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16.09.2004 General News

Hackman Roars On Rawlings

By GYE NYAME CONCORD

'We will stop you' 'But for the trouble in Ghana and West Africa, we'd charge him for sedition' FOLLOWING RECENT 'hoax' reports of an imminent mercenary attack on Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has switched to high gear its security grips on the nation's living coup legend, ex-President, Jerry John Rawlings.

In what is seen as the fiercest statement yet to come from a top government official, Minister of Interior, Hackman Owusu Agyemang, warned: “I am saying this government will not allow Rawlings to be third time lucky”.

The Interior Minister who was being grilled by Komla Dumor on JOY FM's Super Morning Show last Wednesday as to what precautions government was taking in the face of heightened security alert, said his outfit has taken the step because of Rawlings' past record in coup making vis a vis his recent vituperations.

“I have good reason to believe that there is the need to put ourselves in a state of heightened security alert and that we have taken all the necessary precautions to contain any eventuality.”

According to Mr Owusu Agyemang “Rawlings has been making statements that we find unacceptable”, stressing that but for the situation in the country and our sub-region “one would even begin to ask a lawyer to charge him for sedition”.

A number of secret meetings the former President is reported to have had with particular suspicious groups inciting them against state authority, Hackman said, could not be taken for granted, especially coming from a person famous for staging two successful coups.

“It's alright if it were said by anybody else but somebody who has done that in the past and done it a second time I think we should be smart and not take things for granted”, the Interior Minister emphasised.

He told Komla Dumor that his government expected ex-President Rawlings, having left the presidency with dignity, to keep quite or speak with a lot of circumspection and allow the nation to move forward.

He added that it was very unbecoming when all his utterances are designed to poke fire, get people angry, including asking for civil disobedience, describing it as unacceptable from a former President and that it was time he told Rawlings “you can't do this”.

“We must make sure we guard against the peace and security of the state very jealously”.

More so when government has sufficient confidence in its ability to analyse situations and sift through the myriads of information it receives to determine whether there is a state of security threat or not.

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