Feature Article of Sunday, 22 April 2012
Columnist: Kuffuor, Afia
The fears Ghanaians have secretly nursed are coming to realization, thanks to Kennedy Agyapong, an NPP member of parliament. Ken Agyapong, who is purported to have made his money through his dealings in narcotic and is on the list of many western countries’ security services of wanted narcotic barons, made a hate statement, “calling on his ethnic group – the Asante tribal group, to “kill” all the Gas and Ewes living in Asante Region”. Many fear that his statement will be the spark to a full blown civil war in Ghana. Already some members of Ghana Armed Forces have threatened to intervene should any of the political parties in the country incite people to riot.
Already the animosity between the Asantes and the Ewes has continued for decades. Under the NPP administration of John Kuffuor, a party predominantly of Asante/Akyem extraction, many Ghanaians who are not from the Asante and Eastern Regions were blatantly excluded from government. Majority of Kuffuor’s ministers were members of his ethnic group, so too were almost every CEO of state organizations, including the security services. As soon as Kuffuor’s government came into office in 2000, they began purging the state institutions of their political opponents, which meant both Asantes of NDC and other ethnic groups, were either sacked or sent on “extended leave”.
Last year, the presidential candidate of NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo made a similar statement (All-die-be-die) that if the election results go against his party, there will be trouble in the country.
Ghana, the first country south of the Sahara, to gain its “political” independence from her British colonial master, has been a bastion of peace in a very violent region. Ghana is the only country not to have experienced a “civil war”, thanks to the educational policies of first president and father of the country, Osagyefuo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Despite the propaganda of the then opposition party led by the terrorist, Joseph Boakye Danquah, nephew of the current leader of the opposition, (fore runner of NPP, a party known for its violent history) Dr Nkrumah’s educational policies did encourage unity and co-existence between boys and girls from different parts of the country.
Many commentators fear if care is not taken, Ghana will descend into chaos after the elections that will be on the same magnitude of the events that happened in Kenya, Ivory Coast and Rwanda.
In Kenya and Ivory Coast, commentators blame the weak national constitution. The constitutions of Kenya and Ivory Coast progressively lacked a healthy checks and balances systems between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Ghana has the same weak constitution where all powers are vested in the executive branch of government.
Like in Kenya and Ivory Coast, amendments to the Ghanaian constitution were systematically made to erode the checks and balances in favour of strengthening presidential powers. Thus the results of these broad powers have effectively made the presidential office equivalent to a dictatorship, giving the president ability to use and abuse this power without restraint. Under Kuffuor’s NPP administration, the presidential power was use to persecute innocent people with impunity, including the wife of President Rawlings, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.
The blatant theft and corruption that took place from 2000 to 2008 is an example of what can occur as a result of a strong corrupt executive branch. The large amount of money that was unaccounted for at Ghana at 50 celebrations is one classic example.