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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Columnist: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Upheavals In Ghana: NCCE, Religious Groups and Statesmen must come to our aid

Recent happenings in Ghana must be of concern to all well meaning people at home and abroad. Of all media stories, none is as serious as the spontaneous actions being taken by youth of leading political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party(NPP) against what they think are wrongs committed by party faithful in the parties. Before Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey was suspended from the NPP for two years, irate youth of the party attempted to show him ‘where power lies’. However leading party members who invited Dr Wereko-Brobbey for discussions at party headquarters prevented the youth from having their way. It’s all because Dr Wereko-Brobbey decided to express his views that did not sit well with the youth of the party.

Dr Wereko-Brobbey’s crime against the NPP is his criticism against the performance of Dr Bawumia of NPP as lackluster at the hearing of the election petition before the Supreme Court below that of Asiedu Nketiah of the NDC. As a person who claimed to be a founding member of the party, some party members considered this as unfortunate, saying that Dr Wereko-Brobbey cannot claim to be a genuine member of the NPP. Apart from Dr Wereko-Brobbey Dr Arthur Kennedy a member of NPP is one person who has also fallen foul of the expectations of some NPP members for writing a ‘book chasing the elephants into the bush’ after the 2008 polls and also critiquing fiercely, suggestions by leading members of the NPP to select a flag bearer ahead of the election of executive members of the party

Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy in an article stated that the decision by the NPP to elect a flag bearer before having constituency and polling station elections ahead of the 2016 election cycle, is an “equivalent of a person who just got divorced jumping into a relationship with the first person of the opposite sex they meet without any reflection on how the old relationship failed.”

Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, asked the former Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party, NPP, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy to stick to his medical field “and stop meddling in things that he has very little expertise in.”

From the above one can say that both Dr Arthur Kennedy and Dr Wereko-Brobbey though brilliant scholars cannot be in ‘good books’ of the NPP.

The NDC is experiencing similar problems having to deal with upheavals in the party. Mr. Alban Bagbin Dr Tony Aidoo made statements that seem worrisome to some leading members of the NDC including Mr. Felix Quakyi Ofosu Deputy Minister of Information, Stan Dogbe Presidential Staffer and Ms Hanna Tetteh Foreign Minister.

While Mr. Felix Quakyi Ofosu considers Mr. Bagbin’s post as Minister as untenable for criticizing the president, Ms Hanna Tetteh wished Mr. Bagbin to consider himself as one of the three wise presidential appointees who must do well to stick to his core duties.

If these leading members of the NDC and NPP are engaged in verbal exchanges some youth in the parties are engaged in physical attacks on their opponents within the parties. The recent chasing away of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources from Tamale is very disturbing indeed.

What was intended to be a meeting to reconcile the rank and file of the National Democratic Congress in Tamale in the Northern Region turned bizarre and chaotic with the Tamale Central Member of Parliament and Lands and Natural Resources Minister Inusah Fuseini being chased out.

His bodyguard who allegedly slapped one of the irate youths was beaten up,

It is not exactly clear the reason for the chaos was, but the spokespersons of the Tamale Central NDC ward executives; Issah Dabale has condemned the action by the youth. The situation can be dealt with only when the leading members show the way through dialogue and orderly and peaceful resolution of internal matters.

Apart from this some youth of the NDC in Tamale calling themselves the NATO Forces have taken possession of a vehicle Ford Everest from the former Municipal Executive of Tamale Alhaji Friday. The NATO youth who did not seek help from the police claimed that Alhaji Friday stole the car when he was removed from office. However, the police who are going to retrieve the car said they have discovered that the car had been properly acquired by Alhaji Friday in an auction. The unilateral action by the NDC youth is therefore wrong and illegal.

Since we have a history of youth wings of political parties taking the laws in their own hands, there is the need for the countries leaders, chiefs, religious leaders former presidents J J Rawlings and J A Kufuor to do something about the developments in our country. Because all youth involved in illegal secures of toilets, burning of cars and offices, we live in ‘unsafe’ times. They seem to be above the laws of Ghana.

To this end, we wish to appeal to the National Commission for Civic Education, churches and civil society to make their presence felt. To do this, the government and the donor agencies and corporate bodies must finance meetings and workshops for political parties and other youth pressure bodies in Ghana. At such meetings, the youth should be ‘conscientized’ to know their rights and responsibilities. They would also be schooled on the dangers in taking the laws in their hands. As part of the exercise, these youth could be given military and police drills to appreciate the real duties of our police and defense forces.

It is believed that seizing properties and burning cars are criminal activities that are punishable by the laws of Ghana. This must be drummed home to them by lawyers and political scientists.

After these exercises, it is believed that the youth would perform duties assigned them in all our parties and organizations and relate to officialdom on matters relating to security and laws of the land.

With the threat of a possible nationwide strike action in Ghana, later this month the time to act on this matter is now.

Executive Director

EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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We call for cooperation with individuals and organizations wishing to bring out facts and condemn falsehood. Let’s join hands