'Mosquito mask' comment was a joke - National Security Director of Operations
The Director of Operations at the National Security, Colonel Michael Opoku has defended comments made by Commander of the SWAT Unit, DSP Samuel Azugu to the effect that masks worn by some National Security operatives are meant to protective ‘gears’ against mosquitoes and reptiles.
DSP Azugu, who made appearance before the commission Monday February 19, told members that National Security operatives wear the masks in some instances to protect themselves whiles denying knowledge of why it was the case during the Ayawaso West Wuogon polls.
“Depending on the nature of the assignment, sometimes we go and lay ambush somewhere and we become prey to mosquitoes, so we have a particular gear that we wear which covers the neck and face so that we do not get mosquito bites”, he told the three-member commission.
He has since then received massive backlash from sections of Ghanaians who thought his answer was immature and hilarious.
But giving his testimony Wednesday February 20, Colonel Michael Opoku told the commission that his commander’s words were made more on the light side.
According to him, DSP Azugu gave two reasons for the mask but unfortunately the media has fed into the mosquito reason
He insisted that, the operatives wore the mask due to identity issues.
“The masks as my DSP said was for mosquito bites was not for mosquito bites, I think it was just a joke that he made but we normally mask to ensure that our operatives are not seen”, he said.
“Operatives live within the communities, if you see a policeman masked, it means that policeman is living within the community and he can be seen today or tomorrow after the operation. So normally those who live within or are likely to be seen and their cover will be blown are masked and in this situation, those who were masked, that was the essence, we didn’t want their cover to be blown”.
"Some of our operatives prefer to wear mask because of the kind of work they do for the state and they live in our community, they do not want to be identified even at my Headquarters" he added.
Counsel Eric Osei Mensah asked if he would be surprised DSP Azugu testified to the commission that he had no idea the operatives were to wear masks, Col Opoku said,
"DSP Azugu was here for 4 hours, his thinking capabilities might have failed him"