The decision by President Nana Akufo-Addo, to appoint several party people into the security setup, has left his appointees, seriously struggling for power and control of the nation’s apex security establishment.
The Herald, has credible information from state security apparatus, detailing how the National Security Coordinator, Joshua Kyeremeh and the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, are involved in a silent war.
On the side of the National Security Minister is his counterpart, Minister of State at the National Security, Bryan Acheampong.
Sources say, the power game, has been going on for many months now, and there seems to be no end in sight yet.
Currently at the National Security Secretariat, are the National Security Minister, Minister of State at the National Security, National Security Coordinator, with a National Security Advisor at the seat of government; the Flagstaff House.
The power play, this paper is reliably informed, stems from the fact that, whereas the National Security Coordinator, has his powers conferred on him by the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act (Act 526) of 1996, the National Security Minister, has none; his position is not backed by law, but the dictate of President Akufo-Addo.
The appointment of two ministers; National Security Minister and Minister of State at the National Security has, therefore, created an awkward situation at the National Security Secretariat, as to who is answerable to whom.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah, upon assumption of office, occupied the office of the National Security Coordinator, while Mr. Kyeremeh, had to take over what used to be occupied by the Deputy National Security Coordinator.
Another thorny issue at the secretariat, is who should be the spending officer.
Whereas Mr. Kyeremeh, feels he is empowered by the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, to be signing for and dishing out money for operations, Mr. Kan-Daapah, strongly believes his position as National Security Minister empowers him to be in-charge of National Security funds.
But it has been argued that Mr. Kan-Dapaah, does not see files like the Coordinator, hence cannot be in-charge of the funds meant for operations at the secretariat.
To clear this confusion which is in the known of the top brass of the national security, Mr. Kan-Daapah and Bryan Acheampong, are feverishly working to make changes in the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act to regularize the role of the National Security Minister, so that he can command authority over the Coordinator.
Again, it is argued that in the event that the Ministers’ intentions manifest, the mandate of some state institutions involved in security matters, will have some of their routine activities reduced; especially the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
They also see an anomaly coming with the BNI director, elevated to the level of National Security Coordinator, thus deepening power crisis within the state security apparatus.
Bryan Acheampong, is said to be lobbying the heads of security agencies to accept their suggestions that, the law must be reviewed to recognize the Minister of National Security.
Mr. Acheampong, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Abetifi Constituency in the Eastern region, is said to be talking to the various security agencies like the Ghana Armed Forces and the Police Service to get their endorsements.
The young lawmaker, this paper is informed, is finding it difficult to convince some of the security capos.
Recently, in one of the meetings of security commanders, when the Minister of State raised the issue, the commanders, this paper was told, did not take it kindly with him. They shot it down, preferring to maintain the status quo.
But the Minister, is reportedly not given up on the agenda, and brings the topic up at the least opportunity for discussion.
He is now said to be using the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, to convince his colleagues in the security sector.
Some have argued that the turf war, has somewhat led to the insecurity that has engulfed the country, as a result of unclear roles and mandates.
Their eyes are not fixed on the ball as the President had envisaged. They are rather focused on who stays in which office, who gets the biggest file and who has his mandate created by the Constitution of Ghana or statute.
Insiders say, everyone feels he is the boss, therefore unable to define their roles properly, and also they are unable to come together to solve the security challenges bedeviling the country.
More to come!