Spy rings have no room in a democracy
At first glance, it looks far fetched in contemporary Ghana receiving praises from the international community for running a democratic and open society. But, there is more happening belonging to the underworld, than a transparent administration with room for open dissent.
Yesterday’s from page story in The Chronicle, in which the General Manager of Oman FM, Kwabena Kwakye, was complaining of covet operations at his residence, belongs to the spy world. But, it is happening live in the administration of President John Evans Atta Mills.
The Chronicle wonders what it is that the presenter of ‘Boiling Point’ on radio could be harbouring at his residence, beyond what is said on his programme, that would warrant keeping a secret tap on him at his residence. In this day and age, when accountability and open governance are the order of the day, the security agents should take note that they could not harass innocent citizens by applying methods of old.
We have come a long way from the Soviet-style spy ring let loose on non-conformists in those days of the Cold War. We now live in an open environment where the citizen has a right to privacy. Putting any person under surveillance and making him or her feel the presence of third parties he or she may not meet is harassment in every sense of the word.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War, security services throughout the world are refining their means of putting surveillance on their people. That is why we are shocked that the security of state is still employing crude tactics to intimidate people perceived as not toeing government line.
We recall that on October 4, 2010, a security agent of state followed our Editor from the Castle where he had deposited a copy of a letter Mr. Ebo Quansah had written to the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), complaining of government interference in the running of football in Ghana, to the Ghana International Press Centre.
What happened next shamed this Republic. That agent of national security recorded a private conversation Mr. Quansah had with a friend at the Scuup, the restaurant at the Press Centre, and handed over the tape to two pro-NDC radio stations which broadcast the contents, and called for phone-ins.
When the matter was referred to the National Media Commission, the owners of the first radio station to broadcast the contents of the tape sent in a number of lawyers to plead and apologise.
The wrangling in the ruling party, in which Deputy Secretary Kofi Adams has been suspended over a mutilated tape with a muzzled voice, purporting to suggest that the Special Aide to former President Jerry Rawlings had engaged in acts calculated to undermine the party in power, could be attributed to the work of these spy rings.
We are of the view that if the covers of these covet operators are not blown, they could be let loose on any member of society perceived as not playing ball with the ruling party. That is why we feel it a duty to let the people of Ghana become aware of the activities of these men and women of the underworld.
Our security operatives should learn to be more professional, and stop these crude methods of harassing innocent citizens.
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