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Monday, March 15, 2010

Gbevlo-Lartey speaks on his new NDC role

Col. Gbevlo-Lartey (retd)
Col. Gbevlo-Lartey (retd)
The National Security Coordinator, Col. (retd) Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, has told Daily Guide in an interview at his ‘Blue Gate’ office that he is not aware of the role he is expected to play as a member of the ‘Political Committee’ of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The paper was seeking clarification from Mr Gbevlo-Lartey on his controversial role since the President swore in the 23-member committee last week.

Daily Guide also sought to solicit his perspective on concerns raised by former Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Kofi Bentum Quantson, which suggested that socio-economic conditions in the country could lead to a possible social uprising against the ruling elite.

Mr. Gbevlo-Lartey, who was wearing a white smock with blue stripes, warmly welcomed Daily Guide to his office but declined to answer the question on what role he would be playing as a member of Political Committee of the NDC.

As a security chief, he said, he did not want to be drawn into any ‘unnecessary political debate’ since according to him, he would have preferred to speak to the issue from an academic point of view and not with political coloration.

He wondered why those raising issue with his new appointment were not interested in knowing why the President, John Evans Atta Mills, his Vice, John Dramani Mahama and other Ministers were also on the same committee.

Gbevlo-Lartey, who was absent at the inauguration of the committees recently, said he did not know the specific role he was to play on the committee.

Pressed further, he rather asked the paper to speak to the party executives who may know more about his role on the committee.

The NDC chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei, also appears not to know the role of Gbevlo-Lartey in the committee.

The National Security Co-ordinator also declined to comment on the question of whether or not his appointment as member of the political committee of the NDC would not put him in a position of conflict of interest.

It will be recalled that when DAILY GUIDE spoke earlier with NDC chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, after several efforts, his initial comment was “no comment at all”.

He however said: “Why should I give you comment about his (Gbevlo-Lartey) involvement, is he not a politician?”

Though the position of National Security Coordinator was a political appointment, it had always been the norm to detach the security agencies from political activities so that their decisions would not be influenced by their partisan affiliations.

However, Dr Kwabena Adjei, also known as ‘Wayoo, Wayo’ wanted Ghanaians to accept that Gbevlo-Lartey was a politician since according to him, “He is managing the security aspect of politics. So can’t you make sense out of it?” he asked.

Sarcastically, he quizzed Daily Guide, “Don’t you know what committee members do?” and then answered his own question thus: “They contribute; they don’t do anything, they contribute to discussions.”

The NDC boss would not agree that Gbevlo-Lartey’s role as National Security Coordinator, could conflict with his ‘political committee’ appointment.

He hastily advised the paper: “Go and ask him; go and ask Gbevlo-Lartey that now that they have made him chairman of that committee what is his role. I have nothing else to tell you.”

On the issue of red flags raised by the former BNI boss, the National Security Coordinator, on his part, stressed the belief that what Mr Quantson said was taken out of context by the media since according to him, the briefing he got was that the man made a general observation and not specifically about Ghana.

According to him, Mr Quantson’s opinion did not necessarily reflect the true situation on the ground.

For this reason, Gbevlo-Lartey said he saw nothing wrong with Quantson’s opinion and that the beauty of democracy was ‘like noses’ where everyone’s opinion about issues and developments differed.

The some-what ‘cagey’ chat with the coordinator lasted about 45minutes, after which hands were shaken and promises made to respond to future queries.

Source: Daily Guide/Ghana

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