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Opinion | Mar 13, 2019

State Of Affairs; Ghana's Security, Are Citizens Protected?

State Of Affairs; Ghana's Security, Are Citizens Protected?

National security refers to the security of a nation state, including its citizens, economy, and institutions, and is regarded as a duty of government. It is noted however that, the duty of every government is to protect the Liberty, Property, and Rights of Citizens and securing the security of a state including enhancing the wellbeing of the people. Making the country conducive for both nationals and foreigners alike and doing away with arbitrary rules. Following the constitution strictly and limiting themselves by its provisions.

But let us ask ourselves as nationals; are we protected in this current Ghana? What are the anticipations for 2020 general elections? We must think twice. This article, therefore, highlights the various issues that affect us as citizens and analyze them as to whatever or not citizens are protected and safe in Ghana. There are so many issues that need to be touched on that the media is so quiet about. Let's remained ourselves with some issues like; NAM 1, the Death of the investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale, The violence in Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election. The media is supposed to act as the fourth arm of government but they are good at displacing issues, thus, the media does not play their roles as expected of them. Some issues in Ghana are only issues the moment it happens but once it's taken off from the public eye, they turn to be neglected.

"The mask men (SWAT TEAM) from the national security who when to supervise the A.W.W by-election did that to prevent mosquito bites"

Really, full security personnel saying these things. Ghana we are not protected and we are taking things lightly. The by-election wasn't free and fair as the EC boss puts it. If some voters were beaten and others heard gunshots, you expect them to come out and vote? I don't think so. Ghana we must strategize because all these things can culminate into civil wars. The creation of many offices (ministries) are the causes of all these. Minister of state in charge of national security, minister of national security, interior minister and minister of defense. How can they work when their roles seem to be complicating one another? The country has struggle politically, economically and culturally, we are still not getting our politics right. When Albert Kan-Dapaah was asked of his roles and that of Bryan Acheampong's, he claims Bryan act as his deputy. Really, if the police are there and their duty is to maintain internal peace, why create a different unite as national security (SWAT team) posting terrorist activity on the state. There must be reforms in the security agencies of the state.

Ghana today is not what the citizens were optimistic about from the beginning of the new state thus independence. The fourth republic has problems and needs to check it. The problems they face today is no different from what caused Rawlings to take over in 4th June, 1979 and 31st December, 1981 and even other coups. This is because political parties in the fourth lacks ideological clarity and capacity for policy research, and analysis and only tend to personalize political competition. Corruption too has remained widespread in their internal operations and democracy is weak which all undermines public confidence. We are aware that when public institutions lose legitimacy, the state can assume lawlessness and citizens security will be threatened too.

Ghanaians would recall the “kume preko” demo led by the then member of Parliament, Nana Akuffo Addo in the 90s. His catchy phrase “All Die Be Die” in 2008, a phrase which was spoken by the then NPP flag bearer Nana Addo, intended to motivate the NPP youth at Atwa to fight their opponents. We would also recall the illegal Para-military camps set up by NPP for vigilante groups, trained by South African military personnel. Setting up these training camps, is illegal and a threat to National security. A research analyst before the 2016 election commented that the above-mentioned activities were forecast to turbulent security features, should Nana Addo become President. True to the words of the research analyst we are now experiencing the true reality of the past. After the takeover of the NPP Government led by President Akufo Addo, the vigilante groups trained by South African military personnel, started terrorizing Ghanaians. Toll booths were seized and damaged, private car of former Government officials were seized and the owners assaulted.

A Police Officer Nanka Bruce, was attacked and assaulted at the Flagstaff House by invisible forces. Invisible forces destroyed Public properties and sacked former Government appointees from their offices; and the IGP is still not aware. A Regional Security Coordinator was beaten and dragged out of his office, bleeding from head and nose. The criminals were released for lack of evidence. A Regional Youth Organizer of Drobonso near Agogo was beaten with metals by vigilante groups, and no arrest was made. Judges sitting in a Kumasi court of justice were terrified and had to flee for dear life when vigilante groups stormed the court. The prosecution could not provide enough evidence and so criminals were set free. The Municipal Chief Executive`s residence in Wa was vandalized by vigilante groups and there is no arrest.

A Member of Parliament was murdered in his room and no arrest has since been made. Autopsy report is reported missing and the IGP is not aware. An Army Officer late Major Mahama, on duty in Denkyera Obuasi was lynched, killed and burnt. The court case is still dragging on and no one knows how it will end. It is now clear that the IGP cannot protect his own people from the assaults of the vigilante groups. Two Police officers – one in Tema and the other in Kwabenya Police Post were shot and killed, and the incompetent IGP is unaware. Is he sleeping on the job? Ghana has become a lawless State and criminals have fielded the state. The question is: who is who in Ghana, is it the Police Service or the Vigilante Service?

It is a paradox that Nana Addo, promises to deal with corruption, and yet corruption has caught up with his two deputy Chief of Staff and has entered the President`s own office through $100,000 for the seat by the President. It is a paradox, that he speaks of dealing with vigilante groups and yet they still operate with impunity, killing Police officers at will. He promises to deal with his appointees and yet some of his one hundred and ten (110) Ministers including the IGP are sleeping on the job. A President surrounded by incompetence is not aware of where his Vice President is. Ghana is 62 years and yet suffering to be like her neighboring states. Lots of people are exposed for corruption and nothing is taken against them, MPs who are to make laws for us are misbehaving in parliament and taking a decision based on party-line forgetting there are other citizens who do not belong to any of the parties in parliament yet citizens of the country. The citizens are not protected or safe when Ghana has Oil and other minerals yet citizens cannot find jobs.

The free SHS that was badly planned is experiencing massive infrastructural and logistic problems, leading to health risks that have caused deaths in some schools. Insufficient food and some extra costs are regular burdens of the students and their parents. Was it “Quality education we want or Quantity? Because the last time I checked, the policy was a misplaced priority. In Liberia and Rwanda, George Weah and Paul K. respectively are building houses for the rural poor. Is it one district, one dam empty promise we want? Or the one district $1m we want? We are grown as leaders to be putting dust in the citizens’ eyes. The Agricultural projects are being crippled by worm infestation. Fertilizers that were free are now being sold to the detriment of farmers. There are no jobs. Ironically, over hundred thousand people (100,000) lost their jobs in 2017; and more than ten thousand (10,000) being laid off from the mining sector, not to forget the galamsay workers and their family as well as many thousands of fresh graduates coming out of school every year. The elimination of galamsay is good for the Nation; the programme, however, ought to have started with the planting of trees on the destroyed land to create jobs for the galamsay boys, as envisaged and started by the late President Atta Mills of blessed memory. The resource curse is real. Meanwhile, the misappropriate setting up of committee to manage the mining activities have been exposed of corrupt practice. These are clear indications that the citizens are not safe and cannot be protected by these current leaders.

In Ghana today nothing goes through the planning and concept stage. Projects that have to be well taught through in concept, discussed with stakeholders, and passed through pilot stages, are only discussed and carried out because the President is in a hurry. The result is inefficiency. In spite of hundred and ten (110) Ministers and many promises, the progress in development is woefully inadequate in Ghana. Many things are in the decline especially the Cedi causing insecurity among the people (Voters). Politicians try to use the innocent citizens for their own selfish Political agendas causing them to fight among themselves. Good people of Ghana, let's not meet anyone “Boot for Boot" let's wise up because the constitution claims absolute powers on us not our leaders and we can decide who rules us and who doesn't. The issue Vigilantism has become a national concern. There are many citizens who are in constant confusion as to whether having a "party police" to protect them when the need arises is good or bad.

The issue of vigilatism has spark national interest lately since there is news circulating that a Political party is initiating a para militia training awaiting the 2020 elections using the Osu castle as a training ground. This is evident that, citizens are not safe in Ghana considering the threats they perceive psychologically. Is it vigilantism Ghana wants or a strong and proactive military and police force? No wonder our leaders don't trust the strength of our security personnel and hence wants to rely on para militia for protection. When leaders invest on illegal security setups, it implies they do not care about the lives of their citizens.

His Excellency Vice president Dr. Bawumia in his address on political vigilantism and militias which are the current most threatening issues in the country, stated that “Ghana needs more Job-lantes youth rather than vigilante youths" But the main question is where are the jobs to employ the youths of Ghana are?

Unemployment rate has moved from 2.15% as at 2015 to 2.36% in 2017. Moreover, NABCO which was introduced by the NPP government and supposed to be a temporal means of reducing graduate unemployment level is also not paying the employees. Yet our leaders have the fortitudes to keep making fraudulent promises and empty statements when those made earlier have not been achieved. They would say so many things which at the end, one cannot measure them. They keep saying much about the youth but most policies made by them are not in favor of the youth. Does Ghana need acting government or promising government?

Everything seems not to be favoring the youths. Because they would say many things to raise the expectation of the youth high and in the end disappoint them. They only come back to renew the hope of the youth when they want to use them for their political agendas. Is that what the situation should be? What is the interest of our leaders for the country, Ghana? Do they actually want to make Ghana a living place for the nationals? Don't be surprised that, in 2020 Ghana might be a hell for living considering pretends and selfish nature of the leaders. This is because, a state where there is war, there is no development. The youth need to wise up, promises of a government don't make it the best government.... let us analyze their manifestos beyond the promises we see in them. We have come to realize that, once they get the power the next thing is to keep lying till their tenure ends.

Vigilantism has never been applauded in any country and Ghana should not be an exception. We as a country are trying to create civil wars among ourselves. Create tension in the international system by scaring foreign investors because already it has created the impression that, 2020 elections might be bloody and many are finding ways to flee. Remember that, a strong state would only rely on its security and intelligence agencies and make them strong to defend the state from external and internal aggression. So we must campaign for the abolition of vigilantes acts.....we don't need a replica of BOKO HARAM in Ghana. Our constitution only provides provision for the creation and establishment of parties but doesn't give room for the parties to establish "party police" because those parties would be protected by the constitution itself and elections are to be managed by the state and not the party owners.

All shall be well soon...maybe we need a Political Moses to take us to the growth stage.

I stand for the interest of Ghana and for the protection of the citizenry.

Issah, MUSAH AZIBA
KNUST, Kumasi

Issah Musah Aziba
Issah Musah Aziba, © 2019

BA. Political Studies. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

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