8 March 2018

Ghana: Coordinating Security Operations Across Country

The burning of 14 tipper trucks and an excavator used for sand winning in the Dalun River in the Kumbungu District of Northern Region, by a military detachment, the "Operation Vanguard" on duties to protect river bodies and illegal mining activities has generated debate and anger among a section of the public.

The operations carried out by the military detachment followed complaints by the Ghana Water Company Limited, that illegal sand winning activities pose danger to the source of water for the people in the metropolis, because the river is the intake point for the company.

Some have accused the military detachment of high-handedness, contending that, under rule of law, the appropriate measure was to have sought the order of court of law, to confiscate the vehicles and arraign the offenders for the law to take its course.

In a story published on the back page of yesterday's issue before court, the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, who is the Head of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), was reported to have dissociated the council from the arson, explaining that "Operation Vanguard" operatives under the Defence Ministry burnt the bricks.

He is reported, however, to have taken steps to "fix the issues", which we think its laudable to forestall any further backlash and security breaches.

What is of concern is, how come the REGSEC is not aware of these operations in the region that they exercise administrative and political authority over? Does it mean that the security agencies in the region do co-ordinate their activities? If that is the case then we advise that the "Operation Vanguard" operatives must coordinate their activities with the REGSEC and/or the Metropolitan District/Municipal Security Councils, to avoid possible or security breaches and possible disturbances.

We are saying this because the maintenance of law and order to guarantee peaceful and secured environment remains high on the agenda of government and the people. Therefore, security agencies must coordinate their activities with other governmental agencies, for smooth operations that would inure to the benefit of the people.

The Ghanaians Times recall complaints from some Regional Ministers and Metropolitan, Municipal/District Chief Executives that some government officials have traversed their administrative jurisdictions, to carry out some important functions, without their knowledge. This does not auger well for smooth running of government business!

We believe that inter-agency coordination is good work ethics. It does not allow for any one agency to flex its muscle as to where power lies.

We have had experiences of policy failure, because of lack of coordination among agencies that are responsible for the implementation of such policies and programmes. The people, for whom the policies and programme are intended, become worse off.

It is often said when two elephants fight the grass (reed) gets hurt. Similarly, when there is no coordination amongst service providers, the client bears the brunt!

It is imperative, therefore, for the security agencies to co-ordinate their activities in the supreme interest of the country.

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