the issue of President Kufuor objecting to the provisional three Chryslers for him, he stated that it was not part of his problem and that this has to do with State Protocol and the former President. “We are doing our professional job to protect the presidency. Whether he declined or accepted the provisional arrangement, then that is his problem. It is between him and the State Protocol to work out the issues,” he submitted.
Giving a scenario to back his claim, he said when President Kufuor had his unfortunate accident, assuming he was then driving in any ordinary car without the security features, it would have been a big blow to the nation, and that in order to secure the safety of the presidency, there was the need to protect him.
It would be recalled that Mr. Kufuor has been in the news for taking three BMW cars meant for the presidency, and State Protocol has had to write to the former President to return the cars meant for the use of the presidency.
The issue has become an albatross to the extent that President Kufuor has declined to accept the temporary arrangement of three luxurious Chryslers, through a letter written by his former Chief of Staff, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani.