Former National Security Minister Francis Poku has cautioned Ghanaians against politicizing military operations, emphasizing that such actions can have detrimental consequences for the citizens.

During the Republic Day Lecture on Monday, July 1, Francis Poku emphasized the importance of non-partisan support for security operations, urging the public to avoid politicizing military duties for the greater good of the nation.

He stressed the need for intelligence-driven deployments, particularly during critical events like elections, to ensure the safety and security of all citizens.

Francis Poku highlighted the crucial role of the Joint Intelligence Committee in informing strategic deployments and maintaining national stability.

He also advised security agencies to conduct regular, continuous assessments and reviews of their operations and strategies, ensuring they remain effective, proactive, and adaptable to evolving threats and challenges.

“It must be an honest assessment, let’s us assess, let us communicate, because if we’re going to have elections, decisions are taken, as it is to the deployment, they must originate from the joint intelligence committee, deciding who should go where. And please distinguish ladies and gentlemen, let us not politicize operations.”

Mr Poku further suggested that there must be a good security foundation for operations.

“I advise that there must be communication, this is the reason why they are deploying, there must be a good security foundation for the operation, but the military, must be accountable, first of all conferring with the commander in chief and also the origin of the operations, is it for joint intelligence committee or what it is? But again, respect for the rule of law, human rights, and accountability.”

He emphasized that continuous security assessments by the agencies will enable them to anticipate and prepare for all possible scenarios, identifying the necessary resources and equipment required for effective operations.

Moreover, he stressed that Ghana cannot achieve long-term development and planning without a stable security environment, highlighting the crucial link between security and national progress.

“Contingency plan is not for today, it helps for the unknown time when you are doing security assessment, and when you’re doing security assessment, you know all the possibilities, all the scenarios, we don’t have adequate contingency plan. We have the drones, we have rebels going into the forest and other things, are we ready? So, a proper assessment, but if there’s no stability, you cannot look into the long term.

“So, there must be proper stability, proper stability must be founded on your preparations for the future. The military must justify strategy and operational decisions to the President. If there’s a problem at Ashaiman, you have to do a consultation. I know it can be provocative.”

He commended the military for their professionalism and restraint in the face of the heinous killing of Major Maxwell Mahama, which was a testament to their discipline and commitment to upholding the rule of law, even in the most challenging circumstances.

“When I heard of Major Mahama’s case, I asked myself how did the people survive. Because I know the normal reaction of the military.

‘So, I was very thankful for the military, who was able to go and contain it, because it could easily have spilt over and I have always had respect for the military, but on that day, I was shocked, it shows the professionalism that has come back. Because the military that I know the reaction that we would have received.

“So, the positive must be looked upon, we’re moving forward, but we should never forget the foundation, the values, and our preamble to the constitution.”