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25.02.2009 Press Release

Is Ghana on auto-pilot mode? Who is in charge here?

By NPP UK and IRELAND

We the members of NPP UK and Ireland have watched with utter dismay and disbelief the spate of human rights abuses and lawlessness being unleashed on law-abiding Ghanaians by cadres, militants and NDC apparatchiki with the connivance of NDC government officials. We are also bemused by the apparent equal lack of leadership being exhibited by President Mills a good six weeks into his leadership as he has sat back totally unconcerned or conveniently oblivious to the high spate of human right abuses going on in country. As Ghanaians living and working in the diaspora we owe it a duty to Ghanaians speak out before a negative human rights image is created about our dear nation Ghana which will undoubtedly cast a slur on our democracy, national unity and our hard fought international image of being a shinning example of an African country of good governance.

President Mills' NDC administration promised Ghanaians a “change for better Ghana” with petroleum price reduction to GHC25, free school uniforms for children, one-time premium payment for NHIS and money in our pockets. Instead what we see within its first 100 days is a nightmare of the politics of vendetta, assault on any perceived political opponents, car snatching, arrests, death threats and detentions of people without recourse to the due process of law..

We have watched with utter shock the wanton and ultra vires display of politics of impunity and abuse of power as exhibited by the likes of Mr. Victor Smith from day one. We have watched with disbelief the pandemonium and the state restlessness in Accra created by Victor Smith, former (sacked) aide to ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, who led a group of soldiers in a typical aftermath of a coup d'état fashion went round carjacking vehicles of ordinary Ghanaian citizens. This car seizure sends our minds back dangerously to the dark days of PNDC when cadres of the revolution seized cars of the enemies of the revolution and used them to “perpetrate the gains of the revolution”. We want to inform the NDC that they won a peaceful organized National election as enshrined by the constitution and are bound by the same constitution.

President Mills who on his swearing in promised to be the “President for all” has watched a section of Ghanaians across the country being held at ransom in their own dear country and are being traumatized, brutalised, chased out of their abodes and evicted by supporters of the National Democratic Congress. The victims of harassment are currently seeking refuge with relatives, police stations and the streets of Accra. These people come from Agbogloshie, Nima, Fadama and the Zongo communities in the Accra Metropolis. According to the “refugees” known NDC thugs in the area are attacking them on the pretext that they supported NPP in the December 08 elections. These innocent citizens have suffered untold hardships as they have been beaten up, have their properties destroyed and their scrap metal businesses burned down. There are eye witnesses to theses atrocities, who maintain that they have been deaths which, to date, no arrest had yet been made. Indeed, we call for a committee of inquiry to probe into this grievous situation and for the government to expedite action to bring the situation under control without any further loss of human life.

In Ashaiman management of all the 18 public toilets were taken over by some executive members of the local National Democratic Congress (NDC). Though management of the facilities was under privatization programme, therefore not partisan, the NDC members forcibly found their way there. The Ashaiman MP has rendered a profound but belated disgraceful apology for this unacceptable and offensive behaviour

In Kumasi the NDC have taken over a space of land immediately opposite their regional office at Asafo refusing access to the market traders under the pretext that they are going to use it as a car park for NDC officers. The plea of the Asafo Containers Association to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly has been met with a nonchalant attitude.

In some southern parts of the Volta Region, “foreigners” (i.e. non residents of the Volta Region or non ewes) have been asked to leave in their own interest as their security cannot be guaranteed anywhere in the region thus inciting tribal hared and division.

We believe sincerely that President Mills has yet demonstrated leadership as people working for the NDC and his government are taking the law and power into their own hands as he has put the country on auto-pilot. In Tamale, Members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Northern regional capital, continue to suffer brutalities at the hands of supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The acting Northern regional secretary of the NPP, Faisal Gbanjir, was severely beaten by NDC thugs simply because he had granted an interview to a local radio station and the disclosures he made about the beatings of innocent people by the NDC thugs, he observed, might not have gone down well with one Abdul Razak aka Area Commander, who allegedly caused some men to beat him to pulp. They razed down his house and threatened to kill him. The NPP/ NDC clashes have their roots in the tragic death of Ya-Na, some eight year ago and the resultant Justice Wuaku Committee that investigated it. President Mills' has already gone to put a foot in this already inflammatory situation by mentioning in his maiden session address to parliament that he would re-open the investigation in a way that cannot be helpful to the peace process. We believe President Mills has played to the public gallery of a small section of Ghanaians at the expense of a greater peace and human rights protection in Tamale and in the Zongo communities in Ghana.

