Minority Chief Whip: Speaker’s soldiers’ withdrawal has negative implications

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

He said the explanation given for the withdrawal was baseless, as the government had given some of its officials’ military protection without following standard procedures which was a challenge and would find out which procedures were followed.

“The attempt to explain away this shameful decision is a bad precedent and it has the tendency to threaten the democratic governance being practiced since democracy has been there for 30 years and we must do everything to safeguard it,” Alhaji Muntaka bemoaned.

According to him, the Speaker’s military protection was justified, given high level of threats he had received since assuming his role, because of the level of threat, and coming from a different party either than the party of the Executive, poses threat to Mr Bagbin.

“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 issues were taken into consideration and if it takes one year for the military in our country to tell us it is now they have realised an anomaly, there is a lot to explain,” Alhaji Muntaka decried.

Since the withdrawal, some have accused the governing New Patriotic Party of being selective since the former Speaker, Professor Mike Oquaye also enjoyed protection from the military however, denied the claim and insisted he never enjoyed military protection.

The Majority caucus in Parliament has refuted suggestions the withdrawal was politically motivated and stated in a statement Mr Bagbin, had benefited from the largest number of security personnel for his protection none of the previous Speakers had.

It said the Speaker had four police officers in his residence, three police officers in his secretariat, five other policemen in and around his office block any day and any time which had not been regular feature in parliamentary security considerations and realised no problem with military attempting to regularise military security detail.

The statement said In the event the military insisted on regularising the Speaker’s security detail, it does not compromise his security, or put him in harm’s way as the Speaker himself hadstated. –

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