Use of military to protect public officers amounts to clinging to our military government past – Col. Aboagye

use of military to protect public officers amounts to clinging to our military government past col aboagye
Alban Bagbin parliament 1

Security Analyst, Col. Festus Aboagye says assigning Military officers to the Speaker and other government officers is simply a sign of Ghana clinging on to remnants of its military government past.

According to him, such a practice does not have a place in a democracy.

Col. Festus Aboagye said this when he contributed to discussions on JoyNewsNewsfile on Saturday, January 22, 2022. The topic for discussion was the withdrawal of Military protection for the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.

According to the Security Analyst, “we have found it difficult, probably deliberately as a nation to make a clean break from our Military era dispensation. So we have imported and carried on with certain practices that have no place in a democratic environment. And one of them is this issue that we are now confronted with,” he said.

He explained that it is wrong in the first place to make watchdogs of Military officers when their main duty is to protect the territorial integrity of the nation from external attacks, and to maintain internal security.

He stated that in relation to threats to internal security, especially when the safety of a public holder is at risk, it behooves the Commander-In-Chief i.e. President Akufo-Addo to give the order for Military personnel to be deployed.

However, in the case in contention, the order for Military protection came from the wrong source.

“We realise from the documents that are circulating on social media that it was the office of Parliament, the Marshall or whoever in the Parliamentary Service or some entity like that, that wrote to the Ghana Armed Forces directly, asking that the Speaker must be provided Military protection and indeed went ahead and specified the personnel that should be provided.

“Now, that is wrong, it is absolutely wrong. It puts the Military in a very awkward position as we’re experiencing now,” he said.

Col. Festus Aboagye further mentioned that even in this peculiar situation where the Military is withdrawing its personnel from the Speaker’s protection, it was discriminatory for them to do so considering the fact that other public officers below the Speaker’s hierarchy, still have Military protection.

“Be it as it may, if the Military is withdrawing the Speaker’s protection for whatever reason, we know empirically that there are individuals in this country – and I think the Minority Caucus leader referred to that – who have Military protection without any basis whatsoever and that is where the selectivity comes in, the discriminatory ways of using public resources or state resources.

“So if the Military cannot protect the third in the hierarchy of power in this country, there is nobody else. Not the EC, not the Minister, not the Attorney-General,” he stressed.