A security expert at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, Dr. Kwesi Aning, is suggesting that the actions of anonymous operatives at the national security outfit might have cost Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey (rtd) his job as the National Security Coordinator.
Speaking to Joy News, Dr. Aning downplayed the proposition that he was removed based on calls on President Mahama to do so by university dons following his legendary demolition of a tollbooth put up by the University of Ghana.
Though Dr. Aning acknowledged that the decision to hire or dismiss is the sole prerogative of the president based on his vision, the action of Col. Gbevlo Lartey at the university was misunderstood by many.
He took that decision with human security in mind, the security expert noted, arguing that the placement of the tollbooth was wrong.
However, he said, the remilitarization of the national security by some of its operatives could be the reason for his removal, citing a recent demolition at Adjei Kojo in Tema, in which an anonymous operative halted a parliamentary investigation into the demolition.
“There is also no doubt at all that there was certain militarization or remilitarization of national security,” he stated, adding, “one can list a whole series of incidences and incidents in the last 18 months that caused a certain disaffection and unease in society as to whether we were going back to the dark days of military dictatorship.”
Dr. Aning said this might have made it incumbent on the president, who was democratically elected, to listen to public concerns about “their fear of this amorphous structure in which one cannot put a face to a name with the exception of the national security coordinator and one or two other people.”
The security expert stressed, “The action and inaction of Gbevlo’s infrastructure contributed to people thinking that he had more power than he ought to have.”
He emphasized: “Mr. Gbevlo Lartey became both a success in the openness with which he wanted to deal with the public but unfortunately some people in his outfit misused that.”
According to a statement signed by Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga, the Director of Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Mr. Yaw Donkor, has been appointed to replace Col. Gbevlo-Lartey effective May 12, 2014.
Dr. Kwesi Aning believed Mr. Donkor has all it takes to succeed as a national security coordinator.
“Mr. Yaw Donkor believes in the democratic principles that govern intelligence gathering and the use of that intelligence. He is a long time operative with firm hands on wheel and he likes a robust conversation,” Dr. Aning noted.
He charged him to educate the public to know that the public and the security agencies have to work hand in hand to address security challenges facing the country.
Some issues he might also have to deal with include land guards, filth, which is posing dangerous public health challenges, bush fires, and dismantling transnational criminal network posing threat to humanity.