By Bubu Klinogo
The Minority in Parliament says it is saddened and strongly denounces the withdrawal of the military detail attached to the office of the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin with effect from the 14th of January, 2022.
This is because the attachment was done without following proper procedure.
In a statement, the Minority said the government failed to spell out the procedure for the attachment of military personnel to high profile personalities such as the Speaker of Parliament. It said if the action of the military high command is in good faith, the irregularity in relation to the attachment could be rectified without necessarily having to withdraw the personnel.
According to the Minority, the only logical conclusion a reasonable mind would draw with respect to the failure of government to indicate the nature of the procedure supposedly breached by Mr. Speaker’s outfit is that proper procedure was followed for which reason the military high command had no difficulty attaching the Military Personnel in question to his office.
If said, the Clerk to Parliament on the 21st of this month did write to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and duly requested the attachment of the military personnel in question.
At this point, the Chief of Staff did not detect any procedural irregularities in relation to Mr Speaker’s request. However, one year on, the same Chief of Staff who on behalf of the military high command granted the request now wants Ghanaians to believe that he acted in error in the first instance.
The Minority said the posturing of the Chief of Staff in this regard is to say the least preposterous. Adding that the attachment of military personnel to the office of the Speaker is not an isolated incident at all. For instance, members of the executive branch of government other than the President and Vice President who are below the Speaker of Parliament in terms of status and rank as provided for in the constitution have at various times had soldiers attached to their offices.
A notable example is the current Attorney General and Minister of Justice who, even as deputy Attorney General had a soldier for his bodyguard.
Another example of a State official below the Speaker in terms of status and rank who roams in town with military protection is the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Madam Jean Mensa.
Deducing from this, the minority is certain that the action of the military high command relative to the withdrawal of Mr. Speaker’s security detail is politically motivated and calculated to diminish his confidence in his bid to impartially and independently steer the affairs of the legislative arm of government. The Minority said it shall hold the government of President Akufo Addo responsible should the security of Mr Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament be compromised in any way.