Many things have been exposed by the Emile Short Commission, not least is the over-politicization of the security services, a political scientist has said.
According to an Associate Professor of political science, the revelations from the Commission shows that most security personnel are pandering to political whims and caprices while others, better positioned to act, have been sidelined.
“Heads of security have been manipulated. And those in charge have been sidelined,” Ransford Gyampo told Daniel Dadzie Tuesday on the Joy FM Super Morning Show [SMS].
Following fallouts from the recent Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections, (which was to find a replacement for the then-Member of Parliament, Kyeremanteng Gyarko of blessed memory) government has set up the Emile Short Commission.
A government statement announcing the Commission said “The terms of reference of the Commission are [ among other things to] (a) to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to, the events and associated violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Election on the 31st day of January 2019.”
But according to Professor Gyampo, the politicization of our security services has led to the embarrassing and rather contradictory responses emerging from security respondents appearing at the commission.
Citing the appearance of DSP Samuel Azugu as case in point, he said “The man was making a mockery of himself. The answers which were given were not adding up. It looks as if he had not been to school before.”
Only stopping short of saying the security personnel brought it upon themselves, he added “I am happy that these things are being exposed. People are listening to them and they are being embarrassed. If you allow yourself to be used you will be embarrassed. People allowed themselves to be used instead of acting professionally.”
Security operatives who wore masks while manning the by-elections at Ayawaso West Wuogon have come under severe criticisms.
The Commander in charge of the National Security SWAT team, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Samuel Kojo Azugu who appeared before the Short Commission, has explained that the national security has many uniforms they wear for various reasons including those they wear to protect themselves against mosquitoes and reptiles. This claim has been ridiculed in both new and traditional media.
But Professor Gyampo maintained that merely having security chiefs expose how their political masters manipulate them behind the scenes should not be satisfying enough for political stakeholders.
According to him, what will be a useful result from the Commission’s work should be decisive steps which will depoliticize the security services and embolden them to act irrespective of who is the political head.
“Until we build a credible police force and until we depoliticize state institutions nothing can work. We destroy institutions when we politicize them.”
He proposed that “appointments must be through meritocracy.”
Even more, he suggested that “we need politicians who are not interested in the next elections apart from what brought them to power.” This, he argued, will ensure that politicians do not engage in activities which will not undermine state security and interest.
Without this, Professor Gyampo fears “there will always be a threat of democratic relapse.”