Security analyst Irbard Ibrahim has said the failure of successive governments to ensure that all political leaders are given state security is to blame for the current situation where political parties recruit and train their own private security personnel for protection.
His comment comes on the heels of the recent arrest by Ghana’s Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), of three South African ex-police officers for security-related offences in the country.
The three, as reported by the Daily Graphic, are: Major Ahmed Shaik (retd), 54; Warrant Officer Denver Dwahye, 33, and Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45. They were picked up at the El-Capitano Hotel where they had been based since arriving in the country early this month.
They were said to be training some young people in various security drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques, and rapid response manoeuvres.
Although the suspects had initially indicated that they were training the young men for the owner of the hotel, Captain Kwesu Acquah (retd), who is also the owner of Delta Force Security Company Limited, the leader of the group, Major Hazis, was reported to have told interrogators that they were brought in by an unnamed retired military officer to train young men as bodyguards and as a rapid response for some politicians and political parties.
But Mr Ibrahim finds the move by any political party to establish a private force to offer security to its leading members, unconvincing.
Responding to a question on Accra News Tuesday March 22, over the propriety of the NPP to set up a special force, specifically for duties of protection, Mr Ibrahim responded: “No, it is wrong. With regards to security, Ghana is a sovereign state with territorial integrity. So, why bring ex-servicemen from abroad to train party foot soldiers because of VIPs? If you are a president or VIP, is it mandatory to travel around with a motorcade or convoy?
He said the three South Africans are “mercenaries” that travel to various parts of Africa to offer similar skills.
“Wherever you are, once you have the money, they will come. So, Goodluck Jonathan’s PDP government in Nigeria, reeling from the pressure of Boko Haram, at a point went to South Africa to hire the services of such. So, they are mercenaries,” he stressed.
“If they are flown to war-torn territories because of their experience, have we told anyone that we in Ghana are preparing for war to need training from South African mercenaries? So, I don’t support that.
“Today, it’s 15 persons being trained; tomorrow, if we are not careful, it will be 100, and before we realise there is a parallel army somewhere.”
The government, he stated, needed to take some of the flak for the prevailing situation because if they had put in place adequate security arrangements, there would be “no need for some persons to want to arrange extra security from somewhere”.
He said instances during which members of the NPP had been assaulted by security men, with some being either severely wounded or being maimed in the process, had contributed to a lack of faith in state security agencies by the opposition.
“So I will fault both sides: the NPP has no right to form a parallel security agency for the election or for their private security, and neither does the NDC, even if their leaders are political appointees,” added Mr Ibrahim.