The Member of Parliament for Garu, Akuka Albert Alalzuuga, has said the statement that was issued by the National Security Ministry in reaction to the military brutalities in Garu was a face-saving action.
He described the statement as an afterthought.
“What the National Security statement is about is a face-saving statement. This is an afterthought after the incident. I do not think that this is something that the National Security intended to put out there.
“When the incident happened and I was walking at night my attempt to reach the Police commander on the ground proved futile, I tried several times but I didn’t get him. I got the DCE online and when I asked him whether he was aware of this National Security operative who came earlier they all said they didn’t know, BNI officers also said they didn’t know, Regional Minister also said he didn’t know. So if all these didn’t know, what kind of operation they were going to conduct that these people did not know? ” he said on News 360 on TV3 Monday, October 30.
The Ministry of National Security explained the dawn military operation that took place in Garu in the Upper East Region.
Some residents of Garu and Bugri were injured following a dawn military operation in the communities.
The situation attracted flak from security analysts including Dr Adam Bonaa who said that the military invasion did not appear to be a counter-terrorism operation due to the assault on the people.
Dr Bonaa explained that the modus of operandi for fighting terrorism has been one that involves the locals to be able to win therefore, attacking them will rather be counter-productive to the efforts in fighting the terrorists.
“No country has been able to fight terrorism without the involvement of the people. and so if you are there claiming to be fighting terrorism then I will say you need the involvement of the people. This doesn’t look like an activity to counter terrorists, this looks like an operation to brutalize the people in the area,” he said on the mid-day news on TV3 Sunday October 29.
But the Ministry of National Security explained that on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 an irate youth group armed with AK 47 rifles, machetes and other weapons besieged a team of five counter-terrorism intelligence officers deployed by the Ministry of National Security to Garu on a critical, special operation.
Despite initial attempts to introduce themselves as National Security personnel, the Ministry said, the irate youth group proceeded to attack the officers by firing multiple gun shots at a black Toyota Land Cruiser in which the officers were seated.
Following an escalation of the attacks on their vehicle, the officers drove to seek refuge at the Garu Police Station.
“The irate youth, subsequently, pursued the officers, encircled the police station and fired multiple shots at same with the intention of killing the officers. The timely intervention of the Ghana Armed Forces enabled the safe evacuation of the National Security personnel from the Garu Police Station,” a statement by the Ministry on Sunday October 29 said.
Further to the aforesaid development, it added, the Ministry of National Security and the Ghana Armed Forces, on Saturday, October 28, 2023, conducted a joint operation in Garu to seize weapons used by the perpetrators of the attack on the National Security personnel.
“A number of the perpetrators have also been arrested. The Ministry of National Security deems the attack on the security personnel at a police station highly unacceptable, and strongly condemns acts aimed at intimidating and harming officials of State Security and Intelligence Agencies, and impeding them from effectively executing their mandate to safeguard the peace and stability of Ghana.
“Whereas the Ministry of National Security works to promote active citizen participation in safeguarding the peace and stability of our dear nation, deliberate acts that seek to jeopardise the lives of personnel of State Security and Intelligence Agencies will not be countenanced.
“The Ministry owes it a duty to protect personnel of State Security and Intelligence Agencies who have sworn an oath to, at all times, defend the people and the territorial integrity of Ghana against all forms of threats,” the statement said.
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.