You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2017 04 02Article 524381

Opinions of Sunday, 2 April 2017

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis

Commander-In-Chief Akufo-Addo and the democratization of vigilante violence

By: Kwarteng, Francis

“The vigilante groups are recognized in the party (New Patriotic Party (NPP)) and so I will personally make sure they are recruited into national security” (our emphasis) (“We’ll Fire NDC Members At National Security—Ken Agyepong,” Ghanaweb, March 28, 2017).

KWEKU BAAKO, GHANA IS ALREADY A BANANA REPUBLIC

When is Paa Kwesi Nduom also forming his vigilante militia—the Sea Lions?

Kweku Baaku lamented not too long ago that Ghana was on the verge of becoming a Banana Republic.

That is like saying Ghana is on the verge of being destroyed by galamsey and corrupt politicians.

Ghana is already a Banana Republic, and Ghana, an open-defecation polity galamsey and corrupt politicians have already destroyed.

Yet public figures like Kweku Baako and Kennedy Agyapong, a village or farm scarecrow exquisitely buried in what sometimes seems like tailored suits, will always want to paint a different picture.

Because doing so pollutes their privileged statuses which may have been acquired through questionable means.

In other words they are in absolute denial of the evidence of visual clarity.

But then again Ken, a naked psycho who delights in mounting his only village’s roof and screaming at the top of his lungs, is probably a bigger national security problem than these NPP-affiliated vigilante groups.

Now, as if that is not enough, they are all coming out in their numbers heaping subtle if hypocritical criticisms upon the Invincible Forces and the Delta Force when they were the very ones who created these Frankenstein monsters in the first place.

Yes, the chickens always come home to roost.

Only when members of the Delta Force, allegedly Chairman Wontumi’s brainchild, took it out on one of their own, George Adjei, President Akufo-Addo’s Ashanti Regional Coordinator appointee, suddenly Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba who went missing in action when another Kumasi-based vigilante group of men inserted their dirty toes into a suspected female thief’s vagina, has reappeared from nowhere with a soulful petition to her boss—President Akufo-Addo. This petition reads in part ((“Disband All Vigilante Groups Now—Irbad Ibrahim To IGP,” March 26, 2017”):

“Mr. President, Minister of Interior, National Security Advisor, please address with urgency, the operation of vigilante groups and the unlawful extra judicial unorthodox methods being used by the Invincible Forces, Delta Force and other vigilante groups to seek justice or address issues in Ghana.

“We have read news reports this evening, 24th March, 2017, that the Delta Force, a vigilante group of the NPP, has forced the Ashanti Regional National Security Director out of his office. The forceful removal of a lawfully appointed public official was violent and blood was shed, with Government property being destroyed.

“This adds on to the list of forceful seizure and management of state property, that is, the Kintampo Falls tourist facility, seizure of toll booths, seizure of vehicles etc.

“These unlawful acts have dire national security implications. For four months and since elections were held in Ghana on 7th December, 2016, there have been numerous reports of extra judicial and unlawful violent acts by these groups.

“Ghanaians are peace loving and law abiding. We have been sustained as a nation by respect for the rule of law. We do not want this violence to escalate, neither do we want this situation to degenerate.

“I strongly urge our national security agencies to get a grip of this national security issue and solve this security problem. This should be a top priority for Government. Protect our right to security, our right to human dignity and preserve the rule of law in Ghana. Freedom and Justice.”

Madam Djaba, the steroid-pumped members of these vigilante groups are the same men who will rape your miniskirt-wearing girls at the slightest opportunity. And we know Madam Djaba will do absolutely nothing when this happens, just as she did in the case of the woman whose vagina was vandalized and desecrated in Chairman Wontumi’s Kumasi.

Where has Madam Djaba been all this while?

How long has she been sleeping on the job?

Was she not a member of the leadership of the NPP under whose authority these deadly and poisonous vigilante groups probably came into existence?

Does she formally have to petition her boss to dissolve these vigilante groups? In other words is she implying that her boss does not know these illegal organizations are a national security threat?

