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09.11.2004 General News

"Coup" story is a hoax, smokescreen - NDC

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Accra, Nov. 9, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Tuesday reaffirmed its commitment to constitutional democracy saying the parry would not condone any act to destabilize the country.

In a statement signed in Accra by Nii Josiah Aryeh, General Secretary, in reaction to a police statement on investigations into threat to national security, the party said it clearly demonstrated this commitment in the peaceful handover of power when voters opted for a change in 2000.

"As has often been stated by Professor John Evans Atta Mills (the presidential candidate), the NDC will not condone any act that would seek to undermine the constitutional democracy," it said.

The NDC said it was, however, cautioning the government "not to attempt to use coup scares as a smokescreen to either undermine free, transparent and fair elections or manipulate the electorate". The NDC said the police statement had "sparked off wild media speculation, leading to general uneasiness and anxiety in and outside the country".

It noted that one former military personnel had been brought to court and charged with possession of one pistol and 12 rounds of ammunition "as well as harmless paraphernalia associated with ex-servicemen while another has been granted self-recognisance bail in the sum of 50 million cedis".

"The nature of the charges being faced by the accused has left the people of Ghana in no doubt that this latest coup scare is a hoax and yet another example of the diversionary tactics of the NPP government."

The NDC said the latest statement fitted into "the consistent pattern adopted by the NPP government and its security agencies since they assumed the reigns of power in 2001".

The party cited a number of instances in which, it said, similar stories of coup plots had been put into the public domain.

These include that of a certain Mallam Moro allegedly hired by the NDC and housed in Haatso in Accra to perform rituals for a coup, the arrest of Colonel Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, ex Commanding Officer of the 64 Infantry also in connection with an alleged coup plot and a story in a Liberian newspaper about mercenaries allegedly hired by opposition elements to destabilize the country.

"The latest coup scare is an obvious hoax, which has unnecessarily heightened tensions in the country and has the potential to cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the country."

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