The Office of the Speaker of Parliament has condemned what it said was the withdrawal of four military officers posted to offer protection to the leader of the legislature.
In a release, the office said the “attempt to strip the Speaker off security protection is untenable”.
A letter dated 11 January and signed by the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) Major General N. P. Andoh said four military men had been deployed as part of the security of the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin without proper procedure.
“It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment,” the letter stated.
However, the decision by the military hierarchy has irked the Office of the Speaker of Parliament.
In response, the release said in a country that takes pride in its democratic institutions and processes, “the decision to reduce the number of security personnel assigned to the Speaker detracts from the political gains that Ghana has made, and is a bad precedent”.
The statement added: “The unknown reason for such a move is puzzling, but the real motive should be obvious to all objective observers of the political scene in Ghana”.
It continued:” If it is an attempt to gag the Speaker, this move will serve only to widen the gap between the legislature and the other arms of government. It also hints at the possibility of a plot to place the safety and security of the Speaker in harm’s way”.
Mr Bagbin’s office noted that Ghanaian citizens yearned for an effective separation of powers as well as check and balance, and voted to have a hung Parliament.
The office believes Ghanaians are looking for a lot more consultation, consensus building and dialogue.
However, the latest “move contrasts with that and certainly is a bad precedent”.
“In decisions such as these, we must ensure that we are guided by the overall interest of this country and the sustenance of our democracy and its institutions”.