The meeting between the National Security Chiefs and stakeholders in the sector was not held because of the disturbances that marred the by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency.
According to security analyst, Kwesi Anning, who was at the meeting, “the timing [of the meeting] has absolutely nothing to do with whatever that has been happening [in the last few days].”
A two-day National Security Stakeholder’s dialogue ended in Aburi in the Eastern Region on Thursday.
The dialogue, the fourth in a series, was aimed at sharpening efforts at improving the country’s security architecture. But some observers have suggested that the Ayawaso by-election violence had a bearing on the timing of the meeting.
But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday, Kwesi Anning said the date was chosen days before the by-election was held and as such could not influence the timing of the meeting in any way.
“The letter of invitation coming to me was [even] dated 29 January 2019,” Mr. Anning added.
He explained that Thursday’s meeting was the fourth in a series adding that no media personnel were brought onboard during the previous meetings.
He said the previous meetings gave the stakeholders the opportunity to build trust amongst themselves.
“What has been reported in the media was the fourth meeting. The first three meetings, no media personnel were there. But it was important at that stage because we needed to psych each other up and find out whether we really could trust each other, and whether we can still feel secured after we put our information on the table. So that was the context within which these meetings started, basically building trust amongst critical stakeholders to improve policy making and implementation.”
He said the stakeholders made two suggestions which included the institutionalization of such meetings.
He said the second suggestion was for government to put together a comprehensive security strategy for the country.
“At the second and third meetings, there were two requests that we all agreed to. One was to now design a comprehensive national security strategy plan. The second was that…we proposed that the meetings should be two days so that we can drill down to the sensitive issues instead of hurriedly discussing them, making conclusions and moving on.”
Following the violence that characterised the by-election in Ayawaso West Wuogon, government subsequently formed a commission of inquiry to investigate the issue.
The Commission is chaired by former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Short.