The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the appointment of Bryan Acheampong as the Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior by President Akufo-Addo as a slap in the face of the Emile Short Commission which probed the violent Ayawaso by-election.
The reshuffle was announced in a statement by Communications Director at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin.
As part of the reshuffle, the deputy Minister of Interior, Henry Quartey is now the Deputy Minister of the National Security.
Commenting on the changes, the NDC general secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia said: “I think that is a slap in the face of the Emile Short Commission. And I believe it is a cog in the whole orchestration to rig the election. This is somebody who deployed thugs to create mayhem at a bye-election. A commission was established and the commission declared that action unlawful and recommended that the group he commanded be disbanded and he himself punished.
“What the President has done is to tell the Short Commission to go to hell and everyone worried about vigilantism to go to hell. This action is going to legitimise the action of Brian Acheampong and also give him the legitimate authority to deploy the thugs they’ve trained and embedded in the police service to now go and be deployed for election security and you know what it means.
The Short Commission which probed the Ayawaso by-election violence recommended that Mr. Acheampong take “ultimate responsibility” for the operation which resulted in the shooting of six people, leaving several others injured.
“The Commission recommends that Mr. Bryan Acheampong be reprimanded for his ultimate responsibility as Minister in authorising an operation of that character and on a day of an election in a built up area,” the report presented to President Akufo-Addo said.
Appearing before the Commission, the Abetifi MP said the masked national security operatives were deplored from his Secretariat but denied deploying them in his personal capacity.
“I have done three interviews on radio, and at all times, I used third-person pronouns. I never said I, and that is something that I am battling with … I have never said anywhere in the three interviews that I granted… I, at all times, mentioned the Ministry of National Security or the national security or we, I never said I have deployed men,” he told the commission.