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NDC Fumes Over Bryan Acheampong

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Bryan Acheampong

The recent changes in the security architecture of the country and
the probability of more coming have rattled members of the opposition National
Democratic Congress (NDC).

Their General-Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, started lamenting
the moment news broke on Thursday that President Akufo-Addo had reshuffled the Minister
of State at the National Security, Bryan Acheampong, to the Ministry of the
Interior.

His obvious aversion and his party in general to the movement of Mr.
Acheampong, who doubles as Member of Parliament (MP) for Abetifi in the Eastern
Region, has prompted him to come out hard on the President’s decision.

In his first public reaction to the President’s decision, the NDC
General-Secretary claimed that the action was an affront to the work of the Justice
Emile Short Commission which probed the violence that erupted during the
Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election in Accra early last year.

He said the commission made findings against some of the security officials
including the Minister of State who supervised the by-election and should not
be given enhanced powers over the security of the country.

Presidents have over the years, especially under the NDC, do such
changes, especially in election years.

Opposition Schemes

With intelligence clearly pointing at the opposition NDC planning to
breach public security, analysts have found the President’s action as in order.

The national chairman of the NDC is currently in court over alleged
leaked audio detailing strategies the NDC intends to use for 2020 elections,
one being the kidnappings of family members of political opponents.

The party’s Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, has also
been captured encouraging his party hierarchy to consider street demonstrations
and possibly sitting in at the Electoral Commission (EC) and also taking over
the streets of Accra in their effort to prevent the commission from compiling a
new voters’ register.

Open Criticism

According to Mr. Nketia, Mr. Acheampong, in his new position, would
be able to ‘cause mayhem’ during the 2020 polls.

“This is someone who deployed thugs who caused mayhem at a
by-election, for which reason a commission was established. The commission came
and declared the action as unlawful and recommended that he should be
punished,” he said.

“Now, what President Akufo-Addo has done is to tell members of the
Emile Short Commission that they should go to hell and tell anybody who is
worried about vigilantism to go to hell. This action is going to legitimize the
conduct of Bryan Acheampong and give him the legitimate authority to deploy
thugs they have trained in the police to be deployed for election security,” he
added.

There is no gainsaying the fact the NDC hit by the changes would
include it in their pre-2020 polls agenda.

Former President John Mahama, who is staging a comeback for the NDC
in 2020, has not left anybody in doubt about how his party intends to react to
the new voters’ register and other emanating issues in the country.

He has been quoted as saying that the EC chairperson should be held
responsible for violence in the country.

He has since incurred public opprobrium for what has been described as
verbal recklessness from a former President.

Short Report

The Emile Short Commission whose recommendations a government white
paper rejected because they were not hinged upon basis is what  Mr. Nketia is standing on to discredit the
changed security role of Mr. Acheampong.

The President also brought the Deputy Minister of the Interior,
Henry Quartey, to the National Security Ministry.

With the Army now having a new Chief of Army Staff and the General
Headquarters a new Chief of Staff and the Inspector-General of Police recently
ordering some movements, the Commander-in-Chief is set for an election year
nuances. He has told the world that he would ensure peaceful elections and has
started just that with the security apparatus’ realignments and still counting.

The NDC’s violent body language could be responsible for the government abiding by the dictum ‘to be forewarned is to be forearmed.’

By A.R. Gomda

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