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Opinions of Thursday, 9 July 2009

Columnist: Amegashie, Felix Mawulolo

Jerry Rawlings Might Be Wrong But…

Truth, according to Honourable Clend Sowu, board chairman of the Electricity Company of Ghana, identifies with three (3) main constituents; Facts, Figures and Sources. Recent developments on the political scene especially with uncharitable bashings to the freely expressed democratic thoughts of Ex-president Jerry Rawlings, leaves much to be desired. Take it or leave it, Jerry Rawlings might conclude wrongly by his analysis , of course as human a he is, but on hindsight his thought is a breeding ground by some media bloodhounds who are only apt on cashing in on anything-Rawlings for the economic and political propagandizing only.

What is the reality about the spate of crime especially armed robbery in Ghana as of today? Facts are that Ghana witnessed very gruesome murders in the past ten 8 years. The common citizen, highly placed individuals in society, even great Kings, have not been spared and it appears the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are either walking the streets as free men or have been beneficiaries of one presidential pardon or the other. The exaggerations the media deliberately puts to the issues of armed robbery are not far fetched. On the media landscape today more than half of the media in Ghana do not express kindness to the Mills government and the National Democratic Congress as a political party. The agenda for daily discussions on radio and television morning programmes are set by the charade of misleading headlines of pro-opposition newspapers and columnists. Ex-President Rawlings had had his ugly days in the media especially under the Kuffour-led NPP government, things do not look much different today. Rawlings was deliberately demonized but the man has stood the test and his thoughts today cannot just be dismissed on surface value even by those who wished him dead. It is against this backdrop that recent comments by Ex-president Rawlings should be critically analyzed on its merits.

What then are the figures in respect to crime in Ghana, under the Atta Mills government and the National Democratic government? According to the records “23 cases of rape and defilement were recorded in the first quarter of 2008 as against 7 cases recorded in the first quarter of 2009; 246 cases of threat in 2008 compared to 128 in 2009; 144 cases of property damages in 2008 as against 139 in 2009, and 9 cases of illegal possession of narcotic drugs in 2008 compared to 3 this year”. “The rest were 558 cases of theft recorded in the first quarter of 2008 as against 506 recorded in the first quarter of 2009;179 fraud cases against 177 cases in 2009 for the same period and 1,076 cases of assault in the first quarter of 2008 compared to 603 cases in the first quarter of 2009”.

What is the source of this statistics? From the Ghana Police Service, the Divisional Commander for the Accra East Division, Ms Elizabeth Dassah, posits that crime prone areas like Cantonments, Osu, Teshie,La and Nungua recorded less crimes in the first quarter of this year compared to the first quarter of 2008, by the above quoted statistics. So dear readers, this is what I call “TRUTH”! Not any form of whimsical conjecturing by an array of diabolic pro-opposition media trumpeting that is targeted at misleading the public in order to feed into an orchestrated perception the NPP holds that the Atta Mills government has failed on her promise to eradicate crime in the capital and in Ghana as a whole as regards the spate of armed robbery.

From Ex President Rawlings’ perspective on why crime seem to be quite rampant lately and the public hype that comes with it, he was frank with the fact that these crimes only go to create panic in the citizenry and scare potential investors away as recent media reports of these gruesome attacks are targeted at foreigners and their close associates on various investment errands in the country. This view of course holds truth!

Again, Ex President Rawlings intimated that the mystery of the serial killing of women that bedeviled the last hours of the NDC administration in 2000 cannot be wished away especially on the back of the NPP’s campaign collateral that these killings will cease as soon as the NPP wins power! True to candidate Kuffour’s words at the time, these serial killings disappeared. The excuse the NPP gives till date is that the NPP government collaborated with the FBI of America in arresting one Quansah and that was the turning point in unraveling the mystery of the serial killings. This to me is serious fraud, because Quansah confessed to murdering only eight (8) out of thirty- six (36) women, and till date the killers of the rest cannot be found. What I find rather misleading about the killings in the days was that save the women murdered by Quansah, the bodies of the rest could not be identified by any one in the immediate environment as friends or family. This lends credence to Rawlings’ unwavering belief that the women were murdered by a carefully planned syndicate on unknown grounds, transported and fixed in these selected spots in Accra or alien bodies of dead persons were paid for and used for an obvious scare mongering habit by a political party. (A few years on, One wonders why the NPP could not equally collaborate with the US Seals to combat the drug menace that rocked the NPP administration). A similar situation almost occurred in the run-off elections in the Volta Region when Nana Ohene Ntow claimed that a dead body discovered somewhere there belonged to an NPP polling agent. The name of the polling agent, Nana is yet to provide. Again, some secret recordings played on Radio Gold in Accra on the eve to the presidential run-off exposed this ancient game of fixing lifeless bodies of children in certain parts of the country to create scare among electorates as basis to reject the NDC as a violent party. What a coincidence?

We can also remember that ex president Kuffour released scores of hardened criminals from the various Prisons in the country on the eve of January 7, 2009 clearly for personal aggrandizement. The NPP at the time had lost the elections bitterly and handed down our throats scores of hardened criminals who knew nothing but robbery, rape and murder. These criminals had not served their term before their release. Today, we are suffering the spill-over effects of these hasty decisions of the desperate NPP at the time and all we can do today is to point fingers at the new government and Jerry Rawlings? It is so shameful nobody read into the ramifications of these selfish decisions as of the time they were taken.

I am not sure that Ghanaians have forgotten so soon the controversy of the “Action Troopers” of the NPP who were said to have been trained and armed for intents only Lord Commey at the time could tell. Most especially, when these persons do not have any meaningful skill to earn a living, what do you expect a hungry ignorant man with a pistol in hand to do? Your guess is as good as mine!

Were we not in Ghana when some persons who posed as military men were apprehended by the Ghana Army and openly displayed on Live TV with ID cards and arms terrorizing people all over the place in the early hours of the Mills administration? What explanation had the Military and the NPP at the time to these developments? I believe that hundreds of these idiots are still out there creating all sorts of bedlam. What happened to the issues of the contract killings? Who has been arrested and charged thus far?

I am quite impressed Mr. Dan Botwe, NPP MP for Okere , admitted on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Thursday June 2, 2009, that the figures from the Police actually points to the fact that contrary to the claims of the NPP and their propagandist media houses, crime rates are rather declining!

It sounds very embarrassing that Honourable Nana Akomea, MP for Okaikoi North, should be slamming the Atta Mills administration and the IGP for doing little to curb his definition of a rising crime rate, and asked the new administration to table a blueprint to combating crime. My simple question to Nana Akomea and his believers is that if they had handed over a “blueprint” that they used in tackling crime, armed Robbery and the drug trade, to the new government, I believe they would have had a better leverage in demanding all the magical transformations they look up to from Mills and the NDC in six (6) months.

Ex President Rawlings might be radical in calling for the total institutional overhaul in tackling corruption in a little under six (6) months, but on hindsight, a total bureaucratic and institutional overhaul is indeed necessary in the fight against corruption especially on the back of developments in the Information and Sports Ministries which I believe might be that status quo in many other ministries.

A good seed sown demands tendering, nurturing and regulated watering for that seed to geminate, grow and produce good fruits for the benefits of society. To the critics of a new government by the NDC, we need you to channel your energies and interest into nurturing this good seed the people of Ghana planted by voting the NDC and Prof. Mills into power. For the fruits of the change we voted for to grow, we need you to join hands in building a better Ghana, rather than standing akimbo and praying deities for the worst to befall the good people of Ghana.

Long Live Ghana!

Long Live Atta Mills!!

Long Live the National Democratic Congress!!!

Felix Mawulolo Amegashie