The caption of this column ought to have read “A Preemptive Strike and Step in the Right Direction.” We are here referring to the tabling of two Private Members’ Motion for Parliament to investigate all election-related violence and mayhem, including those involving the criminal losses of lives that have occurred in Ghana since the inception of the Fourth Republic (See “four NPP-MPs File Motion for Electoral Violence Probe from 1993 Till 2020” Peace-FM / Ghanaweb.com 4/3/21).
The latter motions, which were filed by four Majority Caucus Members of Parliament came on the heels of a similar more temporally limited and depravedly expedient and partisanly self-interested motion filed by six Parliamentary Minority Caucus Members, namely, Messrs. Haruna Iddrisu, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, Mahama Ayariga, Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, Suhuyini Alhassan and James Algaga.
The latter motion filers are self-interested in the thrust of their petition and demand for a Committee of Inquiry to be established to probe the deaths of some 7 people that occurred in the Techiman-South Constituency of the Bono Region, a constituency in which the 2020 General Election was fiercely contested between operatives and assigns of the country’s two major political parties, namely, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress. It is flagrantly parochial and one that deviously and mischievously seeks to evade leadership responsibility because historically speaking, more election-related violence has occurred in the country under the watch or tenure of the National Democratic Congress-sponsored Presidents than have occurred under the tenure of New Patriotic Party-sponsored Presidents.
As well, the leaders of the New Patriotic Party have indisputably demonstrated their willingness to have election-related violence in the country promptly and thoroughly investigated than has been the case with the leaders of the proudly self-proclaimed “revolutionary” prime-movers of the National Democratic Congress, foremost among the ranks of these political jihadists the recently seismically trounced Candidate John “European Airbus Payola” Dramani Mahama, who is also Ghana’s Fourth President of the Fourth Republic. On the latter score must also be promptly recalled that in the runup to the 2020 Presidential Election, Candidate Mahama gave an angrily worded stumps or electioneering-campaign speech in the Volta Region in which the former Atta-Mills’ Arch-Lieutenant vowed to rain Hell and Mayhem on the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana, in the event of the leadership of the Jerry John Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress becoming convinced that the general conduct of the 2020 General Election left much to be desired.
The Mahama speech that widely came to be known and termed as “The Boot-for-Boot Speech” by the Ghanaian media, was roundly condemned by leaders of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country, foremost among whom was the Chairman of the Ghana Peace Council (GPC). Not surprisingly, the counter motion calling for the prompt and thorough investigation of all election-related violence that has occurred in the country since 1993, that is, the inception of Ghana’s Fourth Republic, was authored by Messrs. Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the New Patriotic Party’s Deputy Majority Leader; Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the Parliamentary Chief Whip; Samuel Atta-Akyea, the NPP-MP for Akyem-Abuakwa-South; and Osei-Bonsu Amoah, the New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Akuapem-South.
There is likely to emerge a striking pattern of violence that has the authors of such viciously orchestrated mayhem being almost exclusively members, supporters and sympathizers of the National Democratic Congress, in places across the country such as Akyem-Akwatia and Atiwa, both in the Eastern Region; Talensi, in the Upper-East Region; Amenfi, in the Western Region; and, of course, the Ayawaso-West-Wuogon Constituency, in the Greater-Accra Region, that attracted widespread attention and notoriety both within the country and abroad, and was promptly and thoroughly investigated by a three-person blue-ribbon Commission of Inquiry led by a retired Appeals Court Judge by the name of Justice Emile Short. Now, the question of whether the recommendations of the Short Commission Report were adequately addressed and/or redressed by Jubilee House continues to be hotly debated across the country.
But, of course, what is even more disturbing and significant to observe is that not a single case of election-related violence that occurred under the tenure or watch of the leaderships of the National Democratic Congress, whose operatives have been screaming the loudest in the wake of the deaths of some 7 Ghanaian citizens in the Techiman-South Constituency, was ever investigated. Now, hopefully, Ghanaians have a prime and an auspicious chance of having their bipartisan leaders set the records straight. Let’s make absolutely no mistake whatsoever: This is absolutely no infantile contest to determine which of the leaders of Ghana’s two major political parties are more vicious and pathologically prone to brutal acts of violence and mayhem. We already know this glaring fact of our national political culture. Now, what is most needed here – not to forget the Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye-fomented acts of deadly violence in the Odododiodio Constituency, in the Greater-Accra Region – is how to effectively and constructively stanch this perennial and morally and intellectually unsavory culture of skyrocketing barbarism.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
April 4, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]