The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall Michael Samson-Oje, has warned that the security agencies will deal ruthlessly with any person or group of people who will attempt to foment trouble before during and after the general elections.
He warned that “the security agencies would not sit down for the country to be destroyed for the sake of people seeking political power”.
“As security personnel, we have seen a number of countries that have been devastated as a result of people seeking political power”, he said, and stated that they would not allow that to happen in Ghana.
The CDS gave the warning on Saturday, when he addressed members of the National Security Task Force at the Black Star Square, after a four-and-half hour march through some principal streets of Accra.
The march, dubbed ‘Mechanised route march’, was to show the preparedness of the personnel and to also display their newly acquired equipment ahead of the upcoming elections.
Air Marshall Sampson-Oje said the stakes were very high with a few weeks to the elections, and as security agencies, they would not allow anybody to mess the country up.
“We in the military and our colleagues in the other security services who have had the opportunity to travel around the world on peace-support operations, have seen what wars have done to those countries that we were privileged to serve in”, he said.
He indicated that even those who did not have the opportunity to visit those countries had seen the devastating effects of wars and conflicts on television and other media channels.
What was pertinent to note, he said, was that most of the wars and conflicts especially in Africa had arisen out of elections and power struggle.
The CDS noted that some time now, every election periods in the country had been times of tension due to comments and actions of some people.
“This is an unfortunate situation which, if not well handled, can lead to undesirable consequences.
“We do not want the sad situation which has been the lot of some countries to befall our beloved country”, he stated.
Air Marshall Samson-Oje said the security agencies were resolved and committed to do whatever the constitution mandated them to do, by ensuring that the integrity of the country was preserved and that there was peace before, during and after the elections.
“This is what we are determined to do, and we shall do it to the best of our abilities”, he stated.
Apart from exhibiting their readiness for the elections, the CDS said the walk was to also send a signal to those intending to disrupt the electioneering process and jeopardise the peace and tranquillity of the country.
For his part, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. John Kudalor, said since the inception of the fourth Republic, the security agencies had contributed immensely to ensuring the success of the country’s democratic and constitutional rule.
“Indeed, we have the obligation to protect the peace and security which had been maintained over the years” he said.
The IGP, therefore, warned that the security agencies would henceforth, go after anybody whose utterances posed a threat to the peace and stability of the country.
“This also applies to those who rain unwarranted insults on the leadership of the security services in the bid to run down, discredit and ridicule their personalities in the media”.
Mr. Kudalor said while the security agencies welcomed constructive criticisms, they would not tolerate vulgar insults from individuals and groups in the name of politics and freedom of speech.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour