The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ablekuma south, Fritz Baffour, has chided the opposition New Patriotic party (NPP), for exhibiting what he calls “irresponsibility” for the recruitment of three South African ex-security persons to train their party’s security personnel.
According to him, the party clearly side-stepped the laws of the country by taking that decision.
Three South African ex-Police officers are currently in the grips of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for engaging in suspicious acts that Ghanaian security officials consider a threat to national security.
It has emerged that the three were in the country to train the security men who have been tasked to protect the party’s Flagbearer, Nana Addo and his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The NPP says it took the decision to strengthen security around its leaders due to their growing popularity and their inability to control the crowd around the two. The move has led to a debate between the party and the governing National Democratic Congress, whose leaders have described the South African nationals as mercenaries who may cause trouble in the November polls.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Fritz Baffour, who is also the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defense and Interior, indicated that he does not take the matter lightly because most threats to national security normally stem from non-state actors.
He firmly stated that he was against any political party training security operatives because the individuals who represent party security today could be national security threats tomorrow when they are still skilled but not in use.
“I am totally against any political party in Ghana training operatives… you can have private security working for you but if it’s a political grouping, then you are politicizing the security institution that you want around you and I think that is dangerous. If you actually train these people to a certain level and you do not use them later on, they can be used by other people to destabilize the country.”
Mr Baffour revealed that investigations are still ongoing and the legal implication is being explored but according to him, even if the NPP’s actions were legal, it was still irresponsible especially since they could have applied for national security to protect the candidate.
“Even if it was legal, I find it a little irresponsible coming from a political party because I know that if I have a flagbearer, you can actually apply to the national security network to give you some security coverage.”
He further noted that NPP should have trust in the national security system to protect them since the same system will protect them when they win power. “If for example, a political party that is not in power comes into power, they are going to rely on the security service that were in existence before the came into power and they have to show that they have some degree of trust.”