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Opinions of Monday, 16 March 2009

Columnist: Agyemang, Frank

The Real Case Of ‘Free Ataa Ayi Movement’

There were varying and interesting reactions to the article which I titled “Free Ataa Ayi Movement in the Offing”. From the comments made about the article, it was so obvious that only a few people decipher the direction or focus of that piece. Though I’m not bothered by the level of intelligence displayed, I am rather worried that society might be in danger if we have several people who could read and yet not understand or not even take time to read the whole article and make conclusions. What will these persons teach those young ones under their influence? I’m just wondering the rippling effect of such attitude.

As at the time of writing this piece, out of comments of over 168, only a handful realized the satirical manner in which the Free Ataa Ayi Movement article was put. Satire simply means literary tone used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting, or changing, the subject of concern. In this case, I was attacking that canker of deliberate politicization of issues that require dispassionate approach. Crimes are being politicized depending on one’s political affiliation and the government at post. What I did in that article was to ridicule those freedom movements and those yet to be formed as well as persons who enjoy such acts. Unfortunately, any of such movements formed in this country will register support because of vested interests. Such movements don’t put the interest of the nation first but their parochial interests, some of which are traceable to their political affiliations.

May, the trend of comments for the mentioned article is an indication that I don’t have to write in that manner, but on the other hand, I will prefer having some class of readership, I mean it’s better that way. The strong sense of sarcasm in that article attracted numerous insults and I feel I have achieved my aim. The fact is, in totality, every respondent was against such freedom movements which in effect imply Ghanaians don’t like the politicization of all issues including criminal ones.

Respondents like EKKA, Nii Tii Adam, Sarpong and Rural Man, just to mention a few, clearly understood my intention and even went the extra mile to help educate others about my position. Others thought I was really into this silly agenda and could not resist venting their anger on me. I was so much impressed by the honesty of one Abu who initially insulted me but upon reading the whole article and unraveling my style, came back to apologize.

One angle I forgot to give to the ‘Free Ataa Ayi Movement’ article is the Bawku conflict and other conflict zones up North. If you think the trouble makers are some mysterious beings who cannot be located then you’re also strange. Their homes, families and other relations can at anytime be located by the security apparatus if need be. The fact is, some smart ones are using political connections and affiliations to execute personal scores. You will be amazed how politicians are able to easily draw the linkage between long standing chieftaincy disputes with political affiliations in such volatile areas. Since these smart people have seen the trend and realize that the easiest way to walk out of jail or police cell is to politicize the whole issue regardless of whatever crime, they are now using that strategy and it’s working well. Ask the police and they will tell you they are not happy how bails are issued or granted to persons arrested for perpetrating crimes in those areas. Don’t ask the basis for such bails because you can easily draw your own conclusion. So you see, once they are assured of some sort of protection what prevents them from politicizing the stealing of guinea fowl when two people fought and one was beaten? Imagine you’re not in good terms with a neighbor and the only way to deal with that person is by saying he or she doesn’t like you because you belong to the other political party? In this way you can even attack that person for personal reasons but once you’ve succeeded in creating that political atmosphere, there will definitely be some form of intervention from the political parties. Once it’s politicize, immunity is assured.

The day we as a nation will commit ourselves to de-politicize all forms of vices and allow the laws to function with the state institutions well equipped to deliver, then real peace will return to identified conflict areas in this country. But you see, then some people, will become politically irrelevant so the strategy for them is to maintain the status quo.

I want people like ….to know that I am on their side and all I’m saying is that we want to see that state institutions and the judiciary are working independently without politicization of issues. I want them to know that I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable with the deliberate attempts by intelligent criminals, who steal our money find ways of linking any action taken against them as politically motivated. Don’t therefore be surprised that some of the movements in their bid to operate like others are already formed and launched before a judge pronounces his or her verdict on such cases. I envisioned in my previous article that now people who just want to be heard of will turn themselves into consultants for formation of freedom movements and strategically form movements before a person is even declared a suspect or just as a committee of enquiry is inaugurated to look into some cases. You don’t at the moment need to be a clairvoyant or a prophet to observe that for some persons, the more polarized the country is the better their chances of being well known because it is only under that situation they could be consulted and be heard of. In that regard, they don’t mind pressing some buttons to keep the flame burning.

So based on this conclusion, I can confidently say EKKA, Nii Tii Adam, Sarpong, Rural Man, Abu and ……. Are all on the same side. In fact, the over 160 comments point to the same direction but in different paths; they are all against the deliberate politicization of crimes and other vices in this country.

Frank Agyemang