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Francis Poku warns against politicising military operations

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Former National Security Minister Francis Poku has urged Ghanaians to resist politicising military deployments, emphasising the potential harm it poses to national security.

Speaking at the Republic Day Lecture on July 1st, Poku advocated for non-partisan support for security services.

He argued that for the nation’s well-being, citizens should avoid politicising military duties.

Poku stressed the importance of intelligence-driven deployments, especially during critical events like elections, to safeguard all citizens. He highlighted the Joint Intelligence Committee’s critical role in informing strategic deployments and maintaining national stability.

He advised security agencies to continuously assess and review their operations and strategies to ensure effectiveness, proactiveness, and adaptability to evolving threats.

Poku further emphasised the need for a strong foundation for security operations, including clear communication and adherence to the rule of law, human rights, and accountability.

“I advise that there must be communication, this is the reason why they are deploying, there must be a good security foundation for the operation, but the military, must be accountable, first of all conferring with the commander in chief and also the origin of the operations, is it for joint intelligence committee or what it is? But again, respect for the rule of law, human rights, and accountability.”

Poku underscored the importance of continuous security assessments to anticipate and prepare for various scenarios. These assessments would help identify necessary resources and equipment for effective operations.

He emphasised the link between security and national progress, arguing that Ghana cannot achieve long-term development and planning without a stable security environment.

“Contingency plan is not for today, it helps for the unknown time when you are doing security assessment, and when you’re doing security assessment, you know all the possibilities, all the scenarios, we don’t have adequate contingency plan. We have the drones, we have rebels going into the forest and other things, are we ready? So, a proper assessment, but if there’s no stability, you cannot look into the long term.

“So, there must be proper stability, proper stability must be founded on your preparations for the future. The military must justify strategy and operational decisions to the President. If there’s a problem at Ashaiman, you have to do a consultation. I know it can be provocative.”

Poku commended the military’s professionalism and restraint in the wake of Major Maxwell Mahama’s tragic killing. This incident, he said, exemplified their discipline and commitment to upholding the rule of law, even under extreme duress.

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