Nana Addo in his seized car The car-snatching spree embarked upon by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration has been shifted to another gear, as goons of the ruling party have pounced on Nana Akufo-Addo's car.
After seizing the private cars of bank managers and other former ministers, the government seemed to have directed the nozzle of its firepower to the political opponents of President John Evans Atta Mills in the last presidential election.
A four-man security team directed from the Osu Castle yesterday seized the car of President Mills' main political opponent, Nana Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in a manner that observers simply described as shameful and uncivilized.
The car, a black Toyota Land Cruiser V8 Series with registration number GE 4416 Z was snatched in the central business district of Accra around 3.30 pm while the driver, Joseph Addo, was on a shopping errand to the Opera Square.
Nana Addo was not in the car when the goons pounced on his driver.
The NPP flagbearer, DAILY GUIDE learnt, travelled out of the country last Sunday.
The car was the main campaign vehicle the NPP presidential candidate used in the last election, and even though Nana Addo had returned every government vehicle in his possession, indications were that the new administration seemed to have other ideas.
According to the driver who spoke to DAILY GUIDE , he parked the car at a spot near the Opera Square to buy a few items, and returned to the vehicle a few minutes later only to see a hefty man in black coat by the car.
He said the man told him the car looked like a government vehicle and asked him to drive to the Castle.
He added that when he declined to go to the Castle, the man telephoned three other men, one of them in police uniform, who assisted him in taking the vehicle to the Castle.
Joseph said at the Castle, which has become a den of an illegal car-seizing syndicate, a transport officer whose name he was not told, asked him to go home for the original documents of the car.
“When I went home for them, they said the Army Colonel in charge of the operation was not available so I should leave the premises,” he told DAILY GUIDE.
The paper gathered that Nana Addo was not in the country when the car was taken away, but a number of NPP gurus who spoke to this paper expressed dismay at the development.
Boakye Agyarko, a founding member of the NPP, said the incident smacked of Soviet-Communist style of rulership, stressing that even those who believed in communism had changed their perception and approach to private property ownership.
“What kind of nonsense is this? This is ridiculous. It is certainly unacceptable and embarrassing, and it shows their sense of failure. They will soon go on confiscating bank accounts and even cedi notes as they did some years ago,” he said.
For his part, Hon. Joe Baidoe-Ansah, MP for Effia Kwesimintsim, described the incident as the height of impunity, and promised to raise the matter on the floor of Parliament.
“Nana is not in the country, but even if he were in the country, I don't think he would descend into the gutter with those people. This must be raised in the Legislature because it is getting too much,” he said.
President Mills, after taking over the reigns of power on January 7, 2009, promised to hit the ground running, saying the economy of the country was paramount and that his administration had no time for witch-hunting.
But the first six weeks of his reign has so far been characterized by intimidation, the seizure of cars and even public toilets.
Nana Addo's Land Cruiser had American specifications, the type not imported by government, but National Security Operatives under the Mills administration insist it must be taken.
The car-snatching spree started when Victor Smith, former aide to Jerry John Rawlings, led a gang of commandos to impound cars at the Castle, and later that of the former First Lady, Mrs. Theresa Kufuor.
Ever since then, the exercise has not stopped, with those in charge of the operation targeting a number of political opponents.
In the midst of all these, neither the NDC nor the government had issued any statement indicating whether or not the car-snatching syndicate enjoys Castle and presidential support.
By Bennett Akuaku