Staging a coup doesn’t require a full ammunition depot – Antwi-Danso
A Security Analyst, Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso has urged Ghanaians to be open-minded about the alleged plot by some persons to destabilize the nation, saying, an armoury is not needed to successfully remove a government.
He said people should not just look at the quantum of weapons retrieved from the arrested persons but to also critically examine whether there was a conspiracy to overthrow government or not.
“Who knows what they have done around Accra and across the country so that with any slightest spark or torch, it will begin to flame all over.”
Dr. Antwi-Danso was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the arrest of three men over their alleged plot to overthrow the Presidency.
Dr. Fredrick Yao Mac-Palm, a medical practitioner, Ezor Kafui, a local weapons manufacturer, and bright Allan Debrah Ofosu (aka BB), a freight forwarder, have been arrested and detained in connection with the reported destabilisation plot.
They were on Tuesday, September 24, arraigned at a Kaneshie District Court, and jointly charged with conspiracy to commit crime, manufacturing of arms and ammunition, as well as illegal possession of explosives, arms and ammunition.
They were remanded into the custody of the Bureau of National Investigation Department (BNI) and will make their next appearance on Wednesday, October 9.
Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, in a statement issued on Monday, September 23, announced that following a 15-month surveillance a joint security operation had neutralized an elaborate plot by the accused to destabilize the nation.
A swoop conducted by officers of the Defence Intelligence, Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service and the Bureau of National Investigation on Friday, September 20, also retrieved arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations in Accra, Bawaleshie, and Dodowa.
These included five locally manufactured pistols with magazines fitted on them, a foreign pistol with registration number PX154006, three locally manufactured pistol barrels and three smoke grenades.
Others were 22 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 9 x 7.62mm NATO AK47 rounds, two AK47 magazines and a long Knife at Citadel Hospital, Alajo, which is operated by Dr Mac-Palm.
Some security analysts, political and social commentators have, however, dismissed the possibility of anyone overthrowing a Government with the level of ammunition reportedly retrieved.
Some have also cast doubts on the capability of the individuals involved to successfully carry out such an operation in view of the solid credentials of the state security agencies.
But Dr Antwi-Danso who is also the Dean of Academic Affairs of the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College said “I disagree with those saying that oh… it’s just a few arms and bombs and so they can’t stage a coup. In fact, we don’t need much to destabilise a government.
“You may even intend to cause mischief or disaffection for the government; even a pair of scissors may be dangerous in the hands of someone who want to use it to attack a government official”.
He, therefore, asked Ghanaians to collaborate with the investigative and justice systems for the successful determination of the case in line with the rule of law.
The government’s statement said surveillance on the activities of the persons involved in the planned attack commenced in June 2018, when Dr. Mac-Palm and Debrah Ofosu started organizing a series of meetings at the Next-Door Beach Resort, in Teshie, and other locations in Accra, in furtherance of their objectives.
Between June and August 2018, BB, acting for and on behalf of Dr. Mac-Palm, contacted a number of serving military personnel, and talked them into hatching, and executing a plot to obtain weapons, take over key installations and secure funding for the purpose of taking over the reins of government.
In August 2018, Dr. Mac-Palm and two others, Kennedy Amoah and Dr. Albert Sam (based in the USA) formed a group called “Take Action Ghana” (TAG), under the guise of mobilising the youth for nation-building, education, health, and providing shelter to the needy.
Available evidence showed the intent was to build a support base of youth and radicalise them against the political authority in Ghana, it said.
In furtherance of this scheme, Dr Mac-Palm contracted one Mr. Ezor from Alavanyo to produce locally made weapons and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the operation.
In July 2019, Mr. Ezor set up a workshop in a container, originally used as an X-Ray laboratory, at the premises of Citadel Hospital, and started producing the weapons and IEDs in-house.
On 10th September 2019, Dr. Mac-Palm and Mr. Ezor procured from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, some essential chemicals to be mixed with gun powder, stone chippings, surgical needles and powdered pepper for their operations.
Dr Mac-Palm also contracted a worker at the Base Workshop in Burma Camp to supply 10 AK 47 riffles and made an advance payment of GH¢7,000.00.
On Thursday, 19th September 2019, at about 2300 hours, still under surveillance, Dr. Mac-Palm, Mr. Ezor, and one soldier went to an area close to the Laboma Beach to test some of the locally manufactured weapons.
The IEDs and all the exhibits are currently in the custody of the BNI, whilst investigations are being carried out for further action.