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Monday, May 23, 2022

How Kweku Baako’s ‘letter’ ‘exposed’ Parliament’s use of soldiers before Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin and Kweku Baako

Military withdraws officers deployed to secure Speaker Bagbin

National Security Ministry justifies move despite uproar

Kweku Baako presents 2021 letter of request for military attachés

In the wake of the withdrawal of military attachés to Speaker Alban Bagbin, a major point of reference was a letter dated January 21, 2021 via which the Speaker’s office was seeking specific personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces for protection.

The letter was to counter the military’s January 11, 2022, letter informing the Speaker that the four officers were being withdrawn because they had been deployed without proper procedure.

During the discussions, a key point that was repeatedly raised by government through the Ministry of National Security and pro-government voices was that the Speaker’s protection and that of Parliament was solely the job of the Police.

“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 the need-basis in accordance with stated state protocols,” the National Security Ministry said in its press release on the issue.

In came Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Kweku Baako Jnr, who provided an initial letter that Bagbin through the clerk of Parliament wrote to the military seeking military protection.

The January 18, 2021 letter according to Mr. Baako had to be read in context with the viral 21st version to appreciate the fuller picture of the issue.

But of the four officers that Bagbin listed in that latter, it appears that one of them – Staff Seargent Adekurah Andrew – was already attached to Parliament.

It is not known in which capacity he was attached but National Democratic Congress MP for North Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor pointed out the pre-Bagbin military attachment in a tweet.

He wrote: “This is the 18th Jan 2021 letter. In this letter, one thing that stands out is that the Military already had deployment in Parliament prior to the Clerk’s request, contrary to claims there were no soldiers attached to Parliament before the coming of Rt. Hon. Bagbin. Truth Stands”

Incidentally, Bagbin was via the 21st January letter seeking the military to replace Adekurah with another official.

The Speaker according to the letter Kweku Baako supplied stated that he needed added layer of protection because of terrorism related activities and knowing that he will often travel to the northern part of the country on official duties.

In a recent accusation, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated that thanks to Bagbin, a serving colonel was currently the martial of Parliament.

Speaking to the host of Citi TV’s Parliament-focused show, The Chamber, Duke Mensah Opoku, the former NDC legislator said the concerns raised against the move are unnecessary.

“For me, much as it seems something like that is going on, I ask myself, what is the big deal if the military is withdrawn from the Speaker? How will it compromise security? If you have security in a manner of well-trained people to manage the office whether they are customs, fire, or immigration officers, if they are qualified to manage the reason for which they are deployed, then that is it.”

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