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Withdrawal of Bagbin military detail unfair -NDC: Majority caucus debunks NDC assertion

BY: Daily Graphic
 From L-R: Osei  Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader and Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, NDC Chairman
From L-R: Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader and Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, NDC Chairman

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the withdrawal of the military guards that formed part of the security details of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin as unfair treatment as the reasons provided were not tangible.

The NDC believed that the withdrawal was designed to intimidate the Speaker of Parliament to kowtow to the demands of the executive by compromising the independence of the Parliament which Mr Bagbin has sworn to protect in the ultimate interest of Ghanaians.

Danger

The Chairman of the party, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, in a statement said the decision was not only exposing the Speaker to danger, but also part of a psychological warfare being waged on Mr Bagbin by the government.

This was because the withdrawal was happening at a time when government was aware that the Speaker was undergoing medical treatment.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said the reason given by the Ghana Armed Forces that the military attachment was done without proper procedure contradicted the stance of National Security that the military do not form part of the Speaker’s security detail, hence the withdrawal for which the reasons were not acceptable.

“We noted that the letter from the Armed Forces dated January 11, 2022 and signed by the Chief of Staff, Major General N. P. Andoh claimed that the officers were attached to the office of the Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament ‘without proper procedure’. He further stated that “the withdrawal was pending efforts to regularise the attachment of the officers”.

“We find it strange and disturbing that it has taken the Military High Command, which is very well respected for its efficiency and competence, over a year to notice that the military attachment to the office of the Speaker did not conform to due process”.

Majority Caucus

However, in a statement issued by the Majority Caucus in parliament said the Speaker has 12 police guards in addition to the four soldiers who were recently withdrawn by the Ghana Armed Forces.

The Majority side also debunked the assertion that the executive arm of government was involved in the recent withdrawal of four soldiers who were part of the security detail of the Speaker and said the move was not politically motivated as speculated by the Minority.

In a statement issued Monday [January 17, 2021] the Majority side said Mr Bagbin has benefited from the “largest number of security personnel for his protection that none of the previous Speakers had.”

“He has four police officers in his known residence. He has three police officers in his secretariat, and he has five other policemen in and around the Speaker’s office block any day, any time,” the statement said.

“This has not been a regular feature in Parliamentary Security considerations,” the statement added.

The Majority also said it saw no problem with the military attempting to regularise the military security detail.

“In the event, if the military insists on regularising his security detail, how does that compromise the Speaker’s security, or put him in harm’s way as the Speaker himself has stated?”, it said