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Opinions of Thursday, 25 February 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Only President Mahama and His Cabinet Deserve Eavesdropping Law

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Feb. 19, 2016

If we lived in the best of worlds, there would be absolutely nothing wrong with the Eavesdropping Bill being presently debated by our legislators in Parliament that is aimed at listening in on the telephone conversations of Ghanaian citizens, as well as empowering the governing to open up suspicious pieces of mail envelopes and parcels, for national security purposes (See “Row Over Eavesdrop Bill…Media Foundation Urges Mass Protest” The Chronicle 2/19/16). Well, those of us who are old enough to remember know fully well that our parcels and letters have been tampered with since the introduction of this modern communication system in the country, but it was often about postal agents stealing our valuables and enriching themselves and crushing our dreams and aspirations than protecting Ghanaian citizens from terrorism or money laundering, as the Mahama posse would have the rest of us believe.

We are also told that among the purposes for which the bill is being debated, with the ultimate aim of being passed into law, is to “fight crime, including money laundering, terrorism, narcotic trafficking and identity theft for the general protection of Ghanaians.” The fact of the matter, though, is that the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the chief sponsor of the bill, is the most reckless and dangerous government in the nearly 60 years of Ghana’s postcolonial history. This is a government that has contracted with Washington to serve as a beneficent host by using Ghana as an ideal haven for the resettlement of Arabo-Islamist terrorists being discharged from the U.S. Navy-sponsored Guantanamo Bay’s Maximum-Security Prison, not because these hardcore foot-soldier terrorists no longer pose any serious threat to civilized society, but primarily because as part of his 2008 presidential campaign platform, then-Senator and Candidate Barack Obama promised American voters that the Gitmo Prison had become an inexcusable moral eyesore to the consciences of the citizens of the world’s most powerful democracy and needed to be promptly dismantled as a means of cleansing the flagrantly blighted soul of this enviable global model of freedom and justice.

In essence, it is rather ironic for anybody to smugly suppose that a government that has made it a major cornerstone of its development agenda of packing Ghana chock-full with Saudi-born Yemeni terrorists is really interested in protecting its citizens against any acts of violence generated or perpetrated by such pathologically anti-Christian terrorist organizations as ISIS/ISIL, Taliban and Al-Qaeda. More poignantly stated, the Eavesdropping Bill would make far better sense if it was primarily and specifically targeted against the secretive and disdainful President Mahama and his cabinet of deliberately waffling congenital liars and, perhaps, even the entire parliamentary contingent of the ruling National Democratic Congress. And on the latter score ought to be underscored the fact that the incontrovertibly grave decision to resettle Messrs. Bin-Atef and Al-Dhuby in the country was deliberately undertaken by President Mahama on the blind side of both Ghana’s Parliament and the electorate at large.

In other words, what we have here is a bizarre – to speak much less about the patently criminal – case of Ghanaians being offensively and outrageously punished for naively allowing themselves to be taken for granted, or a ride, by being abjectly disrespected by their elected officials and leaders. On the latter score, Ghanaians could be aptly described as a people who have our priorities in reverse. In sum, if Ghanaians were that jealous of our hard-fought and won liberties, we would be preparing to impeach and throw out President Mahama and his cabinet as soon as this ill-intentioned bill that is squarely aimed at returning us to a neocolonialist political culture is passed and enacted into law.

On the question of us citizens’ protection against narcotic drug-trafficking, the very fact that Ms. Nayele Ametefe was able to board a British Airways flight to London, some two years ago, through the VVIP or Presidential Lounge at the Kotoka International Airport, with the full support, guidance and protection of our national security operatives, ought to inform Ghanaians, in no uncertain terms, that it is the Mahama government, and not themselves, which they need to be protected from, rather than naively expecting to be protected by the very government of the National Democratic Congress that has been secretly collaborating with foreign agents and their assigns to callously, viciously and unconscionably endanger our lives.

The question of money laundering has the same shade and coloration as that of drug-trafficking, which is that only rich and powerful politicians and their associates have been known to be studiously engaged in this most economically exploitative and immitigably unpatriotic act of criminality. And so what is all this bunk talk about the protection of the general Ghanaian public when, in reality, this bill is fundamentally about the drastic abridgement of our freedom of expression and our inalienable right to dialogical privacy? Then also, how protective is this flagrantly devious backdoor attempt to reintroduce the Akufo-Addo-crafted and implemented savvy proscription of the Criminal Libel Law?

The good news here is that now Ghanaians have a clear-cut choice, going into Election 2016, between their certain return to the slavo-colonial days, as starkly and unabashedly represented by President John Dramani Mahama and his so-called government of the National Democratic Congress, on the one hand, and governance in freedom and prosperity under an Akufo-Addo leadership come January 2017, on the other.

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