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Security analyst blames military invasion of parliament on Service Commanders

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi

A security analyst Col. Festus Aboagy (rtd) is of the view that the failure on the part of service commanders to tell politicians what they can do and what they cannot do is what has led to the deployment of armed military personnel to the chamber of Ghana’s parliament to handle security issues.

For him, it is dangerous for Ghana’s democracy to involve the military in matters that ought to be handled by the police.

Speaking in an interview with Accra-based Joynews on Thursday morning, January 7, 2021, Col. Aboagy said service commanders have the professional responsibility to advise politicians as to what they can do and what they cannot do, stressing that “because we have been failing to over many years in telling politicians where the lines must be drawn, that is why the politicians are emboldened all the time to exert pressure in issues that the military must not be involved; and is a danger.”

Armed soldiers Thursday stormed the Chamber of Parliament following the continued failure of the Members of Parliament-elect to elect the Speaker for the Eighth Parliament.

The soldiers, numbering about 20, emerged in the Chamber together with armed policemen ostensibly to restore calm in the Chamber.

The well-armed security detail, with some having facemasks, came to the floor of Parliament at about 3.30 a.m. reportedly on the orders of the former Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul.

Commenting on the development, Col. Aboagye said the situation which brought in the military to the floor of parliament was within the capability of the police to handle and wondered why the military was involved in the first place.

“…And there was absolutely no need for other persons than the police to have been involved to solve it better,” he said, noting that the development is an “indictment on our democracy. This shouldn’t have happened.”

For Col. Aboagye, the military should not be involved in such situations, pointing out that the involvement of the military in such situation will do more harm than good to the country’s democracy.

Preventing such deployments, he said, “We need professional service commanders and divisional heads” to stop the involvement of military from engaging in issues they are not needed.