May 28, 2024 12:33 am

‘Don’t militarise a civilian gov’t and civilianise the military” – Prof. Agyeman-Duah

A former Senior UN Governance Adviser and Co-Founder of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, has said the spate at which security is becoming a symbol in Ghana is worrying and must cease.

Prof. Agyeman-Duah says recent developments are an indication of “militarialising a civilian government and civilianising the military”, which does not auger well for Ghana’s democracy.

His comments come on the back of the withdrawal of the military from guarding the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.

Speaking on TV3’s midday news Monday, January 17, 2021, Prof. Agyeman-Duah said Parliament should use its security operatives to guard the Speaker, or call on the police for support if they are incapable.

He noted the constitution makes it clear that only the head of the executive requires a  military protection and not the speaker or any other member of the land, except in peculiar circumstances.

“Unless there is a security threat that has been assessed and if that threat requires a military protection, I’m sure the agencies in their wisdom will deploy the military. Other than that, the police will be in charge of it”

“Parliament itself has it’s own security unit. If they’re not capable the police should back them up. Why should we want to draw the military in something that is purely civilian? We’ve gone through this in our lives before where the military was deployed unnecessarily and we all denounced it. Now that we are trying to make sure that the military does not interfere in civilian government, just like they invaded Parliament a year ago and we all denounced it, why are we now insisting that the military should be there to protect?,” he queried.

He further stated “the police are armed, they’re trained so please, let us not civilianise the military and militarise a civilian government. I think this is going too far. We don’t need the military to provide security for any individual or institution unless based on threat assessment, it is determined that it is only the military who can be effective in protecting the Speaker and for that matter, any significant citizen,” he expressed.

Background

Government last week withdrew four military persons assigned to offer protection to Mr. Bagbin.

Office of the Speaker has described the move as an attempt to strip the Speaker of protection and believes such as untenable.

A statement from the Speaker’s office said the decision to withdraw the soldiers sets a bad precedent and is even more worrying that the reason is unknown.

“In a country that takes pride in its democratic institutions and processes, the decision to reduce the number of security personnel assigned to the Speaker detracts from the political gains that Ghana has made, and is a bad precedent. The unknown reason for such a move is puzzling, but the real motive should be obvious to all objective observers of the political scene in Ghana.”

The office also noted that the development sets the Speaker up for harm.

But a letter from the office of the Chief of Staff says the officers were removed because they were deployed without following proper procedure.

Source: Ghanasonline.com

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