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Opinions of Friday, 5 September 2008

Columnist: Antwi, William

NPP's Demagoguery And National Instability!!!

In the wake of the mayhem and destruction that took place in the Tamale metropolis last Sunday, the NPP through its Chairman of the Communication Committee, condemned the NDC for starting the violence. That self-serving statement was a dramatic display of shameless demagoguery without regard for the truth. In fact, in their desperate and ugly attempt to hide the criminal conduct of its party members they rushed to condemn the NDC. The irresponsible and reprehensible conduct of their National Youth organizer, Mr. Buodu, in pointing accusing fingers at the NDC goaded their party members to go on that rampage leading to the death of innocent lives and destruction of properties running into millions and millions of Ghana new cedis. Isn’t it sad that in their pathetic statement, Dr. Arthur Kennedy did not have the moral fortitude to condemn, much more, call for a thorough investigation and prosecution of those criminals who turned Tamale and Gushiegu into hell? Doesn’t that disturbingly expose the parochial, sordid and vicious nature of the whole NPP campaign machinery?

Before proceeding any further, let me go on record as having stated, without mincing words, that all right thinking Ghanaians must stand up to any verbal and/or physical act of violence and call on our president to act as our president and not a president for only a section of the population. Our democracy should have no room for any criminal and animalistic conduct and the full rigors of the law must be visited on any violent criminal.

Be that as it may, in their rush to advertise their brand of hypocrisy and maliciousness, Dr. Arthur Kennedy and his rampaging bunch called into question the integrity and commitment of Prof Mills and our ex-president to our rapidly evolving democratic dispensation. This is a sickening rendition of malicious partisan politics - the same kind of graceless politics that continues to inform this hapless government in its selective approach to confronting the grave issues facing our dear nation. No wonder we now live in a country where there are two parallel, streams of laws affecting two classes of people. In fact, we have one law for the "untouchables". In this group we have NPP folks. The other law is designed for the "touchables"which group includes the rest of us. This "us against them" bunker mentality of the NPP tradition must be condemned by all right thinking Ghanaians. This is not how nations are built. Nations are built on the collective actions and responsibilities of all their people led by a responsible, caring and sensitive leadership. And I don’t mean the kind of vindictive and vicious leadership being showcased by the NPP.

In a violent and unstable region, where regimes after regimes continue to democratize violence just to perpetuate their bankrupt political power, the NDC government under the dynamic leadership President Rawlings, in January 2001, peacefully handed over power to the NPP after his party’s defeat at the polls. It is worth recalling here that after the December 7, 2004 vote and the country on the verge of devolving into raw violence as a result of the undemocratic conduct of Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and other of the NPP in announcing the electoral results, it was the NDC under the visionary leadership of Prof Mills that single-handedly saved our democracy from total conflagration by calling on millions of its supporters to stay calm and not to violently prosecute their right to an accurate and true collation of the election results on our streets. In fact, to give absolute meaning to their commitment to the democratic process, the NDC - the same party that Dr. Arthur Kennedy and his bunch are desperately trying to tag as "violent" - sent its electoral grievances to our High Court as expeditiously as possible. And, they only got some sort of "justice" more than three years after that time sensitive case was presented before the court - the same court that is supposed to be the guardian of our rights as free citizens!

Meanwhile, the Arthur Kennedys of Ghana do not see anything wrong with the High Court’s egregious and injudicious conduct in dealing with such time sensitive and integrity-filled case which indecision on the part of the High Court can easily lead to violence in future elections because the opposition cannot simply trust the judiciary to give them a fair shake! Rather, they have the moral and political impudence to vilify the NDC as a violent party and call into question the integrity and commitment of its leaders to our democratic dispensation?

What the NPP should know by now is that the NDC has sworn itself never to repeat those past mistakes and no amount of unwarranted, malicious political attack is going to change the reality on the ground. Tellingly, the NDC’s commitment to our democratic dispensation is total and complete. In light of this revelation, it would be absurd on the part of any member of our grand party to cede this debate to the Arthur Kennedys whose sole aim is to sully the hard-won, respectable reputation of this great national institution just to advance their vicious and bankrupt political agenda. In fact, the NPP is entitled to live in the past while the NDC demonstrably continues to burnish its democratic credentials by actual deeds recorded and verified. Only the malicious mind would fail or refuse to recognize the new and vastly improved NDC!


