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Opinions of Thursday, 17 July 2008

Columnist: Acquah, Henry

Akufo Addo- The Artful Dodger

Huffs & Puffs About Drug Policy

But Again Swerves The Big Cocaine Questions

Talk is cheap!!!!

Anyone can enunciate policies on narcotic drugs.

Even Tagor and Kiki Djan can do so brilliantly! What matters really is not the blabbering out of policies- it is the moral attribute of the personality enunciating the policy. This, more than anything, is what will inspire the nation to rally together to fight this hydra headed narcotic crisis, that has become the nation's biggest headache since the NPP assumed the reins of power in 2001.

Does Nana Akufo Addo have the necessary moral quality to lead this all important fight? The jury is still out there as long as Akufo Addo continues to run away from the all important questions that are being posed by the good people of Ghana.

If Nana Akufo Addo wants the nation to take serious his so called policies to combat drugs and crime, he must first have the courage to answer those vital questions that have been posed for weeks and that are still begging for answers.

Last Monday, the belegueared NPP candidate, while delivering the keynote address at a programme organized by his cousin, Gabby Okyere Darko's Danquah Institute, tried in vain to convince Ghanaians that he had what it takes to make the nation safe from the drug menace and the concomitant crime scourge.

Setting aside for a moment, Nana Akufo Addo's reticence to tell the nation in which educational institution(s) people interested in his biographical journey, could locate him, between the time he finished secondary school in 1958 up till he entered the University of Ghana in 1964, let us ask the NPP candidate to provide answers to the following questions.

1. Why did Akufo Addo, as Attorney General, oversee the de-confiscation of frozen assets of Raymond Amankwah, a world reputed Cocaine Baron?

2. Did he not know that by literally presiding over that act, a terrible example was set and cocaine barons all over the globe were sent a signal that the new government of Ghana had no problem with the trafficking of narcotic drugs?

3. Did the fact that Raymond Amankwah was a relative of Akufo Addo in anyway influence that decision?

4. Was Raymond Amankwah until his recent arrest in Brazil, not associated with Akufo Addo's campaign?

5. Was Akufo Addo not the Attorney General in the year 2001, when the state prosecution of Frank Benneh was suddenly discontinued?

6. Why did he so mysteriously stop a case that NDC's Deputy Attorney General, Martin Amidu prosecute so relentlessly until NPP took over the reins of office?

7. Does Akufo Addo know that the discontinuation of that famous case was another strong signal of his own lack of political commitment to fight the drug menace and the indication of the weakness of NPP's resolve to deal with the canker?

8. What about the the three NPP Dzorwulu branch executives who were busted with narcotics at Kotoka in February 2002 when Akufo Addo was AG? 9. Is it not interesting that under his tenure as AG, all those three arrested NPP drug queens just vanished into thin air? Their dockets also just disappeared like magic?

10. What did Nana Addo do about that case to send a strong and clear message to Ghana and the world that his government was dead set to punish anyone, regardless of proximity to the ruling class, who dares engage in the dangerous narcotic trafficking?

11. Was Akufo Addo not the parliamentarian who was pushing hard for a law (described by Ghanaians as Amoateng Bill) to be passed that will essentially allow Ghanaian drug offenders, languishing in Thai jails among others to be sent back to Ghana to complete their term? 12. O, how Nana Addo cares about the plight of Ghanaians abroad!!! What has Nana Addo got to say about his woeful failure to show a similar compassion, zeal and resourcefulness in the case of the over 40 Ghanaians who were brutally butchered to death in Gambia under his tenure as Foreign Minister

13. Does Nana Akufo addo still believe in the Amoateng Bill? Does he think that it will be useful to bring back to Ghana, top NPP drug financiers like Eric Amoateng and Raymond Amankwah?

14. Why does Nana Addo think that the accusation of Drug addiction has never been leveled against any other leader or potential leader of his party, (Busia, Victor Owusu, Adu Boahen, J.A. Kufuor, Alan Kyeremateng) but only him? Is it just a coincidence?

15. Why has it been so difficult for him to personally respond to the accusation as Obama has done in the USA and as Prof Mills has convincingly done about the allegation that he was sick and dying?

16. Is Nana Addo surprised that given the catalogue of serious actions and inactions on his part, Ghanaians think that he is not qualified to be leading a nation that wants to wage a serious crusade against the drug canker and other attendant problems like the spiraling crime in the country? We can go on and on and on. But we need to pause and wait for direct and truthful answers from the NPP candidate. It is shocking that a man who prides himself a great story teller, suddenly becomes so mute anytime the above questions are asked.

It is common in this current electoral campaign to gloat about the need for an issue based campaign- possibly, that approach is what is goading Akufo Addo to continue evading the critical issues about values, moral credentials and character.

For the information of all political leaders in Ghana, enunciating policies per se is not enough! As said earlier, the biggest crook in the world can mount a platform and blabber out a comprehensive range of policies. He can hire clever folks to put together such a document. It does not in anyway mean he has any commitment to the things he is articulating.

As they say, Talk is cheap. Walking the talk is the real deal! If it were possible, Tagor could equally be convincing talking about the need to combat drug trafficking in Ghana.

Therefore, before the nation wants to pay attention to anyone's policy platform, there is the critical need to pay closer attention to the individual's moral values, beliefs and conduct while in a position of responsibility. Can the media, religious bodies, traditional authorities and other members of the civil society join hands to ensure that Nana Akufo Addo accurately answers the important questions posed in this piece?

Email: nartey@yahoo.com