Government has dismissed suggestions that the decision to withdraw the military attachment to the Speaker of Parliament by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) is an attempt to stifle his protection.
The statement comes after revelation that the GAF has withdrawn the four soldiers attached to the security detail of Speaker Alban Bagbin. A statement by the GAF said the officers were deployed without due process.
The Speaker’s office has questioned the move describing it as untenable.
Reacting to the development, the Ministry of National Security said soldiers are not to be part of the Speaker’s security detail.
“It is worth noting that for the first time since 2017, the security arrangements for both the Speaker and Members of Parliament have been significantly enhanced.
“It also needs stating that personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces do not form part of the security detail for the Speaker and Parliament as Parliamentary security support is provided by the Ghana Police Service. Any need for specific agency support is typically executed on a need-basis in accordance with stated protocols. To reiterate, there has neither been a withdrawal of the security detail for the Speaker nor a reduction in the security strength of Parliament. The good people of Ghana are, therefore, entreated to disregard any unfounded speculation to this effect”.
The office of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Alban S.K. Bagbin, has taken note of the withdrawal of four military officers posted to assist in the protection of the Speaker. The attempt to strip the Speaker off security protection is untenable. 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. If it is an attempt to gag the Speaker, this move will serve to only widen the gap between the legislature and the other arms of government. It also hints at the possibility of a plot to place the safety and security of the Speaker in harm’s way.
The citizens of this country yearned for an effective separation of powers as well as check and balance, and voted to have a hung Parliament. They are looking for a lot more consultation, consensus building and dialogue. This move contrasts with that and certainly is a bad precedent.
In decisions such as these, we must ensure that we are guided by the overall interest of this country and the sustenance of our democracy and its institutions.”