Government has rubbished the latest expose by Joy News over the alleged training of a militia group, at the Osu Castle which captured the location as a security zone.
Addressing the media today [Friday March 8, 2019], Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said, the Osu Castle is not a security zone as claimed by the investigator in the documentary and neither is it an annex to the presidency.
‘’It is important to state for the record that the Castle Osu, IS NOT a ‘’Security Zone’’, neither is it an annex to the presidency. Indeed, it is a facility operated by the Museums and Monuments Board, after President Akufo-Addo, on 5th March, 2017, tasked the Ministry for Tourism, Arts and Culture to spearhead its transformation into a museum. The general public may refer to news item of 5th March, 2017, the date on which President Akufo-Addo gave that directive. Indeed, the castle gardens are also open for use by members of the public,’’ he said.
The Minister in his address said ‘’the narrative in Manasseh’s promotion, in particular, that connotes the Castle, Osu, as a ‘’Security Zone’’. which is being used to train militia and vigilantes is most worrying. Indeed, If this group was still operating from the Castle, wouldn’t the Commission of Inquiry currently looking into the events at the Ayawaso West Wuogon election have noticed them by now?’’
He was also worried the documentary failed to provide evidence to support the claim that government on several occasions has used the group for security operations.
‘’The documentary also stated categorically that the young men and women seen in it had been used for security operations in and outside of Accra. One would have expected a list of such operations to be listed in the documentary. Curiously, that was not done.’’
He further dispute claims by the documentary that the training was being done for a militia group associated with the ruling government.
He said, ‘’…the 20 minutes video does not show any evidence of such militia of vigilante group training or operating at this ‘’Security Zone’’. Rather, it shows a group of young men and women, dressed up in white shirts and black suits, converging at the Castle, Osu, in the belief that jobs will be found for them.’’
He reiterated the commitment of President Akufo-Addo, to disband vigilante groups and has called on Ghanaians to disregard the documentary since it did not reflect the truth but was full of malice and misrepresentations.
‘’In line with the president’s commitment to disbanding political vigilante groups, government will continue to support any efforts aimed at ending this worrying phenomenon. Unfortunately, however, the Joy News documentary, the work of Manasseh Azuri Awuni, carried a significant number of misrepresentations and misleading impressions…’’