Reduce civilian involvement in national security – Former CID boss
A former Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service believes the inability of national security officials to properly handle incidents such as the violence that happened during Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election is a result of the increase in the number civilians in the agency.
According to COP Bright Oduro (Rtd.), such civilians lack the requisite training and skills needed to defuse tensions and prevent violence.
Many have questioned the professionalism of operatives of the National Security following clashes that occurred between some masked officers and umarmed citizens during the by-election.
But speaking on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, Bright Oduro said Ghana will continue to suffer such kinds of violence if government doesn’t ensure that the agency only employs qualified security agents.
“This should not happen. If you want to take officers to national security and pass them, then they must come from police, the military, customs, and immigration. But I don’t see how there are civilians employees of national security who shouldn’t be not involved in matters like these.
“They should use trained personnel for some of these things. If they are doing those operations, they should use officers who have been attached who have powers of arrest, search and others. Those men who went there [Ayawaso] and were controlling people – do they have those powers? If you use such men, then you are creating problem for the national security itself, he noted.
Ayawaso violence: National Security can’t have separate security force – Analyst
A security analyst, Adam Bonaa, has said that the country’s National Security agency cannot include a taskforce separate from the police and military.
Mr Bonaa expressed his apprehension that the officers were allowed to operate as an official security taskforce, as the Constitution mandates National Security to have just two security teams.
He also spoke of his concern over the fact that these officers appeared to be armed with new weapons, despite the National Security not having an armoury.
“The truth is that they didn’t have the mandate to go in there. From what I know, the law hasn’t changed. National Security has no locus or mandate to keep a standby force. They don’t have an armoury. If you just review the pictures and videos, those firearms they carried are brand new.
“Where did they get them from? Do we have a paramilitary or we have a third force apart from the police and the military? These are the two organs that must take care of some of these things. It’s necessary for us to know that the 1992 Constitution states what the National Security Council is supposed to be doing.
Violence marred the January 31, by-election election at Ayawaso West Wuogon with reports indicating that several people were injured in the clashes while gunshots were heard at the La Bawaleshie polling centre.
The heavy presence of security at polling stations for the by-election was a point of worry for some observers including the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) who raised concerns of the intimidation of voters.
The Minister of State in charge of National Security, Bryan Acheampong, denied those assertions stating that the officers were sanctioned by the state.