There have been several unanswered questions in regard to what might have led President John Agyekum Kufuor to sack the National Security Minister, Francis Poku, in 2008. Some sources claim that the move was due to the division in the security setup.
Francis Poku was accused of acquiring plush mansions at the Trasacco Valley in Adjiringano, again the President raised concerns over the minister’s constant use of the press to defame other security heads after quarrelling with them, this he believed would have jeopardized national security. It is believed that the minister could not communicate with other heads of the National Security apparatus.
Under the President Akufo-Addo led government, there has been yet another controversy surrounding the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, this time involving a leaked video of the security minister and his supposed girlfriend. Some sections of the public have called for the resignation of the minister, terming the “leaked pajamas video” as a “disgrace” to National Security.
The announcement by President John Agyekum Kufuor that he had relieved Mr. Francis Poku of his position as the National Security Minister is causing consternation amongst security brains and analysts who see that move as both untimely and disturbing.
Pursuing the quiet consternation surrounding the issue, The Independent has stumbled on some facts that brought matters to a head.
The Independent can report that, President Kufuor’s decision to relieve Mr. Francis Poku from office last Saturday was fuelled by a recent report in a private newspaper that reported that the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) was being starved of funds.
Following this, other security agencies also began to cry out for resources, a development that aroused President Kufuor’s curiosity to call for what can be termed as an intel1igence inquisition into the various complaints.
Following that, one Alhaji Abu is also said to have disclosed that, the former National Security Minister owned a chain of property at the Trasacco Valley in Accra, a fact which Mr. Francis Poku sometime last year rebuffed and indicated that, the property belonged to his daughter who is domiciled outside the country.
Preliminary enquiries commissioned by President Kufuor at the Castle, according to the paper, informed the President that, Mr. Francis Poku was not on speaking terms with some heads of the security agencies in the country except two of them.
Citing specific instances, our Castle sources said, Mr. Poku is not on speaking terms with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, and the Chief of Defense Staff, General J.B. Danquah, and the Director of BNI, Mr. Kyeremeh.
This, our sources said, tended to give credence to the claim by the security agencies that they were being starved of funds by the former National Security Minister.?
The paper, still quoting its Castle sources said, having been given this picture and furnished with the developments, President Kufuor kept wondering how Mr. Poku could function effectively as the Security Chief, since the state of affairs indicate clearly that he could not communicate with other heads of National Security apparatus.
The president and other security heads found it regrettable that, apart from one security agency, the BNI is the other agency that has seen many changes at the top, a development the security agencies view as not good enough.
Among others, the contention is that, the recently appointed National Security Co-coordinator, Dr. Sam Amoo Ghartey, is said to have gone through hell and frustration at the Ministry of National Security (Blue Gate).
Our sources said it is also believed among Castle gurus that, many of the adverse publications in some local newspapers about President Kufuor’s family and some Ministers of State, especially the Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani, were master-minded from the Blue Gate.
The Castle sources again indicated that, President Kufuor had found in the former Minister minimal urge to work with a team, which, according to security experts, is very critical.
This information, security analysts say, should put to rest speculations that link Mr. Poku as being pushed out because of links to drug trafficking as some people are sending about in the form of text messages.
A source at the National Security cautioned those who have began throwing such mud at the former Minister to be wary of the effects of their mudslinging.
Meanwhile, The Independent can reveal that, key among the issues which President Kufuor discussed with Mr. Poku last Saturday was why he sent one Sackey to Israel to undergo certain security training without informing him.
To this, Mr. Poku answered that, as the Security Minister he felt he had the discretion to move in a certain direction in the supreme interest of the state, but the president is said to have disagreed with him on grounds that he should have informed him of that operation.
Another reason, which The Independent has learnt was a contributing factor to the decision is the speculation that, Mr. Poku also master-minded the announcement by New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) National Organizer, Laud Commey, that monies in foreign currency were allegedly being distributed by supporter of Mr. Alan Kyerematen during the December 22 congress of the NPP.
This is against the backdrop of claims that Mr. Poku had supported Nana Akufo-Addo against the President’s perceived choice, Mr. Alan John Kyerematen.
In a related development however, concerns are being raised about the sacking of Mr. Poku at the time when the nation needed to put a number of things in place, including security, as Ghana prepares to host the entire world for GHANA 2008. –