Important persons are travelling around with state protection at the expense of taxpayers – Baffour Agyeman-Duah

Prof Baffour Agyemang-Duah

Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, a former Senior Governance Adviser to the United Nations Mission in Liberia, has stated that important persons are travelling around with state protection at the expense of taxpayers when there is no true need for it.

He explained that security officer deployment should be based on a real-time threat assessment of a situation to determine the need.

The Chief Executive Officer of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation made these remarks in an interview with TV3’s Noble Crosby Annan on the Midday News on Monday, January 17 in relation to the Ghana Armed Forces’ withdrawal of military personnel from the Speaker of Parliament’s office (GAF).

He applauded the removal of the soldIers, claiming that it will help to streamline the system.

“Now we are backing the military’s support for the Speaker,” he said when asked if the withdrawal of the soldiers leaves the Speaker vulnerable in terms of security. For what purpose? This whole notion of security protection seemed to me to have become a status symbol rather than a genuine requirement. DCEs are sometimes seen at functions with police officers holding their bags, and our ministers are accompanied by cops, all without any genuine danger.

“The more we deploy our security personnel for private use like we are talking about we have to remember that the state resources we are using or abusing. So my point is that unless there is a security threat that has been assessed , if that threat requires military protection and so the agencies will in their wisdom will certainly deploy their military’s. Other than that the Police should be in charge always. So withdrawing the Military is not making the Speaker is not making the Speaker naked. Withdrawing the Military is in fact streamlining.”

He reiterated that “the issue of security must be treated very carefully because people’s lives depend on it. The issue of security protection in most democracies, we have what we call permanent protection for the executives. If you go to the United States for instance, they formed a special group fully dedicated for presidential protection .

“All other kinds of protections are interim and temporary depending on the security threats to those individuals or institutions. So, when we talk of giving security it has got to be based on a threat assessment which basically is the process whereby you evaluate and verify perceived threats including their likelihood.

“In that respect, if you look at the Speaker for that matter you just have to find out whether there is a current threat to the person and the nature of the threats, based on that you devise the protection.

“Another point to make on this important conversation is that when it comes to the military we have to be careful. If in fact military protection was provided over the years, to speakers I will be surprised and it was wrong.

“Because I think such individuals do not require military protection. We have to be careful and avoid militarizing civilian governments just as we should avoid civilizing the Military. We have Police and many other security agencies who can do the job unless there is a serious need for a combat battalion to provide protection”, he concluded.

Source: Richard Mensah Adonu | Join our Telegram Group


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