NDC Can Set Up Its Own Neutrally Constituted Commission to Probe Ayawaso
I read the all-too-predictable contents of the press release signed by the longtime General-Secretary of Ghana’s main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, and could not be more contemptuously amused. In the release, captioned “Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Election: We Don’t Trust Gov’t Commission of Inquiry – NDC” (Modernghana.com 2/8/19), the man who is popularly called General Mosquito rather brazenly calls the competence and integrity of the Justice Emile Short-chaired Commission, charged with investigating violent clashes that occurred during the January 31st Ayawaso-West Wuogon parliamentary byelection and present its findings and recommendations to the Government within one month, into question, primarily because all four members of the Commission were supposedly appointed to various positions of public trust by New Patriotic Party (NPP) governments, both past and present.
The members of the Short Commission are, of course, Justice Emile Short, who, in 1993, contrary to what Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia would have Ghanaians and the rest of the world believe, was appointed Ghana’s first Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), a position which the half-Ghanaian and half-Sierra Leonean citizen held with remarkable distinction until 2010, by then-President Jerry John Rawlings. We must also quickly point out that while serving as Chairman of CHRAJ, to which he had been appointed by the founding-father of the National Democratic Congress, the same political party of which Mr. Asiedu-Nketia has been the General-Secretary for some 14 years now, Justice Short also served as a Judge on the United Nations-sponsored War-Crimes Tribunal on Rwanda in the famous and historic Tanzanian city of Arusha.
Now, what the preceding means is that Mr. Asiedu-Nketia is a brazen liar who clearly lacks the credibility and decency to cavalierly presume to second-guess the motive and integrity of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for establishing the Short Commission to enquire into the reportedly scattered pockets of violence, largely provoked by operatives of the National Democratic Congress, including Mr. Samuel George Nartey, NDC’s Member of Parliament for the Ningo-Prampram Constituency, in the Greater-Accra Region, that punctuated the recent Ayawaso-West Wuogon Constituency byelection, that had been occasioned by the death of Mr. Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, a former Head of Ghana’s Food and Drug Board (FDB) under the tenure of former President John Agyekum-Kufuor, who was the substantive NPP-sponsored Ayawaso-West Wuogon Member of Parliament.
I have also investigated the sterling credentials of Prof. Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu, one of the first two women in the country to have obtained a first-class degree from the Law faculty of the University of Ghana. As well, I have investigated the academic and professional credentials of Mr. Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, the former Inspector-General of the Ghana Police Service (GPS). And on the latter score must also be emphatically pointed out that prior to him being named as IGP by then-President John Agyekum-Kufuor, the University of Ghana’s Law School alumnus had served under former President Rawlings as either a Deputy Police Commander or substantive Police Commander in various parts of the country. If, indeed, he had been really interested in finding a constructive solution to the Ayawaso-West Wuogon byelection disturbances, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia would have also learned that since 1976, Mr. Acheampong has also served in various capacities as a public prosecutor and was, in fact, one of the key prosecutors of the Public Tribunal System that was established by the Rawlings-led junta of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).
Here also, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia shamelessly exposes himself for woefully lacking the requisite competence and credibility to be able to critically and objectively assess the yeomanly achievements of the former IGP. We must also underscore the fact that if he really cared about the impartial administration of justice, the longtime NDC’s General-Secretary would not be maligning the necessity for justiciable balance of legal and judicial equality and fair play, which is precisely what the impartial ministration of justice is incontrovertibly about. In other words, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia ought not to expect that a totally different legal and/or judicial yardstick would be used to measure the guilt or innocence of the NDC’s apparatchiks and key operatives who were involved in fomenting the illegal activities that led to the violent disturbances during the Ayawaso-West Wuogon byelection.
Needless to say, the Short Commission could not have been more neutral and/or meritorious. But what is even more significant to highlight here is the fact that in establishing the Short Commission, President Akufo-Addo has proven himself to be the unmatchable pioneer where the track-record of his immediate predecessor, in particular, to wit, former President John Dramani Mahama, as well as the track-record of previous National Democratic Congress’ leaders, has been sorely lacking in this critical leadership area of progressive and constructive and civilized conflict resolution process.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
February 8, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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