Joyce Bawa Mogtari, aide to former President John Mahama has decried what she calls the abuse of National Security apparatus for parochial interests.
She noted that had the police been allowed to undertake their constitutionally mandated duties and effected the arrest of the ModernGhana journalist, the public would be having a different debate today.
She argued that the police, in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office would know the rights charges to proffer assuming crime was committed.
She stated these on TV3’s Saturday political programme, The Key Points. The panel was discussing the arrest and detention of two journalists with online news portal ModernGhana by National Security operatives.
Joyce Bawa cautioned if the matter is not handled well it will generate the urge for citizenry to take initiatives to protect themselves against uninvited and unidentified guests.
She observed that since the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election assault, there appears to be certain overlaps in the duties of the police and National Security.
According to her, these lapses should be traced directly to President Nana Akufo-Addo.
She said, “There is a good reason why the President chairs the National Security Council. It is to avoid situations as we are seeing currently.”
“When these matters start to speculate and permeate our social discussions, they create impressions there is chaos. That there is nobody in charge.”
“There are clear reasons why the Constitution enjoins us to have a National Security Council.”
Joyce Bawa indicated that national security operatives after causing constitutional breaches and violating human rights of citizens do not come out to defend their actions.
That, she said, is usually the time they actually take up their appropriate position and say nothing.
“The police who have not been informed or apprised on the matter are then compelled to defend the indefensible.”
According to her, the public are obliged to defend themselves and to protect their own rights.
She argued if it were the police that visited the ModernGhana office brandishing search and arrest warrants, there would have been no scuffle.
Any law abiding citizen, she said, would willingly follow the police in this circumstance unlike what happened to the two journalists.
She warned if these anomalies are not corrected so security matters as these are not properly handled, chaos would eventually erupt.
She called for consistency in how these matters are handled so the public would have confidence in the police.