General News of Thursday, 17 August 2006
... NPP Blasts NDC's attacks ...
Accra, Aug. 17, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Thursday described President John Agyekum Kufuor's first public comment on the Justice Georgina Wood Committee as a diversionary tactics to take the heat from the issue at stake.
"The NDC as a Party wishes to state that the recent (comments) of President Kufuor were an attempt to divert public attention from the damming revelations emerging from the cocaine tapes and the sittings of the Committee and reduce the matter into the domain of partisan politicking," Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, NDC General Secretary, said at a press conference organized to respond to President Kufuor's comments last Saturday.
The NDC said no amount of provocation would succeed in diverting its attention from holding the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and government accountable for their stewardship of the affairs of the country including finding solutions to the cocaine menace. President Kufuor was quoted to have said, "Now we know the people who brought cocaine into the country. It is not the NPP...His propagandists are saying this is not party matter. It is a party matter and the people of Ghana should hold this man to explain to the bottom...."Responding to the assertion, the NDC said: "To the extent that the NPP as a political party has been entrusted with the destiny of this country from 2001 to 2008, the cocaine issue is an NPP Government matter. "This is even so because the NPP Government is in charge of law and order, national security and indeed under the 1992 Constitution, the National Security Council is chaired by His Excellency the President. "Any national security failure is, therefore, deemed to be a failure of His Excellency the President." "The cocaine scandal is a matter of national crisis, which has international ramifications. Ghanaians both at home and in the Diaspora are embarrassed, disillusioned and scandalized by the depths to which the country's image had sunk as a result of the drug menace=94, Mr Asiedu-Nketiah said. "The image of Ghana is at an all time low and as we speak now, Ghanaians of all walks of life are being subjected to all kinds of harassment at various international airports and other entry points to other countries." The NDC also expressed concern about the social impact of what they described as the booming cocaine trade in the country. The press conference, which was attended by leading national, regional and constituency executives of NDC as well as Members of Parliament, was also used to challenge the Government to explain the circumstances under which some members of NPP arrested at Kotoka International Airport for dealing in cocaine in 2002 were released. Dr Kwabena Adjei, NDC National Chairman, responding to questions from newsmen said "the party is not either defending or making any categorical statement on Mr Robert Joseph Mettle Nunoo. He is an individual member of the party".