A security analyst, Adam Bonah has likened the presence of armed military personnel in the Chamber of Parliament to a coup d’état.
More than a dozen armed military persons invaded the parliamentary chamber on the dawn of January 7, 2021, when members of the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party were engaged in heated arguments over the processes involved in the election of a new speaker of the 8th Parliament.
Their presence has since attracted condemnation from the MPs and other relevant bodies with some holding the Marshal of Parliament responsible since he is in charge of the general security of the House.
In an interaction with Citi News, Adam Bonah backed calls from stakeholders including the National Democratic Congress and the flagbearer of the party John Dramani Mahama for a probe into the presence of the military in Parliament.
He insisted that the said act must be dealt with properly to curtail its reoccurrence in the future.
“To the extent we have that particular enclave being a police district, one would have thought that, if for nothing at all, police officers are those who are trained to deal with internal security but bringing in military personnel into that area could be equated to a military coup.”
“So as I am concerned whoever invited them there, I would say that person should answer for Ghanaians to know why that happened. The calls for investigations into that are legitimate and shouldn’t only be NDC’s call but a national call for all of us to bring an end to it.”
Former President John Dramani Mahama had earlier made a similar call for an investigation into the said matter.
“Parliament must conduct an investigation into the two incidents and exact appropriate sanctions,” Mahama posted on Twitter.
He accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of trying to return the country to the era where military personnel had control of governance, saying that this is evidenced in the continuous use of the military in various national democratic exercises.
“The attempt to snatch ballot papers by the MP-elect for Tema West and the invasion of the Chamber by armed military personnel are images one had never expected to see in our 4th Republican Parliament. The recent use of the military in civil democratic processes has become a major worry & gives the impression that this admin is continually seeking to resurrect the exorcised ghosts of our military past,” he said.
I wasn’t involved in military invasion of Parliament – Chief Marshal
Meanwhile, the Chief Marshall of Parliament, Col. John Buntugu Rtd. has denied involvement and knowledge of the military invasion of Parliament.
According to him, he was taken unawares about the situation and immediately proceeded to speak to the military commanders that came in with the personnel and urged them to leave because their presence was not the best.
“We have a police station in the Parliament House, but it is under the Marshal of Parliament. We don’t have soldiers. The soldiers were not under my instruction. I don’t know what actually happened [but] I saw them in the Chamber and I spoke with their commanders when I realized that it was counterproductive, and they left,” he said.