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Politics of Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Source: Dan Acheampong

Nana Addo justifies importing ‘mercenaries' to Ghana

Leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo says he sees nothing wrong with bringing mercenaries into the country to train his security detail.

Ghanaians woke up to the frightening news about a group of mercenaries brought into the country to train young men in various military drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques and rapid response maneuvers.

The mercenaries, all South Africans, have since been arrested and are in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) for engaging in acts that threaten state security.

The three, 54-year-old Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (Rtd.), 39-year–old WO/Denver Dwayhe Naidu (Rtd.) and 45-year-old Captain Mlungiseleli Jokani (Rtd.), were picked up on Sunday, March 20, 2016 at El Capitano Hotel in Agona Duakwa in the Central Region.

According to the BNI, the ex-police officers confessed they were invited by one Capt. Koda, Head of Security detail for NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo. The trio were said to be conducting their operations on the pretext that the young recruits were being trained for Delta Force Security, owned by Captain Kwesi Acquah (Rtd).

But the explanation does not sit down well with security analysts who have condemned the activity. They have subsequently asked the security apparatus to thoroughly investigate the matter.

According to Dr. Kingsley Agyei, a Political Science Lecturer at the University Of Cape Coast and also an expert in International Conflict Management, the development portends looming danger to the country’s peace and security and should therefore not be treated lightly, especially in an election year. Other security analysts and governance experts have also questioned the commitment of the NPP towards peace and security.

But Yaw Buabeng Asamoah a spokesperson for Nana Akufo-Addo disagrees with the position of the security analysts. He argues that the NPP led by its flag bearer are not taking any chances in the upcoming 2016 elections and will do anything and everything possible to win.

“All this noise about we (NPP) bringing in mercenaries is not an issue at all; it’s a diversionary tactic being employed by a desperate government that is hell bent on holding on to power. What is wrong with bringing mercenaries to come and train our security people? We have no regrets at all, and we won’t be distracted," he told Accra-based OKAY FM.

“NPP needs the South Africans to train its private security personnel very well so the party can face the NDC boot for boot,” an angry Mr Buabeng Asamoah added.

Meanwhile, reports have it that the South African Embassy in Ghana is conducting its own independent checks and investigations into the matter.

The Embassy is collaborating with Ghana’s security officials and will be seeking to profile the ex-police officers in question and also find out how they came into the country and with what Visa.

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