General News Mon, 24 May 2021

I was naïve to think vigilante groups are disbanded – Kwesi Pratt Jnr

• Kwesi Pratt says he doesn't believe some Delta Force members are now with the National Securtity

• He said Ghanaians were deceived by the government to have to think vigilante groups have been banned

• Pratt indicated that he is frightened about this new development

Kwesi Pratt Jnr, the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper has said he was naïve to have thought after the legislation to ban all vigilante groups of political parties who serve as police officers in the various parties, were disbanded.

According to him, he is very frightened to hear that vigilante groups, which there is a law to oust them within the political circles, have been absorbed into the National Security.

“Some of us were naïve to think that the vigilante groups have been banned. [We’ve] heard that NPP vigilante groups were not disbanded; they were absorbed into state security and the excuse is that they are Ghanaians and they are entitled to work; what about the NDC vigilante groups, are they from Mozambique? Are they not Ghanaians too? Are they not entitled to work?” Kwesi Pratt Jnr asked.

“When we were deceived that vigilante groups were being disbanded, only NDC vigilante groups were being disbanded and that the rest were only given more authority or legitimacy by absorbing them into state security. Are we not frightened?” he quizzed further.

Pratt could not comprehend why Delta Force members will be absorbed into the National Security and be given weapons as well as state security uniforms to continue operating.

He said, “If you absorb the Delta Force into National Security, what will they be doing in the National Security if not the business of Delta Force? Are we not frightened?”

The activities of the National Security have come under the radar after they tried to forcefully remove the Ashanti Regional Security Liaison Officer, DCOP Anyensu Opare Addo, from office.

Narrating his ordeal to JoyNews, DCOP Opare Addo said, the Delta Force arrived in his office unannounced, claiming to be personnel from the National Security Secretariat who had been ordered to come and take him to Accra.

He disclosed: “They came to the office about 5 pm and said that they’ve been directed to bring me to the National Security Coordinator. I said I won’t go so they handcuffed me, pushed me here and there, pointed AK 47 at me.

"They came and assaulted me, pointing AK 47 at me and the likes, hitting me, even when I was going to urinate one of the boys followed me and said he was following me to the toilet, I said what do you mean?

"He said but you’re a man, I am also a man, I can look at it because you can also look at mine. I said why! Am I a baby or child? So, I am not going to look at this without taking any action.”

After the incident, DCOP Opare Addo said, he came to Accra to meet the President but he was preparing to travel so he could not discuss the issue in detail with him but the President asked him to go back and work because he is not ready to replace him.

“I went to the office the next [after the incidence] but I am not in Kumasi now. I must be seen in the office because His Excellency the President when I went to his office, he told me to go and work because he wasn’t bringing anybody there. At the time, he said I should go and work and I’ll hear from him and that is exactly what I am going to do,” DCOP Opare Addo explained.

The former Deputy Commissioner of Police said his visit to the Presidency was after he heard rumours that Captain (Rtd) Budu Koomson and some alleged members of the NPP’s Delta Force were trying to remove him from office and impose a different person on the office as the Ashanti regional security liaison officer.

“I wanted to see him [the President] on Friday, but he was very busy; I understood him, he was travelling on Sunday so he had to do a lot of things himself and I never bothered him with the issue there.

“I saw him when I heard that there were rumours that Budu Koomson and the other guys [Delta Force] I mentioned were trying to impose somebody on me at the time. I called Budu Koomson himself and told him about this and I’ll talk about that later,” DCOP Opare Addo said.

Meanwhile, the acting National Security Coordinator, Major General Francis Adu Amanfo (Rtd), has dispelled claims by the beleaguered Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator that he was arrested and handcuffed by national security operatives while being forcefully removed from his office.

According to Major General Adu Amanfo, the account as narrated by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Opare Addo does not reflect the true happenings on the grounds.

He told journalists in Accra that his team who were deployed from Accra to make sure DCOP Opare Addo got out of office were rather handcuffed by officers of the Ashanti Regional Police Command who had been called in by DCOP Opare to handle the matter.

“He [Opare Addo] rather called for police reinforcement and got the team that had gone to mitigate the issues arrested and handcuffed, and not him Opare Addo. It was the team members from Accra that were handcuffed. He [Opare Addo] rather called the Regional Police Commander to come, and they came and arrested the team we had sent from Accra,” Major General Adu Amanfo explained.

Major General Adu Amanfo (Rtd) defended the forceful removal of DCOP Opare Addo from office.

He claims the tenure of DCOP Opare Addo had expired, but he refused to vacate his post, adding that his contract was not renewed as a result of “non-performance and criminality”.

"The bottom line of all of this is that Opare Addo had a contract with National Security and for four years he was the regional liaison for the National Security. His term of the contract has expired. It was not renewed because of non-performance and his own criminal activities.”

"He had no locus to be in the office because a new officer had been appointed, and he should have handed over to the officer, and he says he won’t hand over. So that is why a team was sent from Accra to go and mitigate and facilitate the handing, and takeover process,” he added.

Major General Adu Amanfo (Rtd.) said a committee has been instituted to probe the “vicious” allegations raised by the embattled Regional Security Coordinator.

When asked for further clarity on his claims of criminality against DCOP Opare Addo, the acting National Security Coordinator said those issues were under investigation.

"I will say most of these things are vicious, and I say so because I am very experienced in the military. I have served 37 years, being an Ambassador to Liberia, Mali, so I have seen it all. Most of these allegations are vicious, so we need to investigate them before I can make any serious statement. These issues are being investigated,” he stressed.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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