Well, the reason for her tactical silence is unambiguously clear though: The suspected female thief whose vagina was progressively vandalized and desecrated with reckless abandon was not, and still not, an NPP member, in addition to the fact she may have cherry-picked Evelyn Boakye’s Marwako restaurant controversy just to generate enormous goodwill and political capital for herself. This fact alone underscores her cheap populism which she may have also intended to use to score cheap political points.

In Ghana one is not protected under the national Constitution if one is not a member of, or does not demonstrate sympathies for, the party that is in political power. This is true in the case of the NDC.

Are those Ghanaians who wear wrong political shoes on their foreheads to feel sorry for themselves?

Of course we’ll have to add that at the end of the day, the existence of the Invincible Forces and the Delta Force further goes to confirm the violent nature of Akufo-Addo, as well as of his trademark anti-constitutionalism.

This is what his controversial All-Die-Be-Die mantra is all about. In the main though, Akufo-Addo cannot continue to use the barbaric vigilante restlessness of these groups to strangle the national controversy following his bloated government and to highlight one of the gloomiest macroeconomic aspects of the economy: Unemployment. This is bound to backfire because these vigilante groups are a private “capital asset” of the NPP and not the state.

Still, he only has to take a closer look at the political maps of Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV) and other such criminal organizations to understand what is in store for him if he does not nip his vigilante organizations in the bud as the cost, in terms of human lives and property and national security, will be grossly incalculable—to say the least.

Finally, Ken’s policy recommendation that members of President Akufo-Addo’s vigilante groups should be merely absorbed into the national security services because according to him, “when the NDC were killing us, these people fought for us and so don’t discourage them by arresting them,” should be rejected outright on grounds of meritocracy, of professional fairness and equity and openness.

In fact, members of these vigilante groups have to apply and compete for available positions in the national security services as other Ghanaians. These positions have to be publicly advertised for all to apply. Thus well-meaning Ghanaians should vehemently reject Ken’s preferred approach of political favoritism and implied mediocrity to solving the threat, which, among other things, poses problems for “professional” institutions such as the army and the police.

That is, his approach is bound to add to bureaucratic corruption and inefficiency, and possibly culminating in professional mediocrity. Ken himself is an enemy of professionalism and meritocracy.

WHEN IS PSEUDO-DEMOCRAT AKUFO-ADDO GOING TO RESPOND TO MADAM DJABA’S REQUEST?

“The 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which is the supreme law of the land, stipulates in Articles 200 (2) and 210 (2) that no person or authority shall raise any private army, police force or militia except by or on the authority of an Act of Parliament.”

The national Constitution is clear on what President Akufo-Addo and his government must do insofar as discouraging formation of private army, police force, and militia. Or dismantling these groups.

President Akufo-Addo knows this yet he allows formation of barbaric vigilante groups under his leadership.

In fact, things began to take shape once he and the leadership of the NPP imported Serbian and South African mercenaries into the country to train political terrorists associated with the NPP.

We now know who these political terrorists were and in fact are. It is therefore our submission that the president must exercise his moral will and political authority in this pressing national security matter, as it were, to categorically dismantle these politically affiliated vigilante groups at once.

In the meantime those who say the government has been in office for only three months, and therefore should be given more time to settle in, have no case and do not want to see this government in office for long.

We may have to recall that Akufo-Addo, prior to the 2016 general elections, specifically said he was going to transform Ghana in just eighteen months.

The truth is that he did not say forty-eight months (4 years) or ninety-six months (8 years).

What this also means is that he has little time on his hands to effect meaningful, lasting impactful change in the Ghanaian body politic.

President Akufo-Addo has to do this before the Invincible Forces and the Delta Force go after him.

He may have learnt by now that George Adjei is merely the first political casualty of the vigilante revolutionary, which the Invincible Forces and the Delta Force are yet to unleash on the Ghanaian body politic, should he fail to transform in eighteen months as promised.

And when that day eventually arrives, these vigilante groups will seize the Flagstaff House and President Akufo-Addo if he does not agree to their demands.

As they say, “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: SOME CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES

President Akufo-Addo must exert his authority over the appropriate institutions to dismantle these vigilante organizations in less than no time.

