Security Ministry Rubbishes Mahama Asutuare Training

John Mahama

The
Ministry of National Security has rubbished claims by former President John
Mahama that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is training vigilantes to
cause chaos during the 2020 general election.

A
statement issued by the ministry and signed by Major (Rtd.) Ignatius Awuni,
Head of Public Information Department, said, “National Security Council
Secretariat has taken note of allegations that the National Security Training
School at Asutuare is being used to train party vigilante groups ahead of the
2020 general election.”

“The
Secretariat hereby informs the public that this allegation is false and a
deliberate effort to create false impressions about standard training programmes
of national security recruits.”

The
statement added that “since 2009, recruits into this outfit have been provided
with standard training. No persons other than regular national security staff
are trained by the Secretariat at the facility.”

The
statement also said, “The makers of these allegations who are immediate past
government officials are very familiar with these training programmes even
including similar ones conducted during their tenure. It is, therefore,
unfortunate for such persons to seek to bastardize these standard and routine
training exercises for political ends.”

It
said that “the Secretariat assures the general public that it will at all times
ensure that it works to promote rather than undermine the security of the
state.”

Asutuare Training

The
former President, who is the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)
candidate for the 2020 presidential election whilst addressing executives of
the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in Accra recently, claimed that the NPP
government was training some of its members at Asutuare for Election 2020.

He
said specifically, “Since then, we have evidence that
those people have been to Asutuare and trained in batches over and over again
in all kinds of combat techniques and other things,” adding “it’s a worry that
Ayawaso West Wuogon will be repeated on a larger scale than it did.”

“This
was only a by-election but the way things are going and from what we are
hearing, it is possible that some sinister force is preparing to wreak violence
during the [general] elections and this is something that we must look at,” he
pointed out.

Large Scale Violence

He
had also said he was hoping that the violence that occurred during the Ayawaso
West Wuogon by-election on January 31 would not be repeated on a larger scale
in 2020.

“We
remember what happened in Ayawaso West Wuogon. I pray that, God forbid, nothing
like that ever happens again. But you know the issue of vigilantes, especially
one party is training vigilantes,” he said, adding “I remember at the time of
Ayawaso West Wuogon, there was a letter that came out asking party executives
to bring able-bodied people to be trained as security.”

NPP’s Response

Earlier,
the ruling NPP stated categorically that it is not training any militia to
disrupt the 2020 general election and accused former President Mahama of
peddling falsehood.

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