Nana Talks On Security

The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) yesterday made a major policy statement on peace and security in the country at Koforidua, the Eastern regional capital, as the country prepares for general elections on December 7. Nana Addo dispelled vile propaganda by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) that if he became president, he would change the core functions of the military because he had been a crusader against military rule. “Yes, I have been a leading figure that had stood against military dictatorship and fought hard for democratic rule but that does not mean I hate the military. It is weird for some top government officials to tell men of the Ghana Armed Forces that I would turn soldiers into farmers and also review the single spine for security personnel to get money for the free senior high school education policy of the NPP when NPP is voted into power,” he said, stressing that it was only desperate political opponents who would say that the NPP was anti-military. “Akufo-Addo has made his vision for the free senior high school and how the policy would be funded clear; so it is bad for some politicians to go round that single spine for security personnel would be cancelled. After all, it was the NPP that introduced the single spine policy so how can I stop it from working?” he asked. He said during the Kufuor regime, the relationship between men in uniform and civilians was enhanced and the military were made to co-exist with civilians while they were made to understand that they were there for civilians and their safety as well as the defence of the country for the enhancement of democracy. He said a modern edifice was built by the NPP government to house the Ministry of Defence while a rewarding retirement package was put in place for military personnel who went on retirement. Nana Addo stated that efforts were made by the Kufuor administration to construct more accommodation facilities for military personnel in the country, adding that NDC government had rather made the military look like a surrogate of the government. “The moment NDC took over power, the recruitment of about 900 able-bodied Ghanaians who were to undergo training was stopped surreptitiously, trying to tag those young Ghanaians as NPP foot-soldiers,” he said. According to Nana Akufo-Addo, NDC sympathizers who brutalized NPP supporters during by-elections at Akwatia, Chereponi and Atiwa had been left free while NPP sympathizers who had been wrongly accused of attacking political opponents had been harassed by security agents. “We are in the country where the law works for one group of people while the others are left to fend for themselves,” he stated. Nana Akufo-Addo explained that apart from the politicization of the military by the NDC government, the military were facing numerous and complicated problems. “An NPP government under Nana Akufo-Addo will provide more access for professional training, improve the living conditions of military personnel and better equip the military to protect the territorial boundaries of the country, especially when the country now is exporting oil in commercial quantity,” he stressed. He said an NPP administration would ensure that the rent paid by military personnel for accommodation would be judiciously used to renovate all military barracks. On the police, the NPP flagbearer said NPP government would equip the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police Service with modern gadgets which would enhance their investigative work. He added that the NPP would collaborate with the leadership of the Police Service to know problems facing the police and help solve them timely to enable the police to perform their work professionally. He said the importance of the work of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) came to bear during the recent Melcom disaster, stressing on the need to properly equip the GNFS. He emphasized that under the NPP, the fire service would be properly resourced so that it would discharge its duties and protect property. Commenting on the Prison Service, the NPP flagbearer said the service looked like the forgotten security service but an NPP government, which did more for the service under Kufuor, would build another modern medium prison in the northern part of the country to help decongest prisons. He stated that he would also ensure that the living conditions of Prison Service personnel are improved so that they perform their duties professionally. On security during the December 7 general elections, Nana Akufo-Addo entreated all security agencies to know that they were there for all Ghanaians and not for any particular group of people, urging them to discharge their duties professionally to protect the peace of the country. “I want to assure the Ghanaian people that I totally stand for peace because we have fought hard to bring the country to this level and will not do anything to disturb the peace of this nation,” he stated. He called President Mahama not to give mere rhetoric to peace but show real commitment to peace. According to Nana, currently, some NDC supporters were constantly attacking NPP supporters in the Asutifi and Asunafo areas of the Brong Ahafo Region and asked the president to ensure that all those visiting brutalities on political opponents are arrested and prosecuted. Present at the security policy presentation, which was under the topic ‘Maintaining Peace and Security, Transforming Ghana’, were some retired army and police officers including the former Chief of Defence Staff, Lt-Gen J.B. Danquah (rtd), General Sam (rtd), Major-General R.E. Baiden (rtd), Major-General Adu-Amanfo (rtd), Brigadier-Gen Oppong Kyekyeku, Air Commodore Rex Acquah, Brig-Gen R.A. Sackey, Commissioner of Police(COP) Asiamah (rtd) and DCOP Akrofi Asiedu.