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Opinions of Saturday, 10 June 2017

Columnist: Alexander Gyesi-Appiah

Ebenezer, thus far has President Nana Akufo-Addo brought us

Since when did it become “politicising” to criticise a sitting president? Suddenly, there are several “wise men” in Ghana advising against politicising issues, especially when they involve criticisms of Nana Akufo Addo. And then you dare not attempt to defend yourself. You would be accused of “equalization.” There are attempts to gag us from criticising or expressing consenting views by the sheer force of the verbal terror that would be unleashed on us. And it is only the beginning of worse to come.

Who else could we blame when the very next day after the NPP took over power, a senior police officer was beaten to a pulp in front of cameras and in the presence of military men right in the courtyard of the seat of government, the Flagstaff House? No one has been convicted of the crime. That one singular act showed a certain mind-set imbued into young male NPP members while in opposition and which subsequently, is beginning to bear fruit.

Since then, there has been one incident after the other - the impunity of the Delta Forces invading a Regional Security Office to molest a government appointee and then charging into a court to free their colleagues. There has been the impunity of a man like Abronye going round seizing people’s cars when we have security institutions in the country. There have been recent eruptions in Somanya, and then now, the murder of a soldier.

Following the unfortunate death of Captain Mahama, Owusu Bempah, the president’s “spiritualist”, came on air to attribute the killing of a young military officer related to our former president, to spiritual punishment for wrongs committed by the previous Mahama government. I have not heard a single condemnation of that politically charged statement. Its politicisation if it comes from Asiedu Nketsia and perfectly fine when the source is Owusu Bempah. And this is a man who advises our president and who, Nana Akuffo Addo holds in such high esteem as to have mentioned his name in his inaugural speech.

And then at the seat of government, we have the impunity of the clearest demonstration ever in our history of nepotism and tribal bias in ministerial appointments. Forget it if you are not from the NPP stronghold of the Ashanti Region or from Nana Akuffo Addo’s Eastern region. And if you happen to have an “Akufo” tucked somewhere in your ancestral name, then the world is your oyster in the new Ghana.

Dr Bawumia would definitely not admit it, but even he is feeling the heat. People did contribute large sums of money to the NPP campaign but money alone does not win an election. The vice president was almost singularly responsible for swaying public opinion against the NDC government with incessant intellectual analysis of the economy, much to the annoyance of the Mahama government. He is gradually being relegated to the background with Mr Osafo Marfo, a known tribalist, holding himself up as an alternate to the president at every opportunity.

And recently, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, NPP MP for Assin North and a known major financier of the party, has started criticising the vice president in public. In a recent TV discussion on Adom TV, he advised the vice president to stop the theory and concentrate on fixing the economy. Watch the space.

And so I am afraid. Something is wrong in Ghana. We seem to have moved from scandals and corruption and Ford Expeditions to something a bit more sinister. I feel uneasy about a subtle wind of change blowing across the country, more akin to a “democratic terrorism”. And if history is to be our guide, then Ghanaians ought to be afraid too, very afraid indeed.

Substitute one short man for another, both very eloquent and renowned for their oratory. Both took advantage of mass discontent and dire economic circumstances to drive themselves into power through the democratic route, with largely fanatical followings. Both loved their museums, cathedrals and acropolises, to serve as centres for the spirit of the nation.

Replace Owusu Bempah with Dr Jorg Lanz von Leibenfels, a former monk who had abandoned the Christian religion and had formed a new cult in a castle along river Danube and who remained an important advisor of the National Socialists throughout their rule. Replace the Invisible and Delta Forces with The SS men, a group of fanatical brutes who terrorised their people, then we have a recipe for disaster and Ghanaians ought to be very afraid.

Six million Jews may not be killed, but be careful if you are not an Ashanti or from the Eastern region.

Papa Appiah