I am enraged by reports that the opposition New Patriotic Party, NPP is contemplating hitting the streets to demonstrate against what they call “harassment of its members” over the seizure of vehicles. This is a typical case of “the pot calling the kettle black.”
Our constitution guarantees the rights of every individual to freely take part in processions and demonstrations and I absolutely support this wise provision in our constitution. The opposition and indeed every Ghana must be encouraged to demonstrate and organise processions to highlight or draw attention to matters they are aggrieved about if all avenues for redress fail. I am therefore not opposed to any form of peaceful demonstrations by any group including the NPP.
What I am against is self righteous hypocrisy. To paraphrase a paragraph from Mr. Obama's 2002 speech against the Iraqi war,' what I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Nyaho Tamakloe, Asamoah Boateng, Nana Akomea and other armchair, weekend warriors in the NPP to shove their warped ideologies about rule of law down our throats.'
Indeed I am opposed to attempts by political hacks like Nana Ohene Ntow to distract us from the filthy corruption that engulfed our country whilst they were in power over the last eight years.
Since when did it become harassing for the state to reclaim what belonged to the state? How many people returned their vehicles after the Deputy Information minister issued his fatwa to former ministers who were still holding on to their vehicles? In less than a week after the ultimatum to return the vehicles that were less than two years old, sixteen vehicles were returned. Why were so many ex-ministers holding on to their cars if they weren't entitled to them?
There are prescribed procedures for the acquisition of vehicles by former officials. The law is that the acquisition does not apply to saloon cars under two years old. So anyone who was holding on to a vehicle under two years is required to return them. But what did we see – many of them greedily held on to vehicles they had no authorisation to keep. But for the ultimatum would they have returned them?
This is a party that oppressed its own members and appointees. Under the NPP, the national security advisor, Frances Poku (who is suspected of stealing from national coffers) had to flee into exile. Their own Nana Frema Busia, a lady Kufour appointed to various posts called for his impeachment.
Well, Frema Busia, Frances Poku and anyone who fled into exile can return home because Ghanaians have rescued the nation from the claws of a grossly incompetent upper crust. This is a party that stripped Chairman Rawlings of his privileges as enshrined in our constitution; went to a church service and arrested an opponent who was worshipping with his family and had no intentions to flee out of the country; forcibly and without due recourse to law removed many government appointees and civil servants from their posts.
Where were the Ohene Ntows when Issah Mobila, an opposition politician, was beaten and tortured to death by security officials? Did the courts under the NPP give Tsatsu Tsikata “adequate time for the preparation of his defence” before the jailed him?
All governments have a responsibility to protect their nationals especially the most vulnerable of all citizens, but certainly not for the government Ghana had from 2001-2008. They came to power on the wings of positive change, and instead of being a catalyst for change and became a roadblock for change. When the call came for the Kufour led government to protect the overlord of Dagbon and his counsel, they facilitated and covered up their assassinations.
To even begin to talk about harassment is so repulsive. The NPP left office leaving in their trail the unforgivable destruction of the heritage of the Dagbon people. Their record of human rights violations and harassment in 8years is worse than all the military juntas of our country put together.
Under a constitutional democracy, we had the figure head of the Dagbon people and his retinue assassinated whilst security officials looked away. A very important person is murder in the afternoon, by evening his head and limb are hacked off under the watchful eyes of police and military officers and nothing happens?
Imagine if this had happened to even a sub chief from the Ashanti region? I can guarantee they would have smoked out and disowned the architects.
The trauma that the people of Dagbon have been subject to under the New Patriotic Party would take a long time to heal, and perhaps never. The only thing that might assuage the pain of loss - not just the loss of a father, a King and an embodiment of the authority of Dagbamba, but of a very long tradition and culture of the Dagbon people – is FINAL JUSTICE. The suspected architects and accessories are still walking free - Habib Tijani, Malik Yakubu Alhassan, Kwame Ado Kufour and the entire NPP gang of bad and dishonourable security agents.
We can now only take consolation and pleasure in news of imminent prosecution of suspected criminals within the NPP. They would indeed spare us this display of hypocrisy when President Mills starts “cracking the damn whip.”
The New Patriotic party should spare Ghana the diversionary and self righteous stunts. They owe Professor Mills a debt of gratitude for the temporary reprieve that criminal elements in their party enjoy.
Broadcaster & Executive member – NDC Europe Group.