Arresting security officers ahead of 2020 elections likely to breed disaffection – Franklin Cudjoe cautions gov’t

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has cautioned the Akufo-Addo administration to be mindful of the continuous arrests of security personnel regarding their suspected involvement in an alleged plot to destabilise the country, ABC News can report.

Describing the exercise as ‘troubling’, Mr Cudjoe in a Facebook post, pointed out that the trend being used by government especially in the build-up to a crucial election can cause disaffection among the country’s security ranks.

“I do not understand the security strategy of the government going into crucial elections in 2020. The manner and reasons for arrests and invitations of former and serving security officers over the alleged attempted coup is troubling. I fear this trend may breed disaffection within the rank and file of the security services” he stated.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dr. Benjamin Agordzor was arrested on Monday, November 4 by the Bureau of National Investigation (BIN) for his alleged involvement in an ‘elaborated plot’ to destabilize the state.

According to the lawyer of the embattled Police Commissioner, his client was accused and detained on the basis of assisting the alleged leader of the coup plotters, Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, through messages he sent on instant messaging platform, WhatsApp.

Many, including his lawyer, Martin Kpebu, have attributed his arrest to his continuous advocacy for a total independence of the Police as he contends that the Service if fraught with heavy political interference.

Although these claims have not been established as the reason for the arrest, Franklin Cudjoe,  indicates that the comments made by the Police Commissioner reflects the ‘sufferings’ of the police service and therefore should not lead to his arrest and detainment.

“Frankly, the comments by ACP Dr. Benjamin Agordzo on economic conditions,( chief of them, excruciating unemployment) that could be fertile grounds for agitations, is the same as hearing him present the Police Transformational Agenda to some of us in civil society and together with the top police chiefs, including the former IGP, conclude that the Police Service has poor and mostly inadequate accommodation, old and ineffective weaponry ( in fact one police chief described most of the weapons as KAFUGBE) and suffer from politicisation of recruitment into the service. I suspect such lamentations by the Police Service to some of us in civil society should constitute grounds for treachery- huh?” he asked.

He added, “I must say, after the presentation by Agordzor and his colleagues, some of us went public about the challenges of the Police Service and within weeks, the government announced a Ghc 800m stimulus package for the police- never mind it also included plans to buy two helicopters for the Police- which I thought wasn’t top priority for the ‘malnourished’ Police service. Well…”

Although the accused Dr. Agordzor has strongly denied involvement in any coup plot, he appeared before the Kaneshie District Court, Wednesday, November 6, for a hearing on the charges of abetment to commit treason.

He suggested, in a brief media encounter after his hearing that he was being held based on his decision to express his opinions and will not be held back from doing so regardless of his current situation.

“I’m as strong as anything, I’m not meant to be bogged, I’ve not committed any crime, I’ve done nothing wrong. I mean the president called upon us to be citizens, so when I express my opinions on a WhatsApp platform unrelated to any alleged coup, nobody should bog me and I will stand for this, I will stand for this till the end, they cannot break me” he said.

ACP Agordzor has been detained at the BNI and is expected to appear before the Kaneshie Court on Friday, November 8, 2019.


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