Brigadier-General Nunoo-Mensah and Gbevlo Lartey

Good morning Sirs,

I am, with much pain and sorrow, writing you this letter today, particularly because the last winds and the small rainfall have ripped off the thatch of my house and water has taken over my home as the landlord. My home is inaccessible so NADMO cannot even come to my rescue. That is not the reason why I am writing to you though. After all, with some sunshine, I will be ok; that has been our lifestyle. 

Colonel, how are you doing? Ever since you got your new position, I have not heard from you. Anything I hear from you is official. I want to admit however that when I also got my small position under Kufuor, you did not hear from me directly, so ibe one-one draw. Sometimes I remember the pork-consuming days at your humble abode at ridge. I wonder if you have time these days at all to engage in pork-consuming exercises since you are supposed to open your eyes 24 hours a day while the rest of us sleep and snore. As for this your work, e hard proper proper, but ibe you talk say you go do am. 

Colonel, even though there are supposed to be other security advisers to the President, like Brigadier-General Nunoo-Mensah, whose work would compliment yours, the nation knows you as the man in whose hands our collective security is entrusted, but before I go ahead to tell you why I have written this letter to you, I want to do some konkonsa to you because people are talking plenty about your job. Since you are my friend, I think I should let you know. Ghanaians, they can talk ooo, they talk too much. Some say your office is very good at inviting NPP people to the BNI when armed robbers, in fact some people are even calling them ‘army’ robbers because of the ‘professionalism’ with which they execute their ‘jobs’ and inflict pains and death on us, are  running amok.

 They also say that people are using unlicensed motorbikes and vehicles to engage in daylight robbery in our cities with impunity and that your outfit seems helpless with the situation. This, according the ‘too know people’, is making life unbearable for them even though they believe you have the competence to deal with the problems. Security is defined by my antiquated Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary as “freedom or protection from danger or worry”, among others. 

I do not know your job description as the National Security Coordinator, but from the definition above, your job includes dealing with anything which poses or is likely to pose danger or worry to individual citizens and the nation at large, either today or tomorrow. Indeed, danger or worry to the nation and its individual citizens vary, and you might not be in a position to address all of them from your office. For example, if I want mahogany bitters to check my how far, it is not your responsibility or that of your office to go to the Blue Kiosk to get me the number of tots I would want to take. However, it is of security importance to ensure that those who brew the mahogany bitters do it in a manner that will not pose ‘danger and worry’ to me and other drinkers of mahogany bitters.

In the same vein, any act by the citizenry which portends danger and worry to the individual or the nation is a security problem. Today, the current security problems have got to do with the filth that has engulfed us, with its attendant cholera outbreak which has become a worry and danger for all of us. It is true that there are state agencies which have the responsibility to ensure cleanliness in our various communities, but if that is not done and there is an outbreak of any form of disease which poses danger and worry to us, that also becomes a security problem on which reason the President of the Republic is supposed to be briefed so that the appropriate agencies and ministries will be up and doing.

 Road accidents which claim more lives than HIV-AIDS yearly should be considered as a danger and worry to our collective existence and survival. The security of safe travelling in today’s Ghana is not fully assured because of the road carnage, and as a people, it is my candid opinion that we should consider efforts at reducing this danger and worry as a national priority and put in every effort to reduce it drastically; indeed proper drastic reduction and not like the fuel one which ends up being drastic increases. We can cope with drastic increases in fuel prices and not drastic increases in deaths from road accidents. 

My brother the Colonel, the beef of my missive to you this morning, in as far as our collective security is concerned, is worse than an invasion into this country by armed foreigners. We all agree that the two most important needs for the survival of living things, as I was taught in nature study in my primary school days, are air and water. The security of any nation is seriously impaired when air and water supply are endangered.

My brother, I am sure you are aware of the massive pollution of our water bodies in this country as a result of the activities of galamsey operators. 

In the Western Region, apart from the numerous streams meandering through cocoa farms and communities as the source of drinking water for thousands of people which have been destroyed by galamsey operators, two major rivers, the Pra River and the Ankobra river have been seriously devastated by activities of galamsey operators in broad daylight. The biggest threat is that the major, if not the only source of raw water for treatment by the Ghana Water Company for distribution to the people of Sekondi-Takoradi and beyond, is the Pra River. This river is being criminally polluted with very dangerous chemicals which are injurious to the health of the people, whose source of water is the Pra River. The same can be said for the Ankobra River. My brother, don’t you see this as a serious national security threat for today and the future? 

My brother, I am a mere journalist; I am not a security officer but common sense tells me that the future of this country, in as far as water supply is concerned, is under serious security threat; it is more dangerous than an armed invasion of this country. And there seems to be nothing going on to stop this menace. My brother Colonel in charge of National Security, if this nation has no good water to drink and use for other life sustaining activities, it would be better if we ceased to exist. I have just used two major rivers in the Western Region as an example of the security threat to our collective existence. In many towns and communities in this country, our river bodies are being destroyed on a daily basis. 

Worst of all is the invasion of Chinese nationals hiding in every nook and cranny of this country and engaging in galamsey activities, well armed and destroying our water bodies with the active connivance of some greedy chiefs within those communities, to the detriment of the majority of the people in those communities. Agricultural lands are being criminally degraded by these Chinese, who have nothing to lose should this nation be confronted with water shortages or food insecurity as a result of the destruction of the arable farm lands in this country; and is National Security unaware of the invasion of our lands by Chinese to illegally mine gold in this country? 

They are found everywhere, heavily armed to the teeth. Is it not possible that they can turn these arms into something else which will also be a security threat to our sovereignty? Where on earth will foreigners be offered unfettered access to a major national resource like gold with very crude implements to scoop out the precious metal and destroy everything that comes their way with such impunity and still think that we are in charge of our security?  My brother, I think we are in big trouble and the earlier your outfit took bold decisions to flush out the Chinese, who have taken control of our resources and are destroying our water bodies, the better it would be for us. This does not also mean that Ghanaians and other foreign nationals, whose activities in the gold mining sector are illegal, should be let off the hook. Let us deal decisively with them.

Thank you for reading this letter for the sake of our national safety and security.

[email protected]

From Kwasi Biney

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