A security Analyst, Adib Saani, has disclosed that neither the presidential palace, the Flagstaff House nor President Akufo-Addo’s private residence in Nima is safe to house him as the president of the republic of Ghana.

The Executive Director of Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building, in his analysis proffers that the best place for the president is the Peduase Lodge since both places he is more likely to be are densely populated and serve as security threat to the president.

“. . .the terrorism threat to the country is more alarming than we can comprehend,” he said in a statement, arguing that ” I therefore find it unwise to keep the President at his Nima Residence, considering its close proximity to human and vehicular traffic.”

President Akufo-Addo and First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo at Ghana’s 61st Independence Day Celebration.

His assertions come after government arranged for traders around the Nima residence to vacate the area following security threats their activities pose to the president and his family.

The traders will be compensated with amounts ranging from GHc 3,000 to GHc 10,000 to leave the area. This development has been welcomed with a barrage of backlash on the government for being insensitive to the plights of the petty traders and artisans in the area.

Mr Saani, who believes security matters around the president should not be toyed with, suggests the traders, who have been identified as squatters go with other “occupants of all private and corporate properties around the vicinity stretching to the ring road.”

Comparing Ghana’s seat of the president to those in the UK and US, Mr Saani believes  the Flagstaff House is also not safe for the president, saying it is “very vulnerable to prying” and “uncomfortably within close proximity to vehicular traffic without any form of measure to keep vehicles at a distance using roadblocks and checkpoints, Jersey barriers, concrete blocks or bollards, metal barriers, except to some extent, the entrance.”

Read the full statement below

Adib Saani, Security Analyst

The security of the President goes beyond Nana Akufo-Addo. It is about protecting and defending the sanctity and sovereignty of the Republic. Whether you are NDC or NPP, you are honor bound to jealously safeguard the security of the President in whatever way possible.

I was however enthralled when I received the news of the eviction of some traders and artisans from around the President’s Nima Residence. According to a statement by the Ministry of Information, the eviction amongst other things is informed by the security implications posed by the operations of the traders. We have also had a number of Security Commentators calling on the President to move to the Flagstaff House.

In security matters, there is customarily a security bubble around the President’s Residence or when he is on the move. It is made up of three perimeters; police/military, secret service/national security operatives and the Presidential Protective Guards. There should be some level of distance of at least 300 meters east, west, north and south from the Presidents living or sleeping area. With the advancement in electronic crime, there are electronic devices that are able to snoop from hundreds of meters away.

I therefore find it unwise to keep the President at his Nima Residence, considering its close proximity to human and vehicular traffic. Creating a text book bubble around the Nima Residence therefore would require we go beyond evicting the squatters but should include evicting occupants of all private and corporate properties around the vicinity stretching to the ring road.

The question however is, is the Flagstaff House any safer?

Albeit the magnificence and radiance, an exterior security risk assessment of the edifice reveals some security nightmares.

First, the siting of the building at such a location is a security catastrophe. It is too disturbingly near the French embassy and other private facilities thereby making it very vulnerable to ‘prying’.

Secondly, the terrorism threat to the country is more alarming than we can comprehend. Car bombs have become effective weapons for terrorists as they are an easy way to transport a large amount of explosives to the intended target. A car bomb also produces copious shrapnel, or flying debris, and secondary damage to bystanders and buildings. Recent Somalia car bomb that killed over 400 destroyed building as far as 500 meters away.

The seat of Government is extremely and uncomfortably within close proximity to vehicular traffic without any form of measure to keep vehicles at a distance using roadblocks and checkpoints, Jersey barriers, concrete blocks or bollards, metal barriers, except to some extent, the entrance.

Since 1991, the entrance to Downing Street for example, has been closed, preventing the general public from getting near Number 10. In Washington, D.C. the portion of Pennsylvania Avenue immediately in front of the White House is closed to traffic. Many fences have protected the house throughout the years, but in the mid-1990s it was expanded by an entire block to keep traffic further away.

In my opinion, the Peduase Lodge by far, is the most secured location to keep the President. Aside the fact that the area is not densely populated, the hilly topography is an added advantage when it comes to defending it. The traffic security in front of the Lodge can be better managed with checkpoints, barriers and searches conducted.

ADIB SAANI

Executive Director/Security Analyst,

Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building.

0244985099

jatikayinitiatives@gmail.com
Story by: Henryson Okrah/Ghana/myxyzonline.com

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