A Ghanaian recently narrated of how not even a sizeable and handsome remuneration along with a palatial palace and all the trappings of modern life of a president would he ever dream of trading places with President John Mahama, especially in these trying moments; how apt?
“But for the personal affinity and admiration I have for President John Dramani Mahama, I won’t hesitate to join other colleagues to set another record in Ghana”, this pseudo treasonable statement by an unnamed security detail at the Flagstaff House and narrated to The Al-Hajj by a concerned colleague should sum up the mood among presidential security guards currently at the seat of government.
Indeed, it is part of a worrying trend confronting the young Mahama-led administration since the NDC-sponsored government was returned to office on January 7, 2013.
Agitations and frostiness in relationship among the security setup (Army, Police and National Security) with their chiefs at the seat of government is said to be fast moving up, posing a threat to the presidency.
The situation at the presidency, according to a security deep throat source is said to have deteriorated to a level that it is eating away the pride associated with working as a guard at the Government House.
Among other issues, the guards at both the former seat of government, the Osu Castle and the Flagstaff House complain about deep rooted corruption within the top echelon of the security setup, lack of promotions, victimization, poor welfare combine with lack of respect for security guards and inhumane treatments by some senior officials and close associates of President Mahama.
But, a source close to the security capo at the Presidency has vehemently dismissed all claims insisting, nothing closer to the allegations can be the truth.
“You see, when you are managing close to 500 security apparatchiks in such an establishment as the presidency, which also include the Osu Castle, Flagstaff House, Peduase and others, you should expect some of these discordant expressions from some few disgruntled personnel from time to time…
“But I can assure you that, whiles it may be humanly impossible to satisfy everybody, one thing I can state without any hesitation is that, the paramount interest and the welfare of our men who provide security for the Commander- in-chief has been and would continue to be our concern”, the source added.
However, some of the security personnel insist the harsh treatment and atrocious happenings within the security at the Presidency coupled with lack of respect for guards by persons said to be close eyes of the President is said to have forced one of the security detail at the seat of government out of frustration to thunder “with this kind of treatment I will not hesitate to join other colleagues to set another record in Ghana.”
The officers say the disrespect in particular, for security guards by a particular senior official (name withheld) at the seat of government who sees himself as next to the President is infuriating some security guards and has created serious divisions amongst them.
They also complained of delay in promotions, non-payment of overnight allowances, opportunities to buy confiscated vehicles and the general institutionalization of corruption to the extent that “in a recent situation, some security guards due for promotion were made to buy lands for one of the security big men stationed at the presidency before they were promoted,” The Al-Hajj has gathered.
But in a sharp rebuttal, our sources close to the Presidency security capo though, confirmed the allegation of disrespect by the supposed senior officer at the seat of government and that, it has been resolved nevertheless, rubbishes all other allegations charging “why are they not being bold to come forward, but choose to rather peddle this falsehood in the media just to tarnish the hard won reputation of their superiors?”
According to the source, “We will be having a durbar next Monday and Tuesday, anyone who believes he has a genuine grievance should bring it up…, that is what durbars are meant for and we have been holding periodic durbars just to listen to personnel grievances and welfare”.
The grieving security guards told The Al-Hajj “During the Rawlings era, there was no money doing this job but the respect that was shown us alone made us appreciate the work and we gave our all, but under this government the corruption we see, the corruption within the security set up coupled with harsh treatments have made some of us not to be interested in doing this job again,” they noted.
Adding that “one of our security guards was recently suspended for a week because he did not open the door for one of the big men with the President…, this same man, anytime he comes to work and you search him, he will complain…anything you do he finds fault with it, he is so arrogant”.