The unlawful dismissal by Dr. Tony Aidoo in January of thirty civil servants who were A5 Foreign Service officers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who had received their appointment letters and had been officially sworn into office smacks of President Mills presiding over lawlessness, vindictiveness and a witch-hunt. This spate of dismissal knows no bounds. Recently an army Board of Inquiry was set up chaired by Col Briamah Musah to inquire into circumstances leading to the sacking by the NDC government of 420 soldiers who had been recruited in July 2008 and were about to start training. We also know that about 300 policemen who were detailed to guard officials of the NPP administration have either been sacked or threatened with the sack by the new police administration. If this is not a witch-hunt and vindictiveness then we cannot fathom out what is.

What we want to ask President Mills, a law professor, is that when the law courts grant a bail, can the BNI flout it and under what circumstance? This is the horrid experience we are having under President Mills when Mr. Dan Gyimah, the Managing Director of NIB is being held against his will and against the will of the court by the BNI because they (the BNI) believe that the bail terms given to Mr Gyimah are yet to be justified. President Mills would like us all to believe that his government has no hand in the matter but he has quickly dispatched his spokesman Hon Mahama Ayariga to give reasons supporting BNI's continual holding of Mr. Gyimah. What we know about this Dan Gyimah, before he went to NIB was that he Chairman of the Board of University of Development Studies at the time when former President Rawlings had a mix-up with his honorary doctoral degree. We do know that the President knows the full details of this matter because under Article 88(3) of the 1992 Constitution, it is only the A-G who is empowered to carry prosecutions on behalf of the state. Therefore the BNI needed the advice of the A-G to initiate that prosecution and since there was no substantive A-G the BNI sought the clearance from the President and it is for this reason why his spokesan, Ayariga knows so much about the matter.

The NDC harassment galore has no bounds. They have started seizing private vehicles of prominent Ghanaians including NPP leaders and putting tracking devices in them. The seizure and detention of Nana Akufo-Addo's vehicle was not an error of judgement as Mills' later lame apology would like us to believe. Instead it was a well formulated by Blue Gate (National Security) to bug the vehicle and keep track of every conversation by Nana and his associates. This same nefarious plan was unrolled at Tamale against Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the running mate of Nana Akufo-Addo in the just ended election. Report reaching us indicate that he was deliberately harassed by security officials at the Tamale airport for allegedly carrying a weapon in his car, an allegation which was later found out to be untrue. However his vehicle was impounded and taken to the Air Force base where the BNI was waiting to “search the car”. With the mission accomplished, the vehicle was returned to him with a listening device possibly implanted in the car. Mahama Ayarigah was quick to leave a trail of government knowledge about this plan when he defended the action and even confirmed that an AK47 was found in the vehicle. It was later confirmed that the AK47 was the official weapon being used by the policeman detailed to guard Dr. Bawumia

The recent debacle involving Grace Omaboe aka Maame Dokono and the law over the alleged abuse of some children in her orphanage has thrown up amazing information that Maame Dokono's orphanage has not been duly registered. This same orphanage operated when Maame Dokono was with the NDC. With Maame Dokono switching camps the illegality surrounding her dealings with children have suddenly come to light. We believe in the legality of business especially when it involves children but we must be even handed when applying the law and not influenced by political bias. Though this matter needs investigation the manner in which the investigation is being conducted is reprehensible.

Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, the foreign minister designate, whose alleged illicit actions at NVTI between 1997 and 2001 came to hunt him during his recent parliamentary vetting, displayed some wanton acts of lawlessness when as a member of the transition team he issued edicts sacking the acting boss of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), DCOP Douglas Akrofi Asiedu, on 9th January, 2009 and replacing him with Mr. Kofi Portuphy of the NDC. He also, as overseer of Interior Ministry sacked the Acting Director of DVLA Mrs. Mabel Sagoe of the Ministry of Transport and also issued an Executive Instrument (EI) against the express provisions of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

We are not by any means suggesting to President Mill who he should work with especially in the national security set up but we abhor the insinuating role of former President Rawlings over the replacement of the CDS and the IGP as well as his uncontrolled role in entering national security premises like he recently did at the Kotoka International Airport. It does make us wonder who Ghanaians actually voted for on December 28th to lead the nation. We have long believed that President Mills is not his own man and Rawlings has confirmed by his actions and has recently referred to President Mills' decision to keep the DCEs and MCEs until replacements are appointed as a “poverty of ideas”.

We are deeply concerned about President Mills' lack of presence in his own government and the fact that Ghana's national administration is on auto-pilot through an NDC-created stormy political weather. We are calling on President Mills to show leadership to ensure that every Ghanaian feels free and safe in their own country. Let us say “no” to more of the same and only say “yes” to a brighter Ghana.

“God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong”

Hayford Atta-Krufi Chairman On behalf of NPP UK and Ireland.

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