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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Columnist: alhajjnewspaper.com

Ghana now a banana republic

Veteran Journalist, Mr Abdul Malik Kweku Baako’s observation that Ghana is gradually sliding into a “Banana Republic” may not be a fluke after all as; the Ghana Police Service, Civil and Public Servants are now sharply divided along the two dominant political parties in the country.

Even more worrying is that, these politically tainted police personnel and their public servants counterparts pander to the whims and caprices of the leadership of their preferred political parties in the discharge of their duties which per their terms of engagement must be devoid of partisanship.

Thus, when the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party took over the leadership of the country on January 7 this year, NPP kingpins have been advocating for their members in the police service and civil service to replace those alleged to have sympathies for the now opposition National Democratic Congress.

Leading this crusade is no less a person than Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, who has been calling on his party members to fish out “NDC supporters” in order to replace them with loyalists of the ruling NPP.

“Most of our loyalists in the civil service were humiliated by the administrations of Mills and Mahama, and, so, for me, we have to urgently cater for such victims. We can’t disregard the vigorous efforts of the grassroots who have given us the power,” he was recently quoted to have said.

According to the controversial Energy Minister “It is important for us, as a party, to work hard and expose and shame any NDC civil servant who will dare do any dubious thing to make the NPP government unpopular. What do you think will happen to me and the state, if I should continue to have some NDC civil servants in certain critical positions?,” he added.

This and other similar comments by leading members of the ruling New Patriotic Party has emboldened supporters of the governing party and, their vigilante groups; to have gone on rampage chasing out civil servants and security personnel believed to be sympathetic to the biggest opposition party.

Some public servants and Police personnel who believed they aided the party in opposition to dislodge the NDC and therefore deserve promotion, have also been breathing relentlessly on the shoulders of NPP government officials and bigwigs of the ruling party to “fulfill their side of the bargain”

Reports reaching The aL-hAJJ indicate that some junior police officers who provided protection to then candidate Akufo-Addo in opposition, are apprehensive they could be withdrawn from the seat of government following the Inspector General of Police’s recent withdrawal of the leadership of the police security detail at the Flagstaff House.

According to a report in The Chronicle newspaper, “the morale of the concerned police officers has dipped, due to the fact that they gallantly sacrificed, protected and guarded the President at the time he was an opposition leader and a flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party – a period when virtually everybody was shying away from providing security for Akufo-Addo.

The police officers, who pleaded anonymity, noted that they were expecting that their efforts will be recognized, and that they will be properly commended, rather than maligning them with instructions to the IGP to recall them.”

Media reports also indicate that some presidential staffers have ordered for the transfer of civil servants at the Flag Staff House who were appointed by the erstwhile Mahama government.

The affected civil servants at the seat of government included gardeners, clerks, stewards, caterers and some administrative staff.

Vigilante groups of the NPP, Delta Forces and Invincible Forces have since January been chasing out civil servants in their offices and locking up state institutions and seizing toll booths and other state installations across the country.

The latest operations by one of the party’s internal vigilante groups was an attack on the Ashanti regional security coordinator, Mr George Adjei by Kumasi based Delta Forces for reasons that he is not a native of Ashanti region and that they cannot work with him.

Members of the group last Friday stormed the Regional Coordinating office to stop Mr Adjei from working. He (Mr Adjei) was manhandled and dragged from his office by the macho men, but was saved by police officers, who were called in to control tempers.

The Police by press time say they have arrested one Kwadwo Bamba, who is said to be the organizer of the Delta Forces. But, Former Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Nana Oye Lithur have charged President Akufo-Addo to ensure that the spate of vigilante group attacks is curbed.

In an open letter addressed to the president and security agencies in the country, she stated that the “unlawful acts [of such groups] have dire national security implications”.

Perhaps awed by the display of lawlessness by NPP’s vigilante, Mr Kwaku Baako bemoaned the activities of these groups, warning that the county could end up becoming a banana state.

Recounting some instances where some notable vigilante groups including Invisible Forces, Kandahar Boys, and Delta Force have attacked state installations and persons, he said it is becoming frustrating.

Having watched video of the attack, the veteran journalist described the action as “unmitigated disaster and it ought not to be countenance one bit,” and asserts that the country is gradually entering a banana state.

“Is it not too many, is it not frustrating, are we not cutting a picture of ridicule of this great nation? Aren’t we looking like a banana republic? Is not what we are looking at? The president has spoken…and yet these things are still happening,” Mr. Baako said in despair.

Another vigilante group aligned to the ruling party, Invincible Forces, also chased out managers of the Kintampo Waterfalls early this year and took over the management of the place leading to the tragic accident two weeks ago that killed 20 people.