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07.10.2004 Politics

'Asabee' Attacks Mills

By Chronicle
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- says he is off target

THE DEPUTY Minister of Information, Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, has responded to Prof. Mills' claim that President Kufour should have been subpoenaed by the National Reconciliation Commission to shed light into the killing of the retired army major and the three High Court judges.

Speaking to The Chronicle in an interview, the Deputy Information Minister said "Actually Mills is off target. He should go back and revise his political notes and check all his facts very well before coming out.. President Kufour cannot be held responsible because Mr. Rawlings must be held responsible because he was a dictator during the PNDC administration."

"This is typical of Mills because he does not analyze his facts. There is absolutely nothing like a collective responsibility as far as we are concerned," adding that, "In any case where was he when young man was shaved at Castle by his boss and when his boss again turned over a taxi car for crossing him? For me basically, he should put things in the right perspective."

According the Deputy Minister, it was unfortunate for the NDC's Presidential candidate to suggest a statement of the sort. "I knew Kufour when he was in the PNDC as the only one who wears descent clothes to the office and they laughed at him."

He said, the Atta Mills' argument, which gives the impression that during the PNDC days, there were discussions on the abduction and the murder of judges that would warrant subpoena of President Kufour was uncalled for and off target.

Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, the NPP aspiring Member of Parliament for Mfanteman West Constituency said, "In fact, Mills premises of argument is misleading,. I would advise him to know that in military dictatorship, there was nothing like collective responsibility and that it will be better he cross checked all his facts. That is Mills for you. I have repeatedly said that Mills does not check his facts," he emphasized.

It would be recalled that Prof. Mills, in his lecture at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) at Kumasi, broke his long silence on the murder of the three high court judges and the retired army officer and pinned the responsibility squarely on administration of the PNDC and those who worked with the administration.

In his submission, after describing the murder of the judges as atrocious and the leading record of human rights abuses, Prof. Mills attacked President Kufour as one of the then key Minister of the defunct PNDC that should be subpoenaed by the NRC to help them to have a proper account of that administration.

He said, "It is matter of record that some the worst human rights abuses of the PNDC era recorded in the first six months of that government's tenure, between January 1982 and June 1982.

Indeed the most notorious of them, the abduction and the murder of the three high court judges and the retired army officer occurred on the last day of that period, 30th June 1982."

"It is also matter of record that I was neither a member of that government nor a PNDC secretary, as the ministers were then formed, of that government, nor indeed did I hold any position in, nor have any association with, that government. It is therefore an irony of history that those abuses are sometimes quoted at me and I am asked to defend them or are used to attack the human rights records of the second NDC government from 1997 to 2001 of which I was the vice president, and I am asked to defend them."

President Kufour, however, was a member of the PNDC government. He was the PND secretary (Minister) of Local Government at the time the judges and the retired army officer were abducted and murdered.

"The NRC would have done this country a lot of good if it had subpoenaed all those who served in and with the PNDC in that period to give an account of the extent of their knowledge of the human rights abuses of the time, including the abduction and the murder of the judges and the army officer, and what they did about those abuses." Mills charged in Kumasi.

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