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Opinions of Thursday, 18 December 2014

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Dominic Nitiwul Must Be Confused

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Nov. 30, 2014

In the wake of the Nov. 10 nabbing of Ms. Nayele Ametefe (aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi) at London's Heathrow Airport, for carrying into the British capital the globally banned substance known as cocaine, the New Patriotic Party's Bimbilla Member of Parliament took a 12kg bag of rice to the august floor of the House to demonstrate how Ms. Ametefe could not have shipped that considerable quantity of commercial-grade contraband out of Accra's Kotoka International Airport (KIA) without official knowledge and assistance from highly placed operatives of the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

And now, hotly peppered with charges of seeking to politicize a purely criminal affair, Mr. Dominic Nitiwul, who also doubles as the House's Deputy Minority Leader, ripostes poignantly that it was the "ganged-up official defense of the government's reaction to the matter" that prompted him to expose the lurid underbelly of the Mahama regime in the Nayelegate Scandal, as the incident has widely come to be dubbed. For those of our readers who may be a bit at a loss about what Mr. Nitiwul is alluding to, well, it is about the initial attempt of senior government appointees like Mr. Victor Smith, Ghana's High Commissioner to Britain, to deny any knowledge and/or association with the well-known Accra socialite in official circles.

Shortly thereafter, Ms. Hanna Tetteh, Ghana's Foreign Affairs Minister, would host a press conference and claim that investigations by some officials under her command had revealed that Ms. Ametefe had been under the grossly mistaken belief, when the commercial-grade cocaine was hauled onto the British Airways flight by a KIA security personnel for stewardship to Britain, that she was carrying 12.5kgs of gold rather than the banned substance for which she was promptly arrested at Heathrow.

It definitely would be interesting to learn from the social network-addicted Ms. Tetteh, why the Ghanaian Foreign Affairs Minister thought that, somehow, it would have been kosher, or perfectly legal, for Ms. Ametefe to have lugged some 12.5kgs of bullion out of the country with the active complicity of at least one senior official on her staff. And this is precisely where the New Patriotic Party's Mr. Nitiwul's charge that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress must have been neck-deep privy to the Ametefe Affair clearly appears to have teeth.

If the preceding observation has validity, then it is incumbent on the Bimbilla New Patriotic Party MP to fully explain precisely what he means when Mr. Nitiwul declares that his party and the ruling National Democratic Congress intend to be united, lock-step fashion, in the fight against drug-trafficking in the country. First of all, Mr. Nitiwul has to demonstrate to the Ghanaian public that, indeed, the ruling National Democratic Congress was actively engaged in an epic battle against the illegal drug menace at the time of the Heathrow Airport arrest of Ms. Ametefe. And if so, how did it come about that Ms. Ametefe, without the possession and/or usage of a Ghanaian diplomatic passport, was able to exit the country via KIA's VVIP-Lounge, widely known to be used by President John Dramani Mahama and a few of the most highly placed government officials and foreign leaders and dignatries?

Mr. Nitiwul may also need to explain to the Ghanaian and the global community, what discussions the two major parties in parliament have had in the wake of Nayelegate; and also what are some of the general strategic initiatives being taken by both the NDC and the NPP towards the effective stanching of the illegal drugs menace. In other words, it would be scandalously naive if opposition leaders like Mr. Nitiwul believe that the NPP can regain Jubilee-Flagstaff House in 2016 without boldly and fearlessly exposing the Mahama government for the veritable den of drug kingpins and baronesses that it incontrovertibly is.