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17.04.2015 Editorial

Political Police Or BNI?

By Daily Guide
Political Police Or BNI?
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Stephen Forson
The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has subtly mutated into a political police unleashing its coercive powers with inexplicable hubris.

Its personnel do as they wish as though they are an entity answerable to none and subservient to no law.

The agency is completely enmeshed in the ruling National Democratic Congress' (NDC's) political machinations that one would think it is a wing of the party. And to think that this is happening in a country which is supposed to be ruled by law boggles the mind. Ghana is without doubt being ruled by men obsessed more with their parochial interests than moving the country forward.

The security agency is doing the bidding of the ruling party so crudely that one wonders where the so-called professionalism of its personnel has gone to.

When governments are changed and they lose their jobs because of their past politically-motivated performance and the attendant infringement upon the human rights of citizens who do not belong to the NDC, they point at witch-hunting.

We have been compelled to return to this subject because of the rude impunity the agency is showing as it continues to keep in its custody Stephen Forson, the IT specialist accused of embarrassing the ruling party over the recent University of Ghana, Legon, students' elections.

Nobody seems to care as the human rights of the young man are being trampled upon by crooks who have found themselves at the helm.

We charge the human rights organisations, political parties, the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and even the judiciary, to stand up to be counted among those on the side of protecting the rule of law and against arbitrariness.

Where is the man who castigated the GBA and others for being silent over pertinent national issues? The political values which differentiate us from the animal kingdom are being breached as part of a grand design to instil fear in the people of this country.

Today they have come for your cousin, tomorrow it would be your father or another member of the family. On another occasion it would be your turn to be thrown into the dungeon of the BNI just because that is an 'order from above.'

What nonsense is this 'order from above?' Such crazy orders could not have emanated from God. The Omnipotent Creator is too pure to be associated with such filthy political tactics. Political desperation can lead to all manner of manoeuvres such as misusing the BNI for the political gains of the ruling party.

The sad thing about politicians, especially when they are in power, is that they do not learn from the many lessons of history. Their nostalgia for the days when their operatives could descend on sleeping families and snatching away breadwinners to be killed and their bodies dumped elsewhere is not in doubt.

The reason the BNI is able to hold a man in excess of the constitutionally mandated 48 hours is not difficult to find: government relishes such Gestapo-like operations because it is in its short-term interest. But for how long can we live under such BNI arbitrariness? Time changes and when it does, many heads will roll for sure.

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