There is nothing wrong with withdrawing military protection for Speaker – Adam Bonaa

there is nothing wrong with withdrawing military protection for speaker adam bonaa
Alban Bagbin1

Security expert, Adam Bonaa says there is nothing wrong with the withdrawal of the Military guards assigned to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin.

Speaking in an interview on Top Story on Monday, he opined that the role of the Military is different from that of the Police. Therefore, the withdrawal is appropriate.

According to him, the two institutions must be allowed to perform their distinct roles.

“As far as I’m concerned, I personally, and in terms of security, I don’t see anything wrong with the withdrawal of the military officers who were probably helping provide security for the Speaker. Military officers don’t have any speciality better than Police officers when it comes to providing internally than the Police. And so for me, that argument of threats, I would have wished that this conversation we don’t have it all. But unfortunately, some information got leaked.

I would want to maintain, and I’ve written and I’ve spoken extensively about the reasons why the Military should be kept in the barracks and perform Military functions, and reasons why the Police must perform policing functions. You cannot use the Military to perform the work of the Police, and the other way round is true.

And so either we’ve been trying to undermine the Police and lower whatever we’re supposed to be giving them or else, I don’t understand why we seem to be pushing the Military into performing functions that are solely the preserve of the police”, he stated.

Mr Bonaa made these comments in connection with a leaked document from the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) directing the withdrawal of 4 soldiers from the Office of the Speaker of Parliament.

In a letter dated January 11, 2021, the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. N. P. Andoh said, WOII Apugiba Awine David, S/Sgt Agbley Prosper, WO1 Jafaru Bunwura and Sgt. Bonney Prince’s attachment to Mr Bagbin’s office, since he assumed office on January 7, last year, is improper.

“It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from January 14, 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment,” the letter from GAF stated.

Following this development, a section of Ghanaians have criticised the decision. Speaking in an interview with JoyNews on Monday, the Tamale South MP described the move as an ugly directive which could mar the beauty of Ghana’s democracy.

Haruna Iddrisu therefore expressed his disappointment. He also expressed his disappointment in the GAF as well as the Defence Minister and the President for sanctioning such an order.

“The action is not only cruel and discriminatory, but does not augur well for the unity of the State and for the stability of the Republic. I am utterly disappointed in the Armed Forces who ought to live above reproach and utterly disappointed in the Minister for Defence and the Executive President for sanctioning such an action. For what political gain? It’s not healthy for our democracy and not when you are seeking to build consensus, you engage in this show of brute force, it is ugly for our democracy”.

The Tamale South MP also warned that this development could have dire consequences for consensus-building in the House.

“You expect that tomorrow, you would come build consensus, consensus with whom? What is even more worrying is the fact that Minister’s of state have been provided Military guards and supported by soldiers, Chief Executive Officers, even Chairpersons of Commissions have 4,5,6,7 Military personnel around them and we cannot have this for the third most important person of our Republic, the Speaker of Parliament? That is cruel, that is inhumane and discriminatory,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Majority in Parliament has accused the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, of being unappreciative of the gestures extended to him by government. The Speaker, they stated has four Police officers in his known residence, three Police officers in his secretariat and five other Policemen in and around the Speaker’s office block any day any time. 

“Indeed, none of the previous Speakers had half of the Police cover as has been accorded Rt. Hon. Bagbin. It must be emphasised for the record that Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has been served with the largest number of security personnel for his protection that none of the previous Speakers had,” the Majority caucus added.