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Opinions of Friday, 20 August 2010

Columnist: Kyei-Mensah-Osei, Kofi

The NDC is Causing “Fear and Panic”

The NDC is Causing “Fear and Panic” in the Judiciary – A Case of Déjà Vu

Since coining the phrase “causing fear and panic” by the Ghana Police in the wake of the Nana Adarkwa brouhaha, the phrase has since refused to go away. It appears to have come to stay in the Ghanaian political lexicon. A day hasn’t passed without someone or a group of people “causing fear and panic” in the lives of Ghanaians. By arresting Nana Adarkwa for “causing fear and panic” for accusing President Rawlings for allegedly torching his house, the Ghana Police forgot they were setting a precedent they could not follow and in a sense, making mockery of their own vow to protect the Ghanaian citizenry. If the Ghana Police wants to be taken seriously, then I challenge them to arrest Dr Kwabena Agyei, the chairman of the NDC and the entire leadership of the ruling party and throw them into Nsawam Maximum Security Prisons without trial for creating unnecessary pandemonium and fear amongst the judiciary and the entire Ghanaian population.

On Tuesday, 17.08.10 the leadership of the NDC held a needless press conference in response to the recent string of defeats suffered by the government in high courts and in its wake, left a terribly bad taste in mouths of all conscientious political observers in the country. I call the press conference and subsequent interview Dr Kwabena Agyei granted “Citifm” needless because the government has Ministers of Information as well as presidential spokespersons to articulate their views without the NDC as a party getting involved. As the party in government, the NDC should behave as such rather than posturing like a party in opposition. Sometimes, the NDC makes you think they were and still not ready to rule the country. Often times, the behaviour of their “fool soldiers” (sorry, foot soldiers) and ‘head soldiers’ (or is it headless leaders?), their utterances and general attitude smacks of immaturity. The press conference their leadership held on Tuesday was one such behaviour and utterances I am referring to. The import of the whole undertaking was just to threaten fire and brimstone on our judiciary and to seek to put the fear of God in the Chief Justice. The subsequent interview Dr Kwabena Agyei granted “Citifm” was typical PNDC/NDC rouble rousing antics. The learned man, Dr Kwabena Agyei categorically stated in his interview with Richard Sky of “Citifm” that the executive arm of the government of the NDC would not hesitate to “clean” the Judiciary and damn the consequences if the Chief Justice fails to heed to calls to halt growing criticism of politically biased judgements being meted out to the party. Listening to the interview, I nearly screamed: what is happening in Ghana now!?! Since the NDC came back to power, we have had to put up with the petulance of their “foot soldiers” but this childish tantrums and hysterical noises from their ‘head soldiers’ are even ear splitting and unwarranted. The question then arises: between the NDCs “foot soldiers” and their ‘head soldiers’, who is more reasonable?

In Dr Kwabena Agyei’s interview with “Citifm”, he stated among others that “If the judiciary is bias, not even Jesus Christ, when appointed as the Attorney General, can change things.” What sent cold shivers down my spine was when the NDC chairman further reiterated that they (the NDC), “…will clean it and let everybody everywhere blame us for interfering in the judiciary and we will take them on.” Kwabena Agyei bullishly dared anybody, both within and without the country to challenge them when they start to “clean” the judiciary. It is even more astonishing to see the flippant Dr Kwabena Agyei appearing not to give a hoot about the image the NDC government would paint for themselves and the country among the comity of nations. How could the NDC sacrifice image of the country for their own eccentricities? It is sad and pathetic to see that some people are still stuck in the mentality of the era of AFRC/PNDC and refuse to accept that Ghana has moved on and left them stagnated in the quagmire of their own archaic political ideologies. Equally incomprehensible is the open bullying and arm-twisting antics from people in authority which has become rampant under the watch of the man who grins and proudly responds to the accolade “asomdwee hene”. More so, a professor of law at that!! Now how ironic is that? We have gone through the period of seizing toilets and offices by NDC “foot soldiers”, through seizing of cars by Carl Wilson and now this; it makes me wonder if Prof Mills believes in the ‘rule of law’ at all? Ghanaians detest this mob rule which is gaining grounds in the country. These threats and unnecessary targeting of certain individuals and state institutions would not help anyone. Dr Kwabena Agyei of all people should have known better than throwing these cheap shots at the Chief Justice. I am not in anyway saying that decisions or judgements by judges cannot be criticised. Far from that! Even the judiciary accepts that judges can and do make mistakes and that is why there is recourse for appeal if one is not satisfied with a judge’s decision. However, I vehemently detest these cowardly personal attacks laced with political threats and aspersions. It is very worrying when such threats come from a party born out of a military junta. The same military junta which plunged Ghana into the dreaded dark days in the country’s chequered history! If Dr Kwabena Agyei and his party are not happy with the court’s decisions, all they have to do is to appeal against the decision as the Attorney has indicated they would and not launch needless vituperations.

