A security analyst with the JatiKay Center for Human Security and Peace Building, Adib Saani has stated that the seat of government, Flagstaff House, is not any better a place that guarantees the safety of the President of the Republic of Ghana than his Nima residence is.
The Analyst is recommending the use of Peduase Lodge to keep the President safe at all times.
He was of the opinion that the security of the President goes beyond Nana Akufo-Addo himself, as it is about protecting and defending the sanctity and sovereignty of the Republic of Ghana for which petty partisanship should have no place in the discourse.
The statement indicated:
“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.” Mr Adib Saani said in the statement.
The security analyst also said it is a cause for worry for him that the seat of government is “disturbingly near the French Embassy” and other private facilities thereby making the building vulnerable to “prying”.
He said even though the Flagstaff House is ‘unsafe’, it was still a better option for the President than his Nima private residence, but that Peduase is the best security-wise.
He said it is “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.”
He said the Flagstaff House is as externally radiant and magnificent as it is a security nightmare upon risk assessment.
For example, he said “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 number 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.” He said.
He made reference to the United States and the United Kingdom:
“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.”
He justified his recommendation of the Peduase Lodge as “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”, he explained.