The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)- Ghana, says the Ministry of National Security must take a step further beyond its statement on the assault of Citi FM/Citi TV journalist, Caleb Kudah, and the raid of the station’s premises.
CDD says although the outcome of the Ministry’s preliminary investigations is a good move, there are more reforms needed in the country’s security apparatus.
It commended the Ministry for publicly admitting that some of its operatives acted wrongly and that disciplinary actions would be taken against the culpable officers.
The Centre, however, criticized the Ministry for what it says was a deliberate minimisation of the misconduct of its operatives by describing the criminal assault against Mr. Kudah as merely “inappropriate”.
“This is regrettable, as it does not send the right signal or deterrence to officers of the National Security apparatus. CDD-Ghana would like to implore the Government and the Minister of National Security to see and seize upon this incident as an opportunity to pursue more far-reaching reforms in the National Security apparatus and its operations, as the problem highlighted by the Kudah/Citi case is long-standing, recurring and systemic”, CDD said in a statement.
The Center also indicated it awaits the speedy conclusion of the National Media Commission’s investigations into the complaint filed by Citi FM and Citi TV on this matter.
This latest incident, CDD maintains, highlights the importance of taking seriously the observations and recommendations of the Emile Short Commission.
“It appears that the Minister for National Security has no proper or effective oversight of the operations of the so-called National Security “Secretariat”. Moreover, it is not clear what oversight Parliament has or exercises over the Minister, Ministry, or the National Security Secretariat.”
It thus called on Parliament to assume its rightful place as the people’s assembly and the principal government oversight body to ensure that the country has a National Security system that is fit for its purpose.
“A good place to start is to revisit the Emile Short Commission report and get the Government to commit to credible reforms both in the way National Security personnel are recruited and trained and in the way National Security does business”, the statement concluded.