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Guinea Speaks the Violent Language of the NDC
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Opinions of Monday, 24 August 2009

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Guinea Speaks the Violent Language of the NDC

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The widely reported brutal assault on Ghana’s ambassador to Guinea, Mr. Dominic Aboagye, by three armed men claiming to be bona fide members of the Guinean national army, comes just days before some youthful recruits of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) savagely assaulted some leading members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Akyem-Abuakwa township of Akwatia, in Ghana’s Eastern Region. Among the savagely assaulted NPP stalwarts were Messrs. Ohene Ntow, the party’s general-secretary, and Chairman Mac Manu.

There are several similarities between the Guinean assault on Ghana’s ambassador and the NDC-instigated mob mayhem on the Ghanaian opposition leaders. In both instances, the assailants appear to have recognized the political prominence of their victims but promptly and summarily disregarded the same. In both cases also, the victims had been yanked out of their vehicles and, in the Ghanaian case, had their vehicles recklessly smashed.

What makes the two episodes different, however, is that Akwatia represents the all-too-jaded, albeit no less savage, phenomenon of NDC-on-NPP violence that has become a staple diet in local Ghanaian politics for some two decades now; whereas in the Conakry case, it was simply a trio of armed thugs taking undue advantage of a foreign national who, although had diplomatic right and immunity of residence, nonetheless, was deemed a foreigner all the same and thus prime quarry for the kind of assault and robbery allegedly meted Ambassador Aboagye.

As of this writing (8/18/09), the new military junta in Conakry was reported to have rendered an unqualified apology to the Atta-Mills government. In the Akwatia case, not only has the man behind the mayhem, Mr. Baba Jamal, who also acts as the deputy Eastern Regional minister, not offered any heart-felt apology for his bloody handiwork, the latter has even, allegedly, caused the farcical arrest of one Mr. Yiadom-Boakye, a former District Chief Executive (DCE), because Mr. Yiadom-Boakye had the temerity to characterize a remark, reportedly, made by Baba Jamal as being informed by sheer “ignorance.” Needless to say, the last time that we checked, freedom of speech and expression, were integral to Ghana’s fledgling democratic culture.

And as if the foregoing was not outrageous enough, in the lead-up to the court-ordered rerun of the Akwatia parliamentary election, partly marred by mob violence last December, Baba Jamal is also alleged to have deliberately arranged the brutal physical assault on Ms. Ama Korang, the regional women’s organizer for the NDC, because the latter had publicly indicated her disapproval of the parliamentary candidacy of Baba Jamal.

We learn several things from the foregoing observations, namely, that prime purveyors of violence and mayhem, in this instance the ruling NDC, sooner than later receive a vintage taste of their own poisonous brew; and secondly, the self-explanatory fact that the Atta-Mills government cannot facilely presume to morally grandstand on the Guinea episode while at the same time glaringly appearing to be approving of deliberately orchestrated acts of violence and harm systematically unleashed upon members of the Ghanaian ideological and electoral opposition. At best such brazen pursuit of double standards reeks of the retchingly hypocritical, if not palpably criminal.

On the part of the NPP stalwarts, all that can be said, by way of friendly admonishment, is that “complacent stupidity” never did anybody any good. In sum, having endured incessant violence and harassment at the hands of paid NDC thugs for the past eight months, what made Messrs. Ohene Ntow and Mac Manu presume that they could casually drive into such hot political enclave as Akwatia totally bereft of any heavily armed guards, particularly when the Ghana Police Service (GPS), under the Atta-Mills tenure, appears to have luridly lapsed into the unenviable and clinically morbid state of a gleeful passive observer?

About two years ago, when I exhorted the then-ruling New Patriotic Party’s stalwarts to prepare their membership, supporters and sympathizers for a full-scale war, many were those who took me for a latter-day Noah. Now, if I may so ask: Who are the myopic and complacent fools here?

Still, there may be hope yet for the salvation of the NPP in the lead-up to Election 2012, one that is fully predicated on the ability of the party’s top membership to promptly eschew all parochial and selfish interests and rally around one formidable leader. For instance, dastardly and patently obtuse attempts at vitiating the leadership capacity and capability of Nana Akufo-Addo virtually ensured that the reprobate likes of Baba Jamal and Asiedu Nketia and their paid gangster minions would be granted open season, by default, at Akwatia.

The situation becomes even more disturbing when one reckons the looming Chereponi bye-election and a Bawku-Central contingency. And has anyone bothered to figure out precisely why Nana Akufo-Addo has been virtually silent about the nightmarish events occurring in his own backyard and traditional stronghold of Akwatia?

Needless to say, it is about time Monsieur Mac Manu and his associates sat down to do some clear-headed and serious thinking about the future of their party and our country at large.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is also a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI), the pro-democracy think tank, and the author of 20 books, including “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@aol.com. ###

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