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11.06.2019 Petitions

Efo Worlanyo Tsekpo Petitions National Peace Council

By Efo Worlanyo TSEKPO
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  1. I wish to petition the NPC on above development for immediate investigations and to draw the attention of the Council to the growing insecurity to the BONO region and the country as a whole, as a result of the deterioration of the intelligence gathering capability of our internal intelligence agency, the Bureau of National Investigation.
  2. This deterioration in the intelligence gathering capability of the BNI has been occasioned by the government's recruitment of known political party elements and members of the NPP vigilante groups as BNI officers, stationed in the various districts across the region.
  3. While acknowledging efforts of the NPC in the on-going national effort to eliminate political vigilantism as it poses threat to the peace and security of the Republic, it is incumbent on us as citizens to contribute to the process and to ensure there is genuine commitment by all stakeholders to address this menace.
  4. One critical issue relevant to finding lasting solution to this development and to improve security of our country for citizens to go about their legitimate daily activities without fear of intimidation or insecurity has to do with the capability of our country's security agencies in dealing with security threats to the nation. This hinges on the professionalism of men and women of the security agencies in whose hands we entrust our security. To achieve this, we need to have effective and efficient security apparatus which is politically neutral and committed to maintaining state security and not regime security.
  5. Sir, your attention is drawn to the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996 (Act 526) which establishes the Bureau of National Investigation as our internal intelligence agency. Section 12 (1) states the functions of the BNI as
    1. Collect, analyse, retain and disseminate as appropriate information and intelligence respecting activities that may constitute threat to the security of the state and to the government of Ghana.
    2. Safeguard the economic wellbeing of the state against threats posed by the acts or omissions of persons or organizations both inside and outside the country.
    3. Protect the state against threats of espionage, sabotage, terrorism, hijacking, piracy, drug trafficking and similar offences.
    4. Protect the state against activities of persons, both nationals and non-nationals intended to overthrow the government of Ghana or undermine the constitutional order through illegal political, military, industrial or other means or through any other unconstitutional method.
    5. Perform any such other functions as may be directed by the president or the council.

    To perform the above functions, the BNI like all other intelligence organizations like the FBI and CIA of the US, Security Service and Secret Intelligence Service of the U.K among others rely on information from all sources and from people of all walks of life to do their work. It is not for nothing that the Director of BNI is mandated by Section 14 (C) of Act 526, to “pursue and ensure political party neutrality” of the BNI. In maintaining the political party neutrality of the BNI, it is expected that the BNI will be made up of loyal, dedicated and apolitical officers who are committed to the national interest. This is to ensure public trust, confidence and support for the Bureau in their activities to protect the citizens and the nation.

    On the basis of the above and the imminent danger that the recruitment and infiltration of known NPP members and NPP vigilante elements into BNI poses to national security, i am petitioning the NPC to conduct thorough investigation to ascertain;

    1. Circumstances, processes and motives behind the recruitment of these known political elements into this sensitive national security outfit, instead of committed and apolitical citizens with genuine interest in professional intelligence work.
    2. Circumstances leading to the political recruitment of a politically targeted group of about 600 at University of Ghana between 16th -27th June, 2018 and the criteria used in the recruitment of these known political party elements into the BNI under former Director, Mr. Rasheed Seidu Inusah
    3. Circumstances leading to the cancellation of the recruitment process commenced in December, 2017 under then Director of BNI, Mr. William Akwasi Appiah, in which about 2000 genuine applicants who had applied for employment in the BNI between 2013-2017, were invited for initial exams at the WAEC HALL, Tema on 17th December, 2017 but have never been called because that process was substituted for another recruitment in which NPP executives and known invisible forces members have now infiltrated the BNI.
    4. Take steps to ensure the removal of all these known political elements from the BNI to restore public confidence and professionalism of the BNI.

    Intelligence available to us from deep sources within the BNI, corroborated by media reports on this political recruitments carried out last year, revealed that these known NPP party executives and political vigilante elements never submitted applications to the BNI prior to their recruitment as is the practice in public service. Genuine applicants with interest and love for their country, determined to do security and intelligence work who had formally applied for enlistment between the period under review were denied the opportunity to serve their beloved country in their chosen profession.

    Further information points to the fact that, those applicants who formally applied, shortlisted and wrote exams cut across the two administrations, NDC/NPP (2013-2017) and it is surprising they have to be substituted for NPP party executives and invisible forces who were only handpicked across the constituencies without having applied formally and given these sensitive positions. As it stands now, they are just recognized by the public as NPP party members and militants in the various districts as these are their well-known identities.

    It must be noted that, the continuous operation of these known political party executives and political vigilante elements as BNI officers poses serious threats to the region's security and the country at large, particularly as we inch into the 2020 general elections and also the threats of terrorism, since intelligence collection has been undermined. How can a known political party element who has been involved in open NPP political party activities and campaigns be an effective intelligence officer of the BNI in our districts? What valuable intelligence can such known political elements gather from informants and agents who have genuine and patriotic interest to volunteer information and intelligence to protect the district and the country at large? No sane person or informant will approach a known political party activist to give information of national security interest to these politically recruited party members.

    It sad that, the NPP government in its bid to find jobs for their youth, will settle on the BNI and other security agencies and infiltrate these sensitive security agencies with party people. It is our view that care must be taken not to mix politics with security. Let politicians be politicians and let those with genuine desire and interest in security work do it for the good of our beloved country.

    By the wilful violation of Section 14 (c) of Act 526, the political party neutrality of the BNI has been seriously compromised and the image of the once powerful and enviable BNI has been badly damaged.

    I am therefore calling for immediate nationwide background investigation of all those who were recruited in this politicised 2018 recruitment to

    1. eliminate all those found not to have followed due process to gain employment in the BNI
    2. eliminate all well-known party executives and political vigilante elements, since their operations pose serious setbacks to intelligence gathering.

    We also demand that all formal applications from applicants of 2013-2017 should be revisited and that the recruitment process started under former Director, Mr. William Akwasi Appiah be re-opened, so as to come out with the best operatives who have love, commitment and genuine interest in professional security and intelligence work and who the nation can rely on for provision of the needed intelligence to deal with the rising insecurity and emerging threats to the nation's security.

    The urgent need to address this unfortunate security breach and restore public confidence so that citizens can feel free to volunteer information and intelligence to our genuine and committed BNI officers whose loyalty is to the state only and not any political party cannot be underestimated, since the security of the region and nation is at stake.

    Minister for National Security
    Minister of Interior
    National Security Co-ordinator
    Inspector General of Police
    Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior

    Special Prosecutor
    Commissioner, CHRAJ
    Chairperson, Public Service Commission
    Catholic Bishops Conference, Ghana
    Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council
    National Chief Imam