EDITORIAL: Scare-Mongering And Internal Security
On the front page of The Vanguard newspaper of yesterday, Monday, September 26, 2005 was a story under the headline 'PLOT TO ASSASSINATE OBED', naming a host of persons it claimed were the target of the Special-Assistant to the former President, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings. In any civilized society, what one expected to be done first, was for the security agencies in the country to invite the reporters of this story of obviously criminal machinations, to offer whatever leads they may have about the plot they referred to, to enable the securities conduct their own independent investigations.
The Vanguard has, over the past few years, published stories accusing persons of acts that ranged from common criminality to treason. Indeed, some of these publications had been of such nature that, all right-thinking Ghanaians had expected that the security authorities would pick up the matter and come out to reassure the general public after investigations of the credibility or otherwise of these stories.
Some of the stories published by the paper had been plots by the former President to stage a comeback to power through a coup. The paper, alongside others, had published arms procurement moves by the former President, in pursuit of that plot.
In spite of the obvious implication of these publications on the security, peace and investment climate of this country, there was no official assurance of the country that these stories were untrue.
Anytime such publications came up, it had been government officials and supporters who bared their teeth, telling the public how resolute and ready they were to deal with anyone who dared disturb the peace of the country. By their pronouncements, what they had succeeded in doing, whether deliberately or inadvertently, had been to give some level of credence to these reports.
If indeed the security authorities who feed government with reports are aware of treasonable conduct as well as other criminal maneuverings by, particularly political opponents of the government, why have they not roped such persons in, through the powers entrusted to them by the state?
It is not enough for them to dismiss stories that tell the whole world of a threat to the peace, particularly, where certain public officials had been mentioned as either the plotters or victims.
The Chronicle has no reason to associate itself with the allegations that had often been made by Mr. Victor Smith, that the national security coordinator, Mr. Francis Poku, has been the brain behind The Vanguard publications.
However, the silence of the authorities responsible for internal security like the ministry of the interior, the national security coordinator and the Police Service, had been so loud on these very alarming publications that, one cannot help but wonder why one paper would, for years, carry out such very inflammatory publications with such impunity, if it had no security collaboration.
The Chronicle would like to challenge the security agents mentioned above, to let the public know who is in charge here, by assessing the effect of these publications on the image of the country and act, placing the national interest above everything else.