Government acted prematurely in alleged ‘coup’ plot – Former Colonel

Rtd Colonel Festus Aboagye

A former Colonel in the Ghana Armed Forces is doubting the capability of three men arrested by state security apparatus for plotting to target the presidency.

Festus Aboagye, who is also a security analyst, noted that considering the alleged evidence gathered during the arrest of the said persons, the government rather acted prematurely in concluding that they could be plotting to subvert the presidency.

A joint security operation on Friday, according to the government, led to the retrieval of several arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations in Accra and Kpone Bawaleshie in Dodowa.

According to the Information, Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, personnel drawn from Defence Intelligence, CID and Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) conducted a successful operation which led to the arrest of three persons – Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm and his two accomplices – Ezor Kafui (a local weapon manufacturer) and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu (aka BB or ADC).

He disclosed that the joint operation was to neutralise an elaborate plot targeted at the Presidency, and with the ultimate aim of destabilising the country.

Colonel Aboagye reacting to the development in an interview on Newsnight with Evan Mensah Monday, said he finds it very difficult understanding what government meant in its statement.

“I cannot put words in the mouth of government but the agencies involved are expected to be professional enough to explain exactly what this group was about but if it fell short of calling it an attempted coup to overthrow government we cannot purport otherwise that the aim, as indicated in the statement, was to undermine the presidency…I do not exactly understand what targeting the presidency means,” he said.

Breaking the issue down into three areas, the Security Analyst noted that, the government statement failed to state clearly whether there was some mobilisation of some youth to violently overthrow government, the acquisition of foreign and manufacture of weapons “giving the quantities that are mentioned in the statement, I am not too sure the number of targets that those welding these pieces of ammunition were going to target.”

The former Colonel wondered whether “these weapons and ammunition will be sufficient for anybody attempting to overthrow the state to actually overthrow the state.”

Colonel Aboagye said he would have been happier “if the evidence had led to the idea that these weapons were being manufactured and acquired for criminal purposes.

“The mention of treason…raises the stakes and I have difficulty actually accepting government explanation that this group intended to target the presidency…”

While he no problem with government’s call for calm in the wake of the development, he stressed that “if indeed this group intended to overthrow the state, I think this government acted prematurely.”

He wished the state could have gone a step further to allow the group to hatch a plan for the security agencies to have a full grasp of the alleged target of the presidency and deal with it appropriately.

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