The NDC national chairman who is a lawyer by profession again failed to redeem himself when given the opportunity by Richard Sky, host of the programme to explain how the NDC will “clean” the judiciary. Dr Kwabena Agyei proudly responded by saying; “That one at the right time, you will see how we clean it. There are many ways to kill a cat.” Such scare-mongering comments by the national chairman of a party with a history of judicial killings does not auger well for our democracy, freedom of the judiciary and freedom of speech. Yes, we all know “there are many ways in killing the cat” Dr Kwabena Agyei!! Ghanaians also know that AFRC/PNDC/NDC triumvirate have killed some big “cats” in the history of the country before. It is true that a lot of “cats” also went missing and still remain unaccounted dating from the days of the infamous AFRC. The cold-blooded murder of the 3 high court judges (3 very big cats) is still fresh in the memory of Ghanaians!! I only hope Dr Kwabena Agyei was not sending out a coded message to the judiciary to remember the “ides of March” or the killing of the 3 high court judges and the subsequent attempt to set their bodies ablaze? Oh yes, we still remember where the key for the car used in driving the 3 high court judges and the army officer to the spot where they were killed was picked from. If this was not a clear and a blatent threat to the Judiciary, then I don’t know what it is. If Dr Kwabena Agyei’s pronouncements do not amount to causing “fear and panic” then Ghanaians are still waiting for the Police to issue the appropriate phrase to describe the comments the NDC chairman made in his interview. I want to put it on record that Dr Kwabena Agyei deliberately issued those veiled and subtle threats to the Judiciary to cow them down and I think Ghanaians should take it seriously and call the bluff of the NDC. He carefully chose his words to attain a certain end. No Ghanaian should be fooled by the explanation the NDC are desperately trying to ascribe to those silly comments. It simply wouldn’t wash. Dr Kwabena Agyei and his party should be warned that Ghanaians are wide awake and would take them to task should anything happen to the Chief Justice or any high judge for that matter. In fact the NDC would be held responsible if any of the high court judges lose a strand of their hair or go grey prematurely!! We are sick and tired of these cowards masquerading as democrats. We are fed up with turncoat democrats treating Ghana like their back garden. This is Ghana and not Kim Jon-Il’s DPRK! This is a clear case of déjà vu. Haven’t we travelled this path before? We have not come this far by the benevolence of the NDC but due to the sweat and toil of all patriotic Ghanaians and we are not prepared to let go of our hard won freedom to satisfy the whims and caprices any whisky drinking cabal. Grace Bio-Atenga where are you? Your outfit should arrest Dr Kwabena Agyei and the NDC hierarchy for “causing fear and panic”. If you and your outfit fail in your duties and responsibilities in applying your own “fear and panic” yardstick as you did to Nana Adarkwa and High Priest, posterity would not judge you kindly. Enough is enough. Ghanaians are watching.
Long live the forth republic!
Long live the judiciary!!
Long live Ghana!!!

Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei