Feature Article of Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Columnist: Quansah, Ebo
Anytime I hear or read about Presidential submissions of providing leadership, my blood pressure rises. It is because this head of state has perfected the art of preaching peace, when people around him are preparing for war. I find it very difficult to conceptualize what Prof. John Evans Atta Mills really stands for.
We got to know and lived with Jerry John Rawlings after dismantling everything the people of Ghana had done, and put himself in at the Castle, aided by people who claimed to believe in him. I still have a serious issue with him for the way human life was wasted, so that he could move from penury existence to join the nouveau rich of society. There are nearly 300 lives that could still not be accounted for. In Jerry Rawlings, one got what one was looking for in him. Jerry Rawlings made every Ghanaian to know what he stood for. It was agonizing living under the tyranny he unleashed, especially when the gun was his main ally. There were no pretensions though.
Anybody who has any sense of truth would tell you that the political temperature dropped considerably when John Agyekum Kufuor was at the Castle. One could not discount the fact that there were one or two skirmishes though. But at least most Ghanaians knew what was expected of the Head of State. His utterances did not have many nuances that Ghanaians could not come to terms with.
When President Atta Mills went to Dakar and pontificated on his desire for a peaceful election in December, he knew that his top aides were preparing the grounds for war. The President knows that if there would be any disturbance of the peace in the run up to the elections, it would come from his own backyard.
According to President Mills, the loss of a single life as a result of the upcoming elections, would not sit well with him. Read the lips of the head of State: “I am not interested in political power that is tainted with blood,” the President is quoted by one of the ‘rented criminal NDC press’ to have told Ghanaians in Senegal. Democracy is about a contest of ideas and not about shedding of blood to gain political power.”
Well said. But what is the reality on the ground? In the events leading to the declaration of the result of the Presidential run-off in December 2008, which titled his way by the smallest of margins known in local politics, Radio Gold summoned NDC sympathizers carrying all sorts of offensive weapons to invade the offices of the Electoral Commission.
All it needed was a confrontation from any other group of people, to plunge this country into very serious disturbances. That aside, three New Patriotic Party activists, who were traders at the yam market at Agbobloshie in Accra, were alleged to have been butchered to death by agents of the NDC in January 2009, just as President Mills was being sworn in.
For over three years now, the Police have never been interested in that case. When former NPP General Secretary, Ohene Ntow raised the concerns of the party and relatives of the deceased, the ex-scribe of the opposition party, had to do a number of sorties to the police station.
As you read this piece, the perpetrators are still on the loose. They have never been summoned to account for their misdeeds. Last month, the Ghanaian media was awash with stories and pictures of the President on a campaign trail at Agbobloshie.
The ‘Father For All’ did not even deem it fit to commiserate with the relatives of those butchered. I am getting sick and tired of public admonitions from a head of state who has divided the nation through the middle.
What is nauseating about the Presidential pronouncement in Dakar is that at the time the President was preaching to those who cannot influence peace or otherwise in Ghana, during the December election, his Special Aide, Nii lante Vanderpuiye, was busily promoting ethnic cleansing at Odododiodoo in Accra.
Is the President of the Republic not aware that potential voters at Odododiodoo are being prevented from registering on the word of Nii Lante Vanderpuiye? At Odododiodoo, if one does not speak Ga, the person is prevented from registering at all cost. Since when did the Ga dialect become the lingua franca of Ghana?
If the President is not aware, (and there has been instances when the President has pleaded innocence when he has even been cited as a major player), the desire of his special Aide to become a Parliamentarian has made the Odododiodoo area a no-go area for a large mass of Ghanaians. If you speak Twi, you are likely to be cited as an enemy, according to the diction of the Presidential aide. It is not only Vanderpuiye who is exploiting the power at his disposal as an aide to the President, to get an unfair advantage. All over the country, NDC hoodlums are disrupting the registration exercise in areas perceived to be opposition strong holds. Like the Ghanaian that we are, everybody is tight-lipped on an action that has the potential of disturbing the peace we are enjoying. In the past three years that Prof. Mills has led this nation as constitutional Head of State, he has gone public to pontificate on the need for peace and why every Ghanaian should be each other’s keeper at the least opportunity.
He even promised to be ‘Father For All’. In practice though, the occupant of the Castle, has been a major instrument of dividing the nation, as those around him muscle their way and prepare the grounds for serious conflicts.
Not too long ago, news filtered through that a group of academics in the Central Region, had put up a paper prescribing how the NDC officials would rig their way to the December vote. The document, tagged ‘Agenda 2012 Club’ was unambiguous about the unpopularity of the party in power.
“Reports and intelligence gathered from around indicates that NDC stands to lose votes gradually becoming unpopular due to some actions and inactions of some members of the party and the opposition NPP has been very strong in opposition than before,” Agenda 2012 stated. Consequently, the authors recommended a series of activities aimed at reducing votes in opposition strongholds while boosting votes in NDC strongholds like the Volta Region.“ The higher they register people in Ashanti, the greater the threat to the NDC. Discouraging registration in the Ashanti Region is not only prudent, but a necessity,” the document emphasized.
The authors prescribe the following measures. A: Cause artificial shortage of registration materials. B: Cause anarchy and disturbance during registration in Ashanti Region, especially in the hinterlands, where they know less. D: Registration officers should be made to work sluggishly in the region. E: Financially induce people not to register. F: A possible pilot system should be suggested in the Ashanti Region during the registration process.”
Since the biometric exercise begun, there have been systematic attempts by NDC officials to subvert the system in NPP strongholds, and particularly in the Ashanti Region. It is a fact that is well known now.
At Bekwai in the Ashanti Region, an NDC operative, Justice Opoku shot and seriously injured a 12 year-old boy at a registration centre. The poor boy was admitted to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Hospital in Kumasi. Naturally, the exercise was seriously undermined at that centre. Yesterday, the Daily Guide reported that Police at Tafo Pankrono, has mounted a man-hunt for a person whose name was given as ‘Dzigbordi’, an identified NDC thug. Dzibordi is alleged to be leading a group of thugs to disrupt the registration exercise in Kumasi and other parts of the Ashanti Region.
At Agona Swedru in the Agona West Constituency in the Central Region, registration equipment had gone missing. We need no ghost to confirm that Agona West is a stronghold of the opposition New Patriotic Party. There are various incidents throughout the country, deliberately orchestrated by NDC activists to reduce the number of people registering in opposition strongholds.
If registration is so chaotic, has anybody imagined what would happen during the actual vote itself? A very unpopular administration and its party, led by Prof. John Evans Atta Mills are more than eager to perpetuate the term of a regime which has failed disastrously to meet the aspirations of the people?
This is the real danger confronting Ghanaians as we prepare for the vote in December. I am afraid the track record of the President of the Republic in the past three years does not lend itself to any concrete action to resolve this conflict.
It is on record, and let me repeat here that this is not anything drummed up by this writer, this President claims innocence anytime actions initiated by him goes awfully wrong. After giving instructions to his Ministers and top appointees not to pay the whooping GH¢51 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, President John Evans Atta Mills went public to claim that he had no idea about the payments.
For the records, Alfred Agbesi Woyome was frequenting the President’s office at the Castle. There are credible reports that Woyome might have funded some aspects of Get Atta Mills Endorsed during the Fonkar Games. This President is slowly leading this nation to war. And he knows it.
Pontification would do nothing to stop the anarchy deliberately being orchestrated by agents of the NDC to get undue advantage, as we prepare for the December polls.
Source: Ebo Quansah/The Chronicle