We are hereby referring to the Ghana Police Service (the Inspector General of Police), the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Ministry of the Interior, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), the Ministry of Defence, and the National Security Ministry.

Clearly, then, those who flout the president’s orders to dissolve these groups must be shown the door. President Akufo-Addo himself must be shown the door if he fails to oversee their dissolution.

Our only fear is that those politicians who are shedding crocodile tears for the Invincible Forces and the Delta Force today are the same politicians sponsoring these groups.

Even so, Ken’s policy strategy calling for the absorption of these NPP vigilante groups into our national security establishments is neither here nor there.

More specifically, he is saying the NPP government will give NDC members of the security services the pink slip and fill up the vacancies therefrom with members of these NPP-affiliated criminal organizations.

It appears political patronage is Ken’s only criterion for absorbing members of these groups into state bureaucracies—at public expense. What qualifications are these vigilante criminals bringing along with them?

In any case do these alleged NDC folks look different from other Ghanaians?

Can’t Ken and other rich NPP business magnates employ members of these groups? Is it not true that what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander?

Since the BNI, the CID, and the army are such useless and ineffective institutions, why can’t we use these vigilante groups to fight galamsey and open-defecation?

And then the NDC comes to power and it too does the same thing, or threatens to do same for obvious reasons.

The painful truth is that Ghana has no future with the criminal, diabolical NDC and NPP. This fact is regrettably lost on the ordinary Ghanaian who cyclically votes for either of these two parties.

Sometimes we do not feel sorry for the Ghanaian electorate at all! Ghanaians have themselves to blame for not knowing Akufo-Addo may have been the biggest hoax they have foisted upon themselves.

There is no doubt in our minds that Akufo-Addo is the Trojan horse Ghanaians have been anxiously waiting for—having proven to be radically dangerous to, and a cannibalistic enemy of, the state. Merely expressing condemnatory regret over the actions of his vigilante groups in passing during his State of the Nation Address (2017), while refusing to exert a more muscular authority and approach to dealing with this festering threat is itself the height of hypocrisy, a stark failure in moral and political leadership, and a threat to national security.

We have mobilized men and women in uniform and sent them to every corner of the world, every hotspot, including the Gambia most recently, to restore order yet we have failed to replicate this prime example of “humanitarian intervention” in our own country. Also, one may never know whether President Akufo-Addo’s convenient public silence over this important matter of national security is the result of a secret arrangement he made with these vigilante groups to seize public properties for themselves in exchange for their help in his winning the general elections.

Perhaps, it is all part of the tactical and strategic game plan laid out in an NPP’s All-Die-Be-Die Manifesto which the public at large may not be privy to. This secret manifesto is Kennedy Agyapong’s mouth.

NPP VERSUS NDC

We make no bones about the fact that we see no good in both the NDC and the NPP, but rather that both are natural enemies of the state and the people, and that the masses have to think of their collective destiny beyond these two parties before they wake up one day only to find their beloved country in a giant mushroom of unquenchable smoke in a desert of ashes.

In other words Ghanaians should be the critical authors of that great nation, of their collective destiny, namely, free from the excesses of their strangulating duopoly. As a matter of fact Ghana is on the verge of duopolistic implosion, a dying country already sitting on a time bomb of moral chaos. Ghanaians must therefore reclaim their beloved country from this lazy madness and nonsense of schadenfreude duopoly.

Notwithstanding, our reservations about and criticism of the militarization of Ghanaian politics is not restricted to the NPP. Lest our intentions are not misunderstood, we want to make it clear that it also goes for all the other political parties especially the NDC.

Ken’s reported genocidal instigation of “Asante’s to kill Ewes and Gas” and “NPP will lynch security officials on election day” and “we’ll send fake police to their early grave on election day,” Naaba Abdulai’s “I kill people every day,” Montie 3’s “kill and rape judges,” Mac Manu’s “Mahama must accept defeat else there will chaos” and Godwin Ako Gunn’s reactionary response “we are not ready to leave power,” the gruesome acid-attack assassination of Adams Mahama, and President Akufo-Addo’s “All-Die-Be-Die” speak to this duopolistic conundrum.

And Britain’s Tony Blair supposedly met with President Akufo-Addo but could not muster enough courage to criticize, or take on the government of, Akufo-Addo for the heightened instances of vigilante barbarism sporadically taking place in the country today, which will have amounted to self-indictment anyway—all because of his own indictable record in Iraq.

Some however say Blair is a war criminal and that his proper place is The Hague—together with his partner in crime George Bush, where both are treated the same way as the former CIA darling boy Charles Taylor. All these go to show that President Akufo-Addo must effectively deal with this national security threat before he takes Blair’s place in The Hague.

And yes, President Akufo-Addo must not turn Ghana’s economy into Blair’s Iraq. Meanwhile, noble savage Blair’s presence in Ghana and the barbaric fatalism of President Akufo-Addo’s vigilante organizations, his plagiarized inaugural speech and one hundred ten ministers, dangerous historical revisionism and outright lies, and subtle celebration of mediocrity—all portend bad omen.

The change he promised Ghanaians has started on a very bad note—to say the least. In Ghana instead of ISIS we have the Invincible Forces and the Delta Force…It is like the change Blair promised Iraqis. In fact, if Blair thinks he can provide President Akufo-Addo with a magic want to change Ghana then he might as well have to prove to us why that magic wand of his has failed in Iraq. Yes, Akufo-Addo and his government may have to learn more about the so-called Bush-Blair Doctrine.

“Talk,” they say, “is cheap.”

CLOSING REMARKS

The NPP has created the image of “babies with sharp teeth” rather than “babies with sharp brains” in these groups—Frankenstein monsters. This diabolical image is the presidency of Akufo-Addo.

No wonder.

The NPP, like the NDC, is a criminal political organization with diabolical historical revisionists and unprincipled political theologians such as Prof. Mike Oquaye who are wont to hide behind what looks like “nerd glasses” to promote diabolical political criminals, like J.B. Danquah, as national heroes, while secretly molding members of criminal organizations from the Invincible Forces to the Delta Force in the now-discredited hallowed image of “Benedict Arnold” Danquah.

Indeed, the Ghanaian politician is a staunch enemy of the state.

The Ghanaian politician thought he was creating Frankenstein monsters to advance his political career, but little did he know he was creating poisonous animals to destroy the state—self-destruction.

Never in a billion years did he think the poisonous snake he was creating will come after him after having consumed his political opponent—the NDC. But the Delta Force and the Invincible Forces are karma in disguise.

Now when that poisonous snake started biting him hard, suddenly he has seen a pressing need to address the groups’ existential threat to his political survival, suddenly he is looking for an antidote in the very political pharmacist who is the genesis of this vigilante barbarism—President Akufo-Addo.

Bob Marley was right when he sang the following words on “Running Away”:

“Every man thinketh his burden is the heaviest…who feels it knows it…and ya running away.”

The Ghanaian politician is that diabolical, criminal and dangerous hypocrite of the highest order. Akufo-Addo is like that anti-abortion or pro-life compassionate, trigger-happy Christian George Bush who went about bombing children in Iraq. The man Akufo-Addo preaches virtue but practices vice.

While he is comfortably sleeping on the job, he at the same time is giving us the impression that his vigilante groups’ barbaric hooliganism and vandalism is a policy strategy meant to distract public attention and curiosity from the slothful temperament of the Akufo-Addo presidency.

Could we reform our laws to accommodate qui tam lawsuits, where private citizens should be able to sue organizations and persons in behalf of the state—if they have the evidence and resources?

Will Prof. Stephen Adei, Pastor Mensah Otabil, Rt. Rev. Professor Emmanuel Martey, Rev. Owusu Bempah, and all the leaders of Civil Society Organizations bring lawsuits against these vigilante groups?

In any case we shall allow the Chairman and Director of Communications, Dr. Khadel Mahama and King Khorby, both of the non-profit organization Right Alliance-Ghana to have the last word (“Disband All Vigilante Groups In Ghana—Right Alliance To Akufo-Addo,” March 26, 2017):

“We of the Right Alliance-Ghana believe a total disbandment of all vigilante groups is in the best interest of the nation and should be done without further delay.”

We shall return…