The Kennedy Agyapong Brouhaha has brought to question the leadership style and capability of the President to discharge his duties impartially, as “the father all” and in so doing protect the rights of all Ghanaians.
The President is the leader of this country. He is the Chief, Chief Whip of the people of this country. It is his utterances, followed by his actions that influence the outcome of our fate in Ghana. It is not for nothing that millions of dollars are spent every four years for 24 million people to decide on which one person will lead us to a better future, and do all to protect the democracy we are enjoying today.
I have always argued that if there ever is a chief culprit of fear and panic, it is President Atta Mills. He is the chief architect of fear and panic in this country. Today, Asomdwehene President Mills' own Director of Operations, Nii Lante Vanderpuye has since the biometric registration exercise began, been terrorizing all Ghanaians who do not bear names he likes, from registering. Unfortunately, led by President Mills, the arms of the police have been put in political shackles as they look on helplessly. What can cause fear and panic than this?
What can cause more fear and panic than for the Number one Gentlemen of the country, in the face of meaningless, senseless violence being perpetrated against Ghanaians by his own Director of Operations, to come out and deny responsibility of action required? The President's refusal to call his appointees responsible for ensuring peace and sanity in our country to order is a panacea for fear and panic.
For a man, A. M. O. S. Woyome to swindle 24 million Ghanaians of about $40 million under the nose of Professor Mills, the controller of our National Purse, without his knowledge (?), really causes fear and panic. That same amount, under President Kufuor, was used to provide 207 school buildings and 186 boreholes among others, to deprived communities; but under Professor Mills, that amount was carted over to one man, for no work done; and he says he did not know?! “Excuse me, I'm afraid”.
When President Saint Mills's attention was drawn to the fact that Ghana had signed an agreement with the World Bank not to go in for a single commercial loan beyond $800 million, President Mills at the time openly admitted that he was unaware Ghana had been tied under such a condition by the international financial body. For President Saint Mills to say he does not know about the financial agreements between the people of Ghana and the World Bank and therefore the extent of our freedoms as far as our monetary lives are concerned causes fear and panic.
Whilst recognizing that some aspects of Hon. Kennedy Agyapong's statements sent some of us almost to the edge of panic, it is important that we do not lose sight of the fact that, that same statement came as a blessing in disguise. Indeed, it is only after his statement that the National Security Agencies are giving serious attention to the many complaints of violence being perpetrated by Nii Lante Vanderpuye and the likes like him. It is because of Kennedy Agyapong's statement that some peace has come to Odododiodioo and traders and the like are now being allowed to register freely. We need to recognize the role of Hon. Kennedy Agyapong in all this. Even when he is reported to have said “I want to die”, he was sending a message. He was saying that if the government will sit unconcerned, if the police will take a partisan position and take away our God-given, inalienable rights, then we should be ready to stand up and protect those rights, even if it means laying down our lives in the process.
There are some who have mischievously tried to align the violence perpetrated in Odododiodioo to the misunderstanding that occurred in Okere. The two cases are entirely different. In the case of Odododiodioo, Nii Lante Vanderpuye stated emphatically that they will prevent the people from registering. He said he had information that some people were being bussed in from Kasoa to register in Ododiodiodioo and that he will even prevent these people from alighting from the bus to register.
In the case of the Okere incident, there was no attempt to prevent anybody from registering. When some two people were identified as strangers, they were approached and their identity challenged. Unlike the case of Nii Lante Vanderpuye, they were given the opportunity to defend themselves but instead they took to their heels.
It is unfortunate that it has had to take the utterance of Kennedy Agyapong, for the whole country to take a critical look at the violence being perpetrated by Nii Lante and his boys and others like them.
Further disappointing is the fact that this whole tension we are experiencing in Accra is being caused by the President Mills's Director of Operations, and yet he continues to blame his opponents.
Worse disappointing is the fact that hypocritically, President Mills has failed to call his appointees to order in their quest to scuttle national peace. Saint Mills continue to look everywhere except within his camp for causes of political tensions in this country.
I hope the hue and cry and all the other events that have characterised this Kennedy Agyapong brouhaha will lead us to learn valuable lessons and appreciate how fragile our peace and democracy is, and how tots of violence, if not nipped in the bud with alacrity, can engulf the nation.
BY YAW P. K. MANU