General Politics

Muntaka justifies military protection for Bagbin

The withdrawal of four soldiers attached to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has negative implications for Ghana’s democracy, the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak has said.

Muntaka Mubarak on Eyewitness News said the explanation given for the withdrawal was baseless, as the government had given some of its officials’ military protection without following standard procedure.

“The attempt to explain away this shameful thing that has happened is a challenge. I want to find out which procedures were followed. What they are doing is a bad precedent and it has the tendency to threaten the democracy that we have. This democracy has been there for thirty years and we must do everything to safeguard it,” he said.

Since the withdrawal, some have accused the governing New Patriotic Party of being selective since the former Speaker, Prof. Mike Oquaye also enjoyed protection from the military.

Mr Ocquaye has however denied this claim, insisting that he never enjoyed military protection.

Mr. Muntaka, in response, said the Speaker’s military protection was justified, given the high level of threats he had received since assuming his role.

“Because of the threat level, and coming from a different party either than the party of the executive, poses a threat to the Speaker. Nobody can take this away. The area where he comes from, the closeness to our neighboring countries that are already having challenges and each time he was moving a number of things were taken into consideration.”

“If it takes one year for the military in our country to tell us that it is now they have realised an anomaly, there is a lot to explain.”

‘Withdrawal not politically motivated’
The Majority caucus in Parliament has refuted suggestions that the withdrawal was politically motivated.

In a statement, the Majority said the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, has benefited from the “largest number of security personnel for his protection that none of the previous Speakers had.”

“He has four police officers in his known residence. He has three police officers in his secretariat, and he has five other policemen in and around the Speaker’s office block any day, any time,” the statement said.

“This has not been a regular feature in Parliamentary Security considerations,” the statement added.

The Majority also said it saw no problem with the military attempting to regularise the military security detail.

“In the event, if the military insists on regularising his security detail, how does that compromise the Speaker’s security, or put him in harm’s way as the Speaker himself has stated?”


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