Government says there is no militia or vigilante group operating from the Osu Castle in Accra as has been suggested in an investigative documentary dubbed ‘militia in the heart of the nation’.
“There is no militia or vigilante group operating from the castle,” Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told journalists Friday at a news conference to comment on the investigative piece by Manasseh Awuni.
A group, De-Eye, said to be associated with the NPP government was captured on secret camera undergoing drills at the Osu Castle, which was said to be an annex of the Presidency. The facility was described as being in a security zone.
With a membership of about 5,000 nationwide, the group has Nana Wireko Addo, a former bodyguard of president Nana Akufo-Addo as its commander, and were said to have been used on some occasions for unspecified security operations outside Accra.
At a news conference to address the issues, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah stated the group is not a militia as the Manasseh suggested in the documentary, but unemployed persons being helped to secure jobs.
“…they are in the business of helping people find jobs,” he stated, adding “This is an important fact which government believes had to be stated to viewers and listeners”.
In the view of government, the 20-minute documentary did produce “evidence of such militia or vigilante group training or operating at a security zone [Osu Castle]”.
The minister said what the documentary showed was young men and women dressed up in white shirts and black suits, converging at the Osu Castle with the “belief that jobs will be found for them”.
Though he said the group was not a militia, they were operating at the Castle without permission from the government for which reason the National Security has since October 2018 closed down their offices
This is in sharp contrast to the information in the documentary which indicated that as at late December the group were still operating from the place
Castle not a security zone
Mr. Oppon Nkrumah indicated the Castle has since March 5, 2017, ceased to be a security zone, hence described as “most worrying” for Manasseh to described the facility as a security installation in the documentary.
“…the Castle, Osu, is not a security zone neither is it an annex of the presidency,” he stated.
He added, “Indeed, the castle gardens are also open for use by members of the public.
The museums and monuments board, he said, is currently the one manning the facility for it to be developed into a museum by the Ministry for Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The Information Minister took the view the documentary was “disingenuous and deliberate attempts to cast the president in a negative light”.
“This so-called undercover documentary falls short of their own standards,” he stated, adding it “only puts conjecture, malice, mischief, sensationalism and invalidated suspicions and presented to the Ghanaian people as truth”.