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30.07.2004 Politics

Tony Aidoo Releases Verbal 'Bombs'

By Chronicle
Tony Aidoo Releases Verbal 'Bombs'

THE NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) firefighter, Dr. Tony Aidoo, has again spoken and unleashed his venom on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for what he described as its nepotism, cronyism and others.

He observed that the NPP, having won the 2000 presidential and general elections on the goodwill of the public on false promises, has now developed a new agenda to muscle its political opponents through the use of state machinery.

"This attempt of vilification, harassment and intimidation of political opponents is not good for democracy," he told The Chronicle in a chat, calling on all the opposition parties, religious bodies and civil societies to condemn the "acts of victimization and harassment of political opponents and vocal individuals."

Speaking exclusively to yours truly yesterday on a wide range of issues, Dr. Aidoo, the former Deputy Minister of Defence, said, "The NPP fought all elections on various platforms of vilification of Jerry John Rawlings, his family and the NDC functionaries."

He said the Kufour-led government, after defining the parameters of inter-party debate of issues with preference for insults of personality, defamation and assassination of personality, now finds itself in a position of which the "chickens have come home to roost."

He submitted that the culture of animosity and insults had been created by the ruling government when they were in opposition. "It was rather unfortunate that Mr. Rawlings had to get into the fray personally because he finds that he has to defend himself because his party machine was not defending him."

"Various private papers including yours (referring to The Chronicle) and Free Press carried stories, such as 'Rawlings is Mad,' and 'The face of the Donkey Woman' respectively, while general connotations were that the NDC is gang of thieves."

Dr. Aidoo said it was unbelievable that when the founder of the NDC and party leaders were insulted, opinion leaders, churches, civil servants and other institutions kept their mouth shut, but now would quickly react to responses from the victims.

"Since 1992 we had a problem in this country when personal insults issued from the sections of the political divide are deemed to be okay by the so called moral society but when the victim comes the moral society comes out to condemn it," he contended.

The former deputy defence minister stated that most of the achievements of the NPP are aimed at satisfying, especially, Ashanti constituents.

"Why should the government vote that huge amount of money to the Ashanti youth?

Why not a similar amount be given to other regions, especially the most depressed economic areas, like the Upper West and the Upper East regions?" He asked "I would have thought that the scale of preference should be zeroed in towards the areas of economic viability but not areas where people are engaged in importation and selling of "Obroni wuawu" with their activities destroying the cotton industry.

Responding to accusations of insulting Owereku Ampem and kicking against America food aid to the people of the Northern Region, the vociferous Tony Aidoo, dismissed the accusations, saying people are bent on distorting facts to create an impression that he is a loose talker.

"I have never attacked any Oyeman Owereku Ampem. I have never said anything about his influence in the NPP administration. The issues we were discussing concerned the diversity of state own enterprises. After Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown, some of the state-owned enterprises set up were sold to persons associated with the Danquah-Busia tradition.

I mentioned one Omaboe. If the cup fits anybody let him or her wear it. I never attacked or insulted him."

"What is the reason why people should always spin my statements to dilute the truth, distort what I have said to divert the attention of its effectiveness from the people," he queried.

About the America food aid to the north, the NDC firebrand said, "My criticism of foreign food aid was a generous concern of its damage to the third world economy and its undermining of the productivity of the nation."

According to him, "when the third world countries accept food aid from America and other developed countries, they are invariably supporting the policy of these developed countries to under-develop us. This is because the foundation of the third world economy is agriculture."

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