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Opinions of Sunday, 22 January 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Whatever goes around comes around

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As the popular American maxim goes: “Whatever goes around, comes around.” Simply put, the current onslaught of violence raging across the country did not explode out of a vacuum.

It has its “ancient” origins in the wanton acts of violence provoked by the Rawlings-led Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), during the late 1970s; and then again, throughout the 1980s, in the wake of the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Limann-led government of the People’s National Party (PNP).

And then, again, between 1992 and 2001, when Chairman Jerry John Rawlings and his fellow Anglo-Ewe clansmen, notably The Tsikatas, dominated the national political landscape and ruled the country with iron-fists like their personal property.

And so it cannot be wholly accurate that the sort of wanton acts of violence being reported all over the country began only in the wake of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s landslide victory in last December’s general election. But even more significantly ought to be recalled the fact that less than a month to the 2016 general election, some thugs and goons publicly claiming allegiance to the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC), then the ruling party and government, attacked the private residential compound of the then-Candidate Akufo-Addo. These thugs, several of whom had been armed with assault rifles and other weapons capable of doing considerable human destruction, shot several rounds of munitions into the compound.

Nana Akufo-Addo was then campaigning for president in the central part of the country, to wit, the Brong-Ahafo Region, if memory serves yours truly accurately. His wife, the now-First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo (nee Griffiths-Randolph), was, however, in the house. The attack, which attracted widespread international attention, was roundly condemned by the resident Ambassador of the United States at the time, Mr. Robert Jackson, as well as the relatively longtime resident British High Commissioner, Mr. Jon Benjamin. It was quite obvious that the attack had been strategically orchestrated by some Mahama operatives in a bid to intimidating the now-President Akufo-Addo and his supporters and sympathizers.

To-date, the now-former President John Dramani Mahama has yet to issue any personal public statement on the attack. The goons and thugs involved in the attack claimed to have been embarked on a “Health Walk” that had been deliberately routed to pass in front of the private Nima residence of Nana Akufo-Addo. And so it is rather absurd to hear Mr. Kofi Adams, the National Organizer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress rudely, virulently and publicly accuse President Akufo-Addo of deliberately stoking the flames of violence against members and supporters of his party by not going public to personally condemn these wanton acts of violence, which have largely revolved around attempts by New Patriotic Party members and supporters to take over public institutions and properties hitherto controlled and almost exclusively operated by partisans of the former ruling party.

We must also backtrack to recall the fact that in the wake of Nana Akufo-Addo’s narrow presidential-election loss to President John Evans Atta-Mills, late, in December 2008, at least one private vehicle belonging to the defeated candidate of that election was seized on the streets of Accra by an NDC operative who claimed that background investigations indicated that full-taxes on the vehicle had not been paid to the state. The vehicle would be impounded by the Castle presidential staff of Prof. Mills and kept there for several weeks. Nana Akufo-Addo would refuse to take receipt of the vehicle upon its alleged return to its owner. As of this writing, a hit-the-ground running Nana Akufo-Addo had issued an order to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. John Kudalor, through his Chief-of-Staff, Mrs. Frema Opare, to promptly stem the rising tide of partisan violence raging across the country. Let’s wait and see what happens next, that is, whether the highly politicized Ghana Police Service (GPS) is up to snuff, as it were, on this matter.

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