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05.03.2009 NDC News

NDC has failed to handle Bawku crisis

By Bismark Bebli & Stephen Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

A LEADING member of the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, has taken President John Evans Atta Mills to task for failing to adequately address the Bawku crisis.

He has questioned the rational behind President Mills' quietness on the issue, and his inability to visit the people in the area, to ease the tension.

The NPP kingpin, who was of the view that the nation was on auto-pilot, made this observation in an interview with The Chronicle yesterday, after he chaired a press conference organised by a group calling itself, Coalition for Democratic Forces (CDF).

According to Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, President Mills' inability to visit the conflict area to calm the situation, contradicted his assertion at his inauguration that he (President Mills) would be a father for all, adding that such a declaration should reflect in his actions.

“He is the Head of the State, and needs to go there and calm the situation. He promised to be the President for all, and he must been seeing doing that.”

Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe told The Chronicle further that it was unfortunate that the President assigned his Vice, Hon. John Dramani Mahama, but the latter has since not left Accra for Bawku, which he underscored, was unfair. “President Mills must go to the North and meet with the factions. It seems to me that he is not in control of the nation,” he submitted.

The immediate-past Ghana Ambassador to Serbia noted that his quest to join the pressure group (CDF) to press upon the President to visit the North, was due to the gravity of the situation.”It is a major event, people are dying. Why is he not there, he should have been there by now,” he charged.

When quizzed that similar things happened during the eight year tenure of President Kufuor, during which he failed to comment on, let alone visit the area, but chose to travel anytime there was a conflict, Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, said what is wrong is wrong, and must not be repeated.

“I don't understand you people when you make such comparisons. When Mr. Kufuor was not there, he gives a reason.”

He was however quick to say that if the Interior Minister, Clestus Avoka, was to be in charge of issues, there would be need to call on the President to go there.

“To me, the NDC government does not seem to be in charge of the nation. The nation is now on auto-pilot,” he claimed.

Responding to whether the NPP was just putting unnecessary pressure on the President, taking into account actions of some NPP members, just two months after President Mills assumed office, he responded in the negative.

According to him, the NPP was not putting unnecessary pressure on the government, adding that the National Democratic Congress (NDC), when in opposition, did more than necessary.

The former Ghana Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro also tasked President Mills to immediately conduct investigations into the mysterious deaths of Alhaji Mobila, former Northern Regional Chairman of the Convention People's Party (CPP), and Yaa Na Andani Yakubu, then Paramount Chief of Dagbon.

Meanwhile, the Coalition for Democratic Forces (CDF) has mounted pressure on the President, to immediately address the increasing state of insecurity, and the undue trampling on the civil liberties and human rights of Ghanaians.

The group argued that the brutalities, which had engulfed the township of Tamale, the attacks on perceived political opponents at the Kokomba and Agbogbloshie markets in Accra, coupled with the mysterious child-related deaths, had sent cold shivers down the spines of most Ghanaians, and heightened insecurity in the country.

The Spokesperson, Mr. Ibrahim Adjei, stated that the CDF was also concerned about the recent debacle over the 420 army recruits into the Ghana Armed Forces, describing the reversed situation under the NDC regime as unfortunate.

He called on the government to respect laid down procedures of recruitment into the Ghana Armed Forces, since they had a tradition of recruiting people into its fold.

Mr. Ibrahim Adjei, flanked by members of the group, including Titus Glover and others, raised concern over the reported harassment and humiliation of 800 National Security Service operatives, and 100 VVIP police personnel.

According to him, contrary to the assertion by the President, during his State of the Nation Address, that the private sector would be given the necessary boost and support, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), in some parts of the country, has subjected businessmen to undue harassment and intimidation without just cause.

He said the private sector, which has been the engine of growth of the economy, was seriously under threat, since the current situation had dented the image of the country both at home and the international front.

Mr. Adjei, therefore, urged President Mills to end “his period of hibernation, and hit the ground running,” in order to stem the increasing state of insecurity, the vendetta and witch-hunting of political opponents, the undue humiliation of certain security operatives, as well as the trampling on civil liberties.

The Spokesperson appealed to the President to bring to a halt the abuses of human rights of potential officers into the Foreign Service and the Ghana Armed Forces, and also conduct critical investigations into the mysterious child-related deaths.

The group further called on the government to ensure that the security agencies discharged their duties impartially and effectively, adding “the protection of civil rights and human liberties cannot, and must not be compromised on the altar of political expediency.”