General News of Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Source: The Daily Searchlight
President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday stormed into the troubled town of Bawku in the Upper East Region without his convoy and his assigned security and medical cover in what many security experts are now describing as a major security breach.
Interestingly, he was also chauffeured around Bawku by a Deputy Minister of Education, who has no training in security matters and driving under highly sensitive conditions, such as when a dignitary comes under attack under convoy conditions.
For hours, the Daily Searchlight can reveal that the President exposed himself without his trained security staff and even medical personnel being close by in case of any emergency.
Coming on the heels of the nation losing its leader under questionable circumstances, many security experts have described the President's conduct as amounting to recklessness.
A highly placed official who was present has told the Daily Searchlight that the President's decision was possibly politically motivated and that he took undue risk with his life without giving adequate thought to the possible effect on the rest of the nation.
This newspaper can reveal that at the time the President had dispatched his team of vehicles and security cover to Bolgatanga, where the Regional Minister, Chiefs, party sympathizers and his advanced security team had to wait for hours for him.
At that time, however, the President had taken the highly irregular decision to make a detour to Bawku by helicopter, flying with only his ADC and the Minister for Interior without any security escort and an advanced security team.
In the company of the Interior Minister, the helicopter carrying President Mahama landed at the Dadura Park to the great surprise of the people of the area and a hastily cobbled together assemble three Land Cruisers drove from the park to the house of the paramount chief of Bawku.
What many considered as a security breach was the very noticeable absence of the existing security men on the ground and an advanced security team both plain cloth and uniformed security personnel to ascertain the state of security in the town.
The President then went further to endanger his life by allowing the Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Mahama Ayariga to drive him in his personal car with registration number GN 9103-11 all throughout his unscheduled voyage to Bawku.
On condition of anonymity, a captain from the Airborne Force in an interview held that what the President did in Bawku amounted to a breach of security which could have given him out as a target to anybody including the security in Bawku.
“What President Mahama did was very surprising to all of us. How can you come to a place like Bawku unnoticed and even allow yourself to be driven by Ayariga who himself is not safe in Bawku?” the Captain questioned.
Residents of Bawku were very surprised when news broke that President Mahama was in Bawku, to the surprise of many especially the flood victims whom it was alleged the President came to visit, no assurance was given by the President as to when relief items will be sent to them.