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08.03.2006 General News

Terrorists may blow up installations - Statesman

By The Statesman

Security alert: Terrorists may blow up installations in anti-ROPAA demo Information reaching The Statesman is that there is a top security alert in anticipation of the next street demonstration against the Representation of People's (Amendment) Act, 2006.

A confidential security report leaked to The Statesman states that the nation's security agencies are on the look out for alleged saboteurs who are apparently bent on using the ongoing street protests to launch terrorist attacks against certain strategic installations.

No particular political party or movement has been linked to the group. But, police sources describe the small group as “criminal characters” detailed to “destroy” electricity power plants and the like in the capital and beyond. Already, our security sources say, police have undertaken surveillances around the alleged targets and this is expected to increase in the days to come. A senior source at the National Security set-up told The Statesman, “We can confidently say that we are steps ahead of them and we are confident that they shall not succeed.”

Bernard Mornah, National Youth Organiser of the People's National Convention and a pseudo-professional street protestor described the confidential security report as “preposterous.”

To him, it “doesn't make sense.” Why would Concerned Ghanaians “blow up important installations in the same country we are trying to protect, especially in this day of economic hardship?”

However, the report seen by The Statesman makes no specific mention of leaders of the demonstrators, Concerned Ghanaians, as being behind the alleged planned attacks.

The leaders of Concerned Ghanaians were scheduled to meet last night to decide on the next date for the anti-ROPAA demonstration.

But, threats issued by leading members of both the National Democratic Congress and the anti-ROPAA demonstrations have heightened security concerns, when added to the allegation of a terrorist conspiracy.

The NDC leadership, including the chairman and Minority Leader, set the tone by threatening that the passage of the law to extend the franchise to Ghanaians abroad was a recipe for mayhem.

Last week, Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, disclosed at a party constituency meeting at Odododiodio, Accra that the NDC was recruiting 500 de-commissioned members of the once feared 64th Reserve Battalion (Commandos) and other former security agents who served under former President Rawlings to police the next round of street protests. The last protest was marred when police charged on the protestors after the marchers turned violent and attacked police and journalists and destroyed property.

Mahama Ayariga, NDC MP and leading protestor, has sought to disassociate Concerned Ghanaians from Mr Afriyie Ankrah's statement.

Tuesday, the Press Secretary to the President, Kwabena Agyepong said President John Agyekum Kufuor was “a bit dismayed” by the disclosure that the NDC was recruiting ex-Commandos for their next street protest.

“This kind of practice is not acceptable because the laws of our land do not allow the setting up of private armies,” Mr Agyepong said. The President, he stressed, he respects the right to demonstrate but threats of mayhem and confusion are counterproductive and should be resisted.

He, however, said the state was ready to deal decisively with any attempt to disrupt the peace and security that the nation currently enjoys.