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Politics of Thