A former Minister of Information, Kofi Totobi Quakyi, has said the conduct of national security operatives on Election Day will be an “ultimate test of the sincerity” of the regret expressed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in connection with the recent assault of a soldier.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah recently issued a statement expressing the President’s concern about the assault of the soldier by some National Security operatives.
Responding to the Ministry of Information’s statement, Mr Totobi Quakyi, who also served as a Minister of National Security, said: “I have read a statement issued on behalf of His Excellency President Akufo-Addo by the Minister of Information expressing regret about the recent assault of a serving officer of the Ghana Armed Forces by national security operatives under the command of an officer of the Bureau of National Communications”.
According to the top NDC member, “the mention of national security operatives evokes bitter memories of their complicity in the violence unleashed on fellow citizens during the infamous Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections.”
Mr Totobi Quakyi noted that “a duly-constituted commission of inquiry”, the Emile Short Commission, that probed “the violence” at Ayawaso West Wuogon, “made specific recommendations on actions that must be taken to serve as deterrence against such wanton acts of indiscipline by party militia clothed as national security operatives or what have you”.
“Sadly, the recommendations of the commission were set aside by the President. The recent exploits by national security operatives in attacking and humiliating a senior non-commissioned officer in the full glare of the public, is reminiscent of a group that feels justified and emboldened”, Totobi Quakyi noted.
In his view, “already, there is pervasive anxiety among Ghanaians, as we inch closer to the December 7 polls”, and, so, pointed out that the prevailing “anxiety is being fueled by the recent assault on the military officer by members from the same group, whose lawless actions have, in the past, gone unpunished.”
The statement noted that: “The ultimate test of the sincerity in the President’s expression of regret over the assault on the soldier will be in the conduct of these so-called national security operatives come Monday, December 7, 2020 and thereafter.”
The military man, WO1 Mashud Salia, was handcuffed and physically assaulted by one national security operative in the company of other operatives, on Wednesday, 25 November 2020, for failing to give way to a convoy of vehicles at the Ashaiman Tulaku section of the Tema-Akosombo highway.
They later shoved him into one of their vehicles and drove him to Michel Camp where they handed him over to the authorities there.
President Akufo-Addo, who expressed regret at the incident, has since directed that the operative who did the assault, identified as Gerard Nana Osei-Tutu, be interdicted.
Information Minister Oppong Nkrumah’s statement said: “The military constitutes a key layer in the country’s security architecture. Any infringement on the institution and its officers will not be tolerated”.