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24.02.2009 Press Release

STATEMENT BY THE PATRIOTIC LEAGUE

By THE PATRIOTIC LEAGUE

STATEMENT BY THE PATRIOTIC LEAGUE (PL) ON VIOLENT ATTACKS AND INTIMIDATION ON OPPONENTS OF THE NDC, THE CONTROVERSIAL CESSATION CARS, AND ATTEMPT TO HIVE OFF THE COCOA SUB-SECTOR FROM MINISTRY OF FINANCE & ECONOMIC PLANNING


24th February 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, our friends from the media.

We thank you for making time to be with us. The Patriotic League (PL) is made up of concerned Ghanaians mostly of the New Patriotic Party. We seek to contribute to the development of Ghana's democratic dispensation, issues that affect the national polity and the promotion of ideals of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The first issue we would like to address at today's encounter with the media is the return of the culture of violence and intimidation into our national life. It is not by happenstance that Ghanaians decided for multiparty democracy as means of governance. Post 2008 elections has been characterised by incessant attacks, harassments and intimidation of NPP supporters and persons perceived to be opposed to the NDC party across the country.

The violent assault on households perceived to be occupied by NPP supporters and sympathisers in Tamale and its environs two days ago comes as the latest of such continuous attacks. Fifteen (15) homes burnt, with properties amounting to millions of New Ghana cedis destroyed. Again, the NPP office at the Tamale Polytechnic Junction around Choggu was vandalised by the NDC thugs. The lives of the NPP members in the Northern part of the country are really endangered. Again, the incidents at Agbogbloshie confirm fears that political opposition to the ruling NDC would always attract violent response.

In a very bizarre circumstance, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the flag bearer of the NPP and his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, in the just ended 2008 election, within a week had their private vehicles ceased in Accra and Tamale respectively. We believe that the NDC is taking us back to the dark days where State Security apparatus was used to harass and intimidate the good people of Ghana. Is this the better Ghana, the NDC promised the good people of this country? We should not, and would not accept this.

Our democratic culture has come too far to be destroyed so blatantly by the NDC faithful who have unduly taken the law into their own hands. But more importantly, if these acts are not checked, those of who feel threatened by the posture of sections of the NDC would be compelled to find ways of defending themselves. It needs not come to that.

We call on the Mills administration to cause the relevant institutions to immediately go into these cases and punish the culprits.

Secondly, ladies and gentlemen, our attention has been drawn to the intention of the Mills' administration to hive off the cocoa sub-sector from the supervision of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning and take it to the Ministry of Food & Agriculture. The cocoa sub-sector was placed under the strict supervision of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning due to the strategic nature of the cocoa industry to the growth of Ghana's economy under the NPP government.

We have no doubt that this would hurt the industry and the Ghanaian economy. Over the years, especially between 2001 and 2008, the cocoa sub-sector has performed very well under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning owing to the appropriate interventions put in place by the NPP-Kufuor led Government. Cocoa production improved from 389 772 metric tonnes in 2000/2001 season to 677 414 metric tonnes in 2007/2008 cocoa season. Indeed, in the 2005/2006 cocoa season, Ghana achieved a record production of 741 000 metric tonnes, an increment of 47.4%.

There is no justifiable reason for the intended change. We have reason to believe that the change is being motivated by selfish interests. We note that Kwasi Ahwoi is the Minister designate for Food & Agriculture Ministry. We again recall the problems and irregularities that this country suffered through the activities of CashPro. The CEO of CashPro was Ato Ahwoi, a direct brother of the minister designate. For the avoidance of doubt, CashPro was a cocoa buying company which owed Cocobod to the tune of 36 billion old Ghana cedis. There is so much misplaced interest imbedded in the move by the Mills administration.

We call on the people of this country and the president to stop this selfish move by few individuals who are thinking about themselves and not the country. PL would do all it can to resist this distasteful move.

We thank you for your audience.

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