How Can 'Bentua', 'Bankuta' Used For Coup — Mahama Ridicules
Barely a week the President Akufo-Addo government appealed to Ghanaians to cease ridiculing the coup claims it has made, former President John Mahama has gone ahead to further ridicule the coup claim.
He has described the couple as ‘bentua coup, moving on to make mockery of the weapons government claimed to have seized from the alleged coup plotters.
He made the remarks at the opening day of the 13th annual residential congress of the National Health Students Association of Ghana.
According to him, one of the weapons shown can be used to steer banku, a local dish.
He stated that there were all kinds of kitchen knives, saying the worst one he saw was “what we popularly called bentua”
He referred to the weapons as “various so-called weapons,” questioning sarcastically “how can bentua too be a weapon?”
He claimed that the supposed weapons used to overthrow the government and subsequent social media commentary shows that Ghanaians still have a great sense of humour.
“There was this challenge going on of people showing possible weapons that can be used in a coup d'etat,” he said.
He continued “there was this one that was very intriguing because this was the wooden spatula that is used to stir 'banku' popularly called 'Bankuta'….and I said well, possibly; that can be used to hit the guy at wherever you are going to attack, he may fall unconscious.”
Government about four days ago, warned self-styled security experts against ridiculing the coup d’etat claims it made recently
According to the Government, “it is unfortunate that sections of the Ghanaian public would attempt to ridicule this information.”
Deputy Information Minister, Pious Enam, serve the warning at a press briefing on Thursday, September 26, 2019, in Accra.
He noted that some so-called security experts have been taking to social and traditional media outlets to ridicule the coup d’etat claims.
The coup d’etat claim, he said, is a result of sustained surveillance including video adding that the suspects had been plotting to target the presidency.
“And so we want to discourage strongly attempts by sections of our population, especially on social media and even sometimes in traditional media by self-acclaimed security and Intelligence experts to attempt to ridicule what information the Government has put out,” he said.
He said it is true that chemicals were purchased for the manufacture of the weapons and that it is true that there was test firing of the weapons.
Mr. Enam referred to cases from the US to argue that it did not have to many people to assassinate a President.
Government on Monday, September 23, 2019 announced that security agencies have foiled a plan aimed at creating instability in the country and a takeover of political power through radicalization of the youth and the use of locally manufactured guns has been foiled by the security agencies in the country.
According to a statement signed by Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for information, the intended coup was prevented when a joint security personnel conducted a successful dawn operation which led to the arrest of three persons and the retrieval of several arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations in Accra and Bawaleshie near Dodowa.
The suspects are Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm and Ezor Kafui, a local weapon manufacturer and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu.
The joint operation which took place on Friday, 20th September 2019, 'was to neutralize an elaborate plot targeted at the Presidency, and with the ultimate aim of destabilizing the country.
He said the arrest and seizure come after fifteen (15) months of surveillance and gathering of evidence on the activities of the prime suspects and others.
“Surveillance on the activities of the persons involved commenced in June 2018, when Dr. Mac-Palm and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu (“BB” or “ADC”), started organizing a series of meetings at the Next-Door Beach Resort, in Teshie, and other locations in Accra, in furtherance of their objectives”, he said.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah further noted that between June and August 2018, BB, acting for and on behalf of Dr. MacPalm, contacted a number of serving military personnel, and talked them into hatching and executing a plot to obtain weapons, take over key installations, and secure funding for the purpose of taking over the reins of government.
“In August 2018, Dr. Mac-Palm and two others, Kennedy Amoah and Dr. Albert Sam (Based in the USA) formed a group called “Take Action Ghana” (TAG), under the guise of mobilizing the youth for nation-building, education, health, and providing shelter to the needy. Evidence available shows the intent was to build a support base of youth, and radicalize them against the political authority in Ghana,” he stated.
The Information Minister said in furtherance of this scheme, Dr Mac-Palm contracted one Mr. Ezor from Alavanyo to produce locally made weapons and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the operation.
“In July 2019, Mr. Ezor set up a workshop in a container, originally used as an X-Ray laboratory, at the premises of Citadel Hospital, and started producing the weapons and IEDs in-house,” he added.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah indicatedbthat on 10th September 2019, Dr. Mac-Palm and Mr. Ezor procured from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, some essential chemicals to be mixed with gun powder, stone chippings, surgical needles and powdered pepper for their operations.
He also contracted a worker at the Base Workshop in Burma Camp to supply 10 AK 47 riffles and made an advance payment of GH¢7,000.00.
“On Thursday, 19th September 2019, at about 2300 hours, still under surveillance, Dr. Mac-Palm, Mr. Ezor, and one soldier went to an area close to the Laboma Beach to test fire some of the locally manufactured weapons.
On the following day, 20th September 2019, between 0915 and 1755 hours, a team of security personnel undertook the operation which led to the arrest of Dr. Mac-Palm and his accomplices,” Mr. Nkrumah said.
He indicated that all the exhibits are currently in the custody of the BNI, whilst investigations are being carried out for further action.
Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, said the coup plotters planned to kidnap the President and his Vice.
Meanwhile, the suspects are facing trial.