Parliament House in Accra was besieged by under the heavy occupation of armed soldiers and Police personnel by the Akufo Addo administration when the President today gave his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The entire legislature enclave was given a war-time atmosphere as it was cordoned off with precincts, stretching as far as the International Conference Center and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) were kept off-limits to the public.
The frontage of Parliament House crawled with heavily armed soldiers and police.
The military occupation of Parliament is coming after the government broke with tradition and decided that rather than the Black Star Square, the Presidential investiture will be held within the confines of Parliament, in what has sparked criticisms of paranoia aimed at the President.
Meanwhile, the NDC Caucus in Parliament has condemned the occupation, demanding the removal of the heavily armed officers.
In a statement, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, likened the deployment to a Gestapo-styled invasion of the legislature.
“The NDC Caucus in Parliament notes with disgust and utter revulsion the heavy-handed and Gestapo-style invasion of the august House of Parliament by security personnel at the behest of the Akufo-Addo administration. We strongly condemn the obvious creeping despotism and blatant misuse of the national security apparatus to advance narrow parochial partisan interests,” the Minority Leader said.
“Parliaments in every democratic jurisdiction represent the bulwark of democratic freedoms and we insist that this excessive abuse of state power to intimidate Members of Parliament represents a desecration of our highly revered parliamentary democracy and a grave affront to the dignity of the legislative arm.”
The statement demanded, “The immediate withdrawal of this detachment of soldiers, police personnel and purported national security operatives,” reminding that Ghana is not in a dictatorship.
“The NDC Parliamentary Caucus refuses to sit idle and allow the House of the People’s Representatives to be taken hostage in scenes reminiscent of the recent state-sponsored thuggery witnessed at EC Collation Centres where similar invasions led to the needless loss of lives and injuries,” read the statement from the NDC Minority.
The statement said the invasion of Parliament by Police and Military to intimidate MPs breaches Order 30 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.