Peacefmonline.com can authoritatively confirm that the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Alban S.K. Bagbin has been stripped bare off his military protection; an action which the Speaker is clearly unenthused about.
Hitherto, the Speaker had four military personnel attached to his protection outfit.
The officers, WO1 Jafaru Bunwura, WOII Apugiba Awine David, S/Sgt Agbley Prosper and Sgt. Bonney Prince have been serving Bagbin’s office since he became Speaker in January 2021.
It is unclear the reason(s) for the withdrawal of these military personnel.
But a letter dated 11th January, 2022, cited by Peacefmonline and signed by Major General Nicholas Peter Andoh, the Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters of GAF, ordered the four soldiers to return to base by January 14, 2022, saying they were "attached to the Office of the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament without the proper procedure."
“It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment,” the letter from the GAF Chief of Staff to the Speaker said.
Meanwhile the Rt. Hon Bagbin has described the action as "untenable".
A statement issued by the Speaker’s Office questioned the withdrawal of the four military officers saying the action "hints at the possibility of a plot to place the safety and security of the Speaker in harm's way."
To him, this is a "bad precedent" and "detracts from the political gains that Ghana has made", and further warned that "if it is an attempt to gag the Speaker, this move will serve to only widen the gap between the legislature and the other arms of government."
Read the full statement below:
RT. HON. SPEAKER, ALBAN S.K. BAGBIN, STRIPPED OFF SECURITY COVER
The office of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Alban S.K. Bagbin, has taken note of the withdrawal of four military officers posted to assist in the protection of the Speaker.
The attempt to strip the Speaker off security protection is untenable.
In a country that takes pride in its democratic institutions and processes, the decision to reduce the number of security personnel assigned to the Speaker detracts from the political gains that Ghana has made, and is a bad precedent.
The unknown reason for such a move is puzzling, but the real motive should be obvious to all objective observers of the political scene in Ghana. If it is an attempt to gag the Speaker, this move will serve to only widen the gap between the legislature and the other arms of government. It also hints at the possibility of a plot to place the safety and security of the Speaker in harm’s way.
The citizens of this country yearned for an effective separation of powers as well as check and balance, and voted to have a hung Parliament. They are looking for a lot more consultation, consensus building and dialogue. This move contrasts with that and certainly is a bad precedent.
In decisions such as these, we must ensure that we are guided by the overall interest of this country and the sustenance of our democracy and its institutions.
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