Minister Security Minister Lied, Ghana Armed Forces Trained Them
The Herald’s continuous investigations into the violent gun attacks by some black masked men during the by-election at the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency last week, have revealed more shocking details on the thugs, including the use of state military facility, its expertise and equipment in private hands.
It has emerged that, the men had been trained and heavily armed with AK-47 and G3 assaults riffles, and put on red alert for deployment for political thuggery by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
This paper’s information on the political thugs is that, they were trained at the dreaded 64 Battalion of Infantry training grounds at Asutwere in the Shai Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region belonging to the Ghana Armed Forces.
A particular picture of some 13 men dressed in black uniforms and boldly holding assault rifles with ear protective gears and goggles to protect their eyes, has been traced to the 64 Battalion of Infantry training grounds, a strategic ground meant for commando training.
This means Ghana’s military had in connivance with politicians trained party thugs in military drills, tactics and weapon handling and let them lose, thus putting Ghanaians at the risk of death as happened in the by-elections at the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency.
Additional information gleaned from last Thursday gun violence attacks which left nearly 20 people injured was that the regular personnel of the National Security Secretariat, had no knowledge of the operations.
Indeed, the black polo-shirts with the NSC – National Security Council embossed on them and worn by the thugs to the by-election, were seen for the first time by the regular operatives during the by-election, meaning it was printed purposely for that violent operation.
The Herald learnt that aside those who went to the by-election, no other officer of the National Security, has been given the polo-shirts, implying therefore that the claim by Minister of State in charge of National Security, Mr Bryan Acheampong, that the black masked armed men,were there to retrieve weapons, as well as arrest armed men on the side of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was a calculated to hoodwink the public on the operations.
They had stormed the home of the NDC candidate, Delali Brempong, to arrest the so-called gun men who had been camped his house.
They could not find anyone and so they shot and injured supporters of the opposition party in the house, after which they moved to the Presby polling station at La-Bawaleshie beating and shooting people there, including Sam George, the NDC MP for Ningo Prampram.
It was further revealed that, there were some foreign elements in the deployment. They were said to have been camped at the Osu Castle in Accra and sent out in other vehicles, including pickups to various polling stations in the Constituency to foment trouble.
Another squad made up of the NPP’s Invincible Forces and a few regular police officers, had also moved to the National Security Secretariat, popularly called the Castle Annex were onboard the SWAT vehicle to the various polling stations to beat up the innocent people.
Although, they had moved from different places to carry out the operations all of them were under the command of the SWAT Commander at NSC, DSP Samuel Kojo Azugu, who is also under the direct command of Col Michael Kwadwo Opoku, the Director of Operations at NSC.
It was further revealed that, another group were camped in a private house known to Minister of State in charge of National Security, Mr Bryan Acheampong, it is from that house that a picture of them emerged with the thugs holding sophisticated weapons and fully dressed in the brown khaki and black verse, as though they were going to war. Claims are that the said house belongs to the Minister, a charge he has denied.
On the masks issue, this paper learnt that, they were deliberately masked to conceal their true identities from the public, because they feared those who know them, could recognize them as non-members of the regular Police SWAT team stationed at the Castle Annex.
Meanwhile, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Kwesi Jonah, has charged the police to probe Bryan Acheampong, for the violent attacks during the by-election.
His comments come after the Abetifi MP, said the gunmen involved in the shooting incident at La-Bawaleshie during the election on Thursday, January 31, 2019 were National Security operatives.
The shooting incident forced the main opposition party to pull out of the election on the grounds of safety.
IDEG has, therefore, condemned the violence, describing it as an affront to the country’s democracy.
Dr Jonah who believes the violence could escalate during the 2020 general elections if not tackled by security agencies, said if Bryan Acheampong was able to link the gunmen to the National Security, then the police has to invite him for questioning.
“If someone has been able to own up, the police must invite that person…the law is a respecter of no person,” Dr Jonah told Kwame Minkah, Host of Ete Sen on Radio XYZ 93.1 Monday morning.
Asked if the police can find the masked men, Dr. Jonah mentioned Mr Acheampong as the only person who can help the police to unveil the heavily built men.
“That person who said he knows them can show the real identity of the masked men,” he added.
Meanwhile, a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev Professor Emmanuel Martey, has condemned in no uncertain terms the attacks on NDC members during the by-elections.
Prof Martey, who described the shooting as “cruel” and “monstrous” said “the violence and insecurity that day ridiculed the democratic credentials of this nation” and expressed shock at the “presence of masked heavily built men under the guise of National Security at some polling stations.”
“The participation of these men at the by-election was unnecessary and no amount of security explanation can justify such a cruel and monstrous display of security,” he added.
“Are we ridiculing the rule of law in this country? How could members of parliament, also leaders of this country, be assaulted for no crime committed and guns shot in a private house on an election day to disrupt voting at the La-Bawaleshie Presbyterian polling station near the house where the guns were fired? ” he quizzed.
In what seems to be what some Ghanaians have been saying to him, Prof Martey said: “When good people keep quiet, evil people take over. Enough is enough. We’re not in a jungle state.”