If the NPP cares to know, the NDC, as an eminent and evolving national institution, has wasted no time condemning any act of violence on the part of any of its members or society as a whole. For example, they publicly came out and strongly condemned the irresponsible and violent behavior of Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko Rauf, the MP for Yagaba/Kubori when he stupidly attacked a colleague in parliament! Didn’t the NDC subsequently discipline him? In contrast, where was Arthur Kennedy and the NPP when Nana Akuffo Addo verbally threatened Honorable Asamoah Boateng on the floor of our parliament in the heat of their obscene campaign leading up to their infamous and violence-filled congress? Again, what did the NPP do when Mr. Edumadze, its sitting MP for Ajuma-Enyan-Essiam constitutuency violently attacked two journalists, namely, Joe Okyere of the Daily Graphic and Philip Baidoo of the GBC? And what about the same Edumadze’s violent conduct towards Mr.Prince Ansah of NPP in the central region? Nothing!

Has Arthur Kennedy so soon forgotten that despite Mr. Joe Baidoo Ansah’s detestable conduct in threatening Dr. Nii Moi Thompson during a panel discussion at the UNCTAD conference in May, that brute was rewarded with another ministerial appointment? And Dr. Arthur Kennedy has the moral impudence to wantonly vilify a responsible party like the NDC that has sworn never to repeat its past mistakes?

We are not done yet:

Instead of wasting their time demonizing the NDC, Akuffo Addo and his campaign team should rather concentrate their energy on salvaging the tattered and violent image of their party and the country as a whole. Since coming to power, we have seen the escalation of violence in our country that is seriously threatening the very foundation of our democracy. Isn’t it a disturbing fact that the nation is now under siege as a result of the dangerous and violent criminal activities of heartless armed robbers? What about the numerous violent and murderous chieftaincy conflicts rocking the nation? And, should we be stopped from talking about the "contract killers"? As the ruling party, what have they done to stem the tide of these violent and murderous events beveling law abiding citizens? Truly, if Akuffo Addo and his party honestly believe in non-violence, they should long have brought to justice those who brutally murdered Alhaji Mobila and Ya Naa and his subjects.


As if the nation isn’t tired enough, aren’t we assail with daily doses of violence from within the NPP itself? Dr. Arthur Kennedy and his master, Nana Akuffo Addo, should just take a casual look at the brutal violence that continues to paint their corrupt party in "bright red" colors in their still on-going primaries. In fact, wasn’t Akuffo Addo’s campaign team part of the unbridled violence that characterized their infamous December congress in Legon? Can they say the same of the NDC congress that peacefully consecrated Prof Mills? From Suhum to Bekwai to New Edubiase to Okaikoi North to Tema East and West to Effia Kwesimentsim - and you name them - the viciousness of the NPP is on full advertisement! Skull are being smashed, limps hacked, slaps dished and, above all murderous threats issued and captured on tapes! To Akuffo Addo and his party all these obvious criminal acts are perpetuated in the name of "internal democracy". Contrariwise, can the NPP point to just one example of an NDC primary that has been thrown into any kind of violent uproar? Just one example!

No sane Ghanaian should be surprised at the unprecedented level of violence in the country, now. After all, didn’t they violently chase away a whole national security capo in the person of Francis Poku from Ghana? Why do we think the man is so scared to return to Ghana? Won’t we be afraid for your dear lives if our private homes are invaded with mohawks and heavy artillery weapons? Talk about a party that uses the facade of our democracy to nakedly prosecute violence! Call that violence through the nose of "democracy"!

To crown their violence with acts planned and brutally executed, the chairman of the Berekum branch of their party killed their secretary over an internal party matter. Yes, over an internal party matter. They tacitly sanctioned that murderous act by their awkward silence! You are right! That singular, disturbing act shows how serious the NPP is in dealing with political violence! To them, it is normal, when a party member kills another over a simple party matter and that our nation must accept that with maximum decorum! Some insolence!

Honestly, the more one gives vent to the strength of this disturbing pattern of violence in the NPP, the more one believes that Dr. Arthur Kennedy and his bunch have been smoking something - no pun intended! If not, why should they deal with the serious topic of political violence and its destabilizing effects in such an obtuse manner by recklessly accusing the NDC as a violent party without regard to the reality on the ground?

In short, their crude attempt to prosecute violence in Tamale and other places in the country is against every tenet of democracy and must be resisted not by guns or bows and arrows but by the strength of our resolve to be governed by laws and not men! The NPP as a national institution should bow its head down in deep shame for this petty and divisive political propaganda designed to fuel their vicious agenda for the country. Intelligent and discerning minds cannot and shouldn’t be deceived by their "fine" rhetoric.

Yes, we want to move forward in peace and freedom but we must do so with honesty, dignity and a sense of purpose and direction!

Down with malicious and vicious politics!

Down with blatant lies, half truths and innuendos!

Long live Mother Ghana!

We shall surely be back.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2008.