National Security Capo, has given a strong assurance that his outfit is ready to “deal smoothly, ruthlessly and drastically” with anybody or group of persons, who might want to foment trouble after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the election petition.
According to the ex-Commanding Officer of the 64 Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Larry Anthony Gbevlo-Lartey (Rtd), “…the strong arm of the state is there. The beast in the state will come out when it has to come out. It doesn’t come out every day….” adding, “law abiding Ghanaians don’t want anything untoward to happen”.
He revealed that at the recent meeting with the National Chairmen of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Kwabena Adjei and Jacob Nii Lantei Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, respectively, the National Security Council was assured that the political parties, will not favour any civil unrest, and that troublemakers should be dealt with drastically, and this he said will be done.
Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, who had some stint with United Nation (UN), described his outfits’ interaction with bodies, such as National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), Peace Council, National Media Council (NMC), civil society organizations, religious leaders and the security agencies revealed that everybody wants a peaceful mind to go about their daily activities, adding even school children want to play in peace.
“We have a duty of care for our children, our mothers, our sister and how do we do that, we have to maintain law and order. And to do that well, that is what the security agencies are taught to do, to maintain law and order”, National Security Coordinator said, while speaking on Accra-based Radio Gold, yesterday.
From the many consultations and interactions from these bodies, he was sure “peace will not breakdown” after tomorrow’s verdict by the Supreme Court.
“We have to sing from the same hymn book, so that we can deal with the bad guys together. Those kind of guys who say that God should mind his own business, are the kind of guys we will deal with”. So I think we have a consensus that law and order should not breakdown. Things should not get out of control. And I think we are working together nicely”.
National Security Capo, disclosed that, based on the security assessment that his outfit has done, nothing untoward would happen which their plans and level of preparedness cannot swiftly respond to and avert any disorder.
When it was suggested to him by the host of the programme, Alhassan Suhuyini, that law abiding citizens were rather heard begging for peace, instead of the security agencies rather ensuring that there is peace by using the strong arm of the state to deal with troublemakers, Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey said,”…the strong arm of the state is there. The beast in the state will come out when it has to come out. It doesn’t come out every day.”
He went on “I quiet think personally, that the effort that is going on is not about begging, but identifying the drivers of insecurity and talking about them and creating awareness and I thing that is good. What is happening is good. Creating awareness is good…that hey please don’t let us go there. Don’t let us unlock that beast of the state. We are looking at it that way and we are happy with that”.
In his opinion, there is nothing like excessive “peace preaching” but awareness creation on the need for peace, and the National Security Council is happy with the situation so far, but any person who will fall short of the law will be dealt, adding that the peace messages are to ensure that citizens are law abiding.
On the US circular to its citizens in Ghana, he said, it was a normal situation and that the security agencies are in control and nothing will happen under the watch of those in-charge of the country.
Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey rubbished a publication by “The Independent Newspaper” for alleging that some Ghanaians, mostly “top politicians are flying out of the country in droves together with their relatives to safety”.
He described the newspaper’s front-page publication with a screaming headline “Top politicians fly out for fear of ‘bloodshed” as “a complete trash”, adding that reportage should be discarded.
The National Security Capo, who at this point sounded worried over the newspaper’s article told the host that he personally would want to meet with the editor of that newspaper for a chat.
“That article is in a very bad taste, I will love to have a chat with the editor of that paper. But these are some of the things we have been talking about. This is a complete driver of insecurity. What evidence does he have? And that article is written in such a way that gives the impression, as if he has talked to the diplomatic missions here and they have given him the impression that people are coming for visas and what not”.
“Look this is complete trash, if I should say, so far as our assessments are concerned, so far as the information we are collecting are concerned, so far as the intelligence available to our developmental goals are concerned, there is no such thing and I will entreat everybody to just stay calm and remain here ,we will deal with the situation”, he assured.
The paper claimed that, “information available to it from some foreign missions in Ghana indicates that several high profile personalities, including politicians, top business men and women have already secured travelling documents for relatives to leave the country and observe what might happen after the verdict and return if need be”.
But Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, rubbished all the claims contained in the publication, challenging the newspaper why it could not indicate accurately in the article which embassy officials the paper had spoken with.
According to him, the media is a very powerful tool and platform which can be used for good or bad, because it is the main source of emitting information”, adding that “things that happen on this platform could be drivers of insecurity”.
“We are happy with their commitment and effort, we think it is sincere, we will work with them and we will deal very smoothly and drastically with anybody who thinks that he can take the state for a ride”, he warned.
He noted that the media if not used cautiously can disrupt the peace and unity which the country has enjoyed over the years.
The National Security boss has, meanwhile pleaded with media houses and owners not to activate phone lines during live feed programmes.
He further, implored the general public to report any incident or foul play to the nearest security agency without hesitation so that the culprits would be dealt with drastically, noting that the security agencies are to maintain peace, law and order.
He found no justification for an individual to be violent just because his or her party has lost.
The National Security Capo, urged all Ghanaians to remain calm and law abiding, assuring that the security agencies are poised to ensuring that peace in the country is safeguarded after the Supreme Court had declared its verdict tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a former National Security Coordinator, Kofi Bentum Quantson, also insisted that there is no need to panic as the nation awaits the Supreme Court verdict, while also speaking to Radio Ghana.
He noted that Ghanaians have entrusted the Judiciary with a mandate he believes the Judges would carry out with distinction.
Mr. Quantson, was of the view that a lot has been said concerning the need to maintain peace, as education has also been carried out, stressing that what is most important now is the strict enforcement of the law.
The ex-Director of Bureau of National (BNI) said, no one has a right to engage in violence, therefore, if people fell short, they must be dealt with drastically.