General News of Tuesday, 21 June 2016
President John Dramani Mahama appears to be jittery about his personal safety, in spite of the heavy security detail he has at his disposal 24 hours a day as he has requested for a pistol to protect himself.
The reason for the acquisition is not yet known but this may lead to the ordinary citizen also applying to own guns, especially when robbery attacks have been the order of the day in recent times, with even policemen dying in the line of duty from the hands of armed robbers.
Mr. Mahama is said to have imported a pistol and subsequently applied for a licence from the Arms and Ammunition Unit of the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
This is evident in a letter written and signed by the deputy Interior Minister, James Agalga, and addressed to the Director of Police CID dated August 27, 2015.
In that letter headlined, ‘Permission to import and license a pistol,’ – a copy of which has been stumbled upon by DAILY GUIDE – Mr. Agalga sought to approve the request by the president to enable him import and use the pistol.
“Permission is hereby granted to H.E John Dramani Mahama to import and license one pistol and two hundred (200) rounds of ammunition,” he stated.
The purpose, he noted, “is to request you to issue H.E John Dramani Mahama with a permit to import and license the items.”
The letter, which was copied to the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at its headquarters, the officer-in-charge of the Customs Division (of the GRA) at the Kotoka International Airport, the Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the National Security Coordinator and President Mahama himself, was supposed to expire on December 31, 2015.
The reasons for importing a pistol for the president was not stated but the letter indicated that the permit was not transferable.
But Deputy Interior, James Agalga who signed the letter is not forthcoming with information.
When DAILY GUIDE called him yesterday for an explanation, he declined to comment.
Instead, he sought to know why the paper was asking him the question as to whether or not he issued the permit.
Not even the explanation that the paper had stumbled on a letter to that effect could suffice as he still asked, “Why are you asking that question? Comment declined.”
Pressed further, he reacted with rage, asking rhetorically, “Do you want to put me under investigation? Do you want to put my office under investigation?” while noting with emphasis, “Whatever responses you want, you can’t get.”
It is not certain whether this state of insecurity compelled some of the security details of the president to use wild dogs during his recent tours in some parts of the country.
During some of those visits, some of the president’s close security guards who were seen in khaki uniforms rather than the regular uniforms used by the police and the military were seen handling huge dogs, thereby raising questions as to what had necessitated the use of such wild dogs to protect the president.
However, sources told DAILY GUIDE last night that presidents are taken through security drills, including handling of weapons, but had not seen them owning any.