· As authorities offer conflicting accounts
The confusion trailing on Manasseh Azure Awuni’s ‘Militia in the heart of the Nation’ video documentary is intriguing as authorities struggle to discredit the reportage.
While Manasseh Awuni and his Joy News Crew, are receiving good support and enjoying tons of praises in the country particularly from opposition elements. Persons within government are also queuing in mix-up over who to support between the Joy News report and ‘De-Eye Group’.
Government through the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said ‘De-Eye Group’ is a job recruitment agency that is into finding jobs for young unemployed persons not militia group.
Reacting to the reportage, the Ofoase Ayeribi Legislator said the documentary is a “malicious” misrepresentation of facts and lack evidence to support the narrative that President Nana Akufo-Addo is sponsoring a militia group.
“Surprisingly, the 20-minute documentary does not show any evidence of such a militia, or a vigilante group training or operating at a security zone. Rather, it shows a group of young men and women dressed up in white shirts and black suits converging at the Christiansburg Castle in Osu in the belief that jobs will be found for them,” the statement noted.
“From Joy News’ own documentary, it is clear that the company is involved in helping unemployed young men and women find jobs, and operates a website that openly states their objectives”, the former employee of Joy FM explained.
But the Minister of State in-charge-of National Security, Bryan Acheampong, on Sunday, in a facebook post confirmed the group held its end of year party at the Castle Gardens.
Contradicting the claims by the Director of Communication at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, that neither the president nor the National Security knew about the group, he said the government is aware of all the activities undertaken by the company and is convinced that the group is not a vigilante group.
“At no time did we see these people conducting any training regime that we will consider a security threat. You can be sure, that we have the men, masked and unmasked to suppress any threat to our peace and security if indeed there is one,” He said in a Facebook post.
“Nobody, seeing these innocent jobs seeking young men and women can conclude that they are a vigilante group or militia. In fact, they don’t pass for a school cadet,” he added.
“We did all the works and assured ourselves that De Eye group was not a Vigilante Group (truest form and interpretation), Militia, or criminal organization.
However, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has dissociated itself from the ‘De-Eye Group’, which is alleged to be affiliated to the party.
In a statement issued on the heels of the exposé, the party said it has no connection to the militia group.
“The NPP has not established any such group and is neither affiliated to nor supports one, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah Esq. asserted.
Digging his party, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, Assin Central legislator, has said there is truth in Joy News’ report about the group operating at the Osu Castle, the former seat of government.
He said his checks revealed that it was fraud and that it was a sacked bodyguard of then Presidential candidate Nana Addo who was training people at the Castle.
“Is there element of truth or not,” he quizzed. ” “There is element of truth about the operations of the De-Eye group at the Osu Castle.”
“Are you saying that when the boy was training them daily, no one in authority didn’t saw them,’ he questioned.
Interestingly, Member of Parliament for Manhyia North Constituency and Vice Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Interior, Hon. Collins Owusu Amankwah is the man with the weakest denial.
Commenting on the issue, Hon. Owusu-Amankwah said the Osu Castle, is not a security zone; and that people can hire the facility for social events.
“Even you, can hire the place for your wedding reception”, he told Kwasi Amakye on Metro News.
“The Militia in the Heart of the Nation” had among things said a former seat of government, Osu Castle, was the headquarters of De-Eye Group, a pro-NPP militia. It also said the National Security and the Presidency were aware of the existence of this group, that the group held its end of year party on December 21 at the Castle Gardens.