GONE! Lt. Col Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (rtd)
The National Security Coordinator, Lt. Col Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (rtd) has been given the boot by President John Dramani Mahama after serving on the intelligence apparatus for almost six years.
A statement released yesterday and signed by Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Information and Media Relations, confirmed the fate of the National Security Coordinator who has recently been caught in the thick of several controversies over his modus operandi.
His recent foray into the University of Ghana campus where he demolished the security booth for toll collection drew the ire of the university community with a petition to President Mahama to sack him.
Prof Akosua Adomako-Ampofo, Director of the Institute of African Studies of the university who led the protest, yesterday heaved a sigh of relief upon the report that the National Security Coordinator had been relieved of his appointment, saying that the prayers of the university community had been answered.
Mr. Gbevlo-Lartey has been replaced by Yaw Donkor, the Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) while Mr. Donkor’s position would be taken over by one Pious Awelinga, according to the statement.
‘His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama has made changes at the National Security Council Secretariat. Mr. Yaw Donkor, BNI Director, has been appointed Acting National Security Coordinator and Mr. Pious Awelinga as the Acting Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI),’ Mr. Ayariga wrote.
Lt. Col Gbevlo-Lartey, who is currently on leave, would have to vacate his position by May 12, 2014.
According to the information minister, ‘At a meeting with Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, the President commended and thanked him for his loyalty and dedicated service to the State. He will be assigned to other duties after his well-deserved leave,’ the statement underscored.
It was unclear what new duties would be assigned to the deposed security chief.
Apparently, the security chiefs’ position had been shaky for a while now.
Early January 2014, DAILY GUIDE picked information that on Monday December 30, 2013, a meeting was held by key and influential members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) at which there was a serious and heated debate about his relevance in the highly coveted position.
The meeting was not without President Mahama who was then revelling in Dubai where he and his family travelled for their much-talked about Christmas and New Year holidays.
The meeting, which dragged on deep into the night, was reported to have pitched key members of the ruling party against one another as they expressed their divergent opinions on Gbevlo-Lartey’s fate.
Unconfirmed reports available to DAILY GUIDE indicated the possible replacement in the person of a certain General Alhassan who was said to be in active service of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Incidentally, early December, Alhaji Bature, Editor of the pro- NDC Al-hajj newspaper, hinted that the National Security Coordinator would definitely be sacked.
Several actions taken by Gbevlo-Lartey had received serious flak from the general public who had been complaining about his high-handedness towards opponents of the ruling government.
But it appears his recent actions may have contributed to his already shaky position.
The controversy of the University of Ghana’s unilateral erection of toll booths on public roads saw the security capo order his men to demolish the booth, in Rambo-style.
He took this action when the government was trying diplomatic measures to settle the impasse between the university authorities and commuters.
The Chief Policy Analyst at the Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobbey, was one of those who called for his sack, describing his actions as ‘barbaric’.
‘If we are not careful, dictatorship will come back to this country through the back door,’ he warned.
Prof Akosua Adomako-Ampofo, on March 25, 2014, sent a signed petition to President John Mahama, asking him to remove Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey from office.
Prof Adomako-Ampofo revealed yesterday that when they opened online signatory collection, Gbevlo-Lartey also signed cynically, wishing them well in their new assignment. By his removal from office, Prof Adomako-Ampofo said God had answered their prayers.
‘As you are aware, around 1.30 am on February 18, 2014, the National Security Coordinator, along with some other armed men, came to the University of Ghana campus and demolished the toll booth and a security post under construction,’ a portion of the petition to the President had said.
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran
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