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Opinions of Sunday, 20 January 2013

Columnist: Asimenu-Forson, Kwaku

NDC Janjaweed or NPP Red Herring

By Kwaku Asimenu-Forson

Earier this week a friend came to me recounting how he witnessed in the Supreme Court area, cane wielding thugs whipping people perceived to be NPP sympathizers that made June 4th looked like a dress rehearsals. How did they know that somebody was an NPP person? Dressing, my friend! If you wore something with the red, blue and white colors of the NPP, you are duly qualified for lawless hot cane at the seat of the country’s law-the Supreme Court. NDC supporters? Could they be this stupid to display hooliganism at the precinct of the court while seeking to be joined to the proceedings of the court? These guys must be morons. Then I heard later in the news that some of the goons were in NDC T-shirts and a big pinch of salt fell on my tongue as I continued taking in the shock of the development.

The next morning General Mosquito was all over the place denying that NDC has anything to do with the hooligans. He did not finish when the Communications Director of the NPP appeared on the scene insisting that the people were sponsored by the governing party. At once my mind turned to the Janjaweed or Janjawid (Devils on Horses) who created over a million refugees and internally displaced people in the Darfur crisis. When Sudan broke down, the Janjaweed from three Arabic words- Horse, Gun and Man- were the Lords; the Lords of terror. The key similarity to what happened in Makola was that, initially all key antagonists in the Dafurian crisis denied any links with them but at the same time state authority appeared unwilling or unable to arrest the situation.

How did it happen that the Ghana police indicated their preparedness to deal with lawlessness including at the Supreme court yet failed to arrest a single soul with cane? Are they complicit? Are they afraid? Clearly, there are some powerful elements in the political system who are behind the orchestration, and the Police ought to know who or which people. I am sure they do .Listening to the Greater Accra Regional PRO on Asempa last time priding themselves in the fact that , the scuffle did not degenerate into anything untoward beyond a few canes! My teeth hit a grit a bit. Canning in the street? A street kindergarten? Free! Oh Ghana! Any way would canning be allowed if education were made free? Okay, let me not stray. Let nothing become a red herring to divert attention. So the real issue is, could the NPP have stage-managed the canning incident to put the NDC in bad light so as to coerce the judges to rule that the NDC should not be joined to the substantive issue? Lest some judges get canned too? Nothing is impossible in Ghana these days you know!

So I kept wondering who could have been responsible and the big men kept accusing and counter-accusing when a truth dawned on me. You see, it does not matter who sponsored the thugs. What matters is what becomes of the thugs. If the paymasters are no longer able to foot the bill, they would exact payment’ by force’ from the larger society. That’s how the Sudanese Janjaweed started. The Janjaweed were initially by Gadafi for his purposes in the Chad. When he left them in the cold afterwards, the idle hands became available for hire and Khartoum rented them. Soon the pay was not enough and they took to looting for pay. They leveled whole villages. They raped and maimed as they came and left in their trail wailing beyond compare. Is this what we want for Ghana?

The political polarization in Ghana has gone beyond an electoral settlement. If it fully gets beyond judicial settlement, it might lead to war. After all war, war is a an extension of politics. But it is too an expensive price that neighther Akuffo-Addo or Mahama cannot afford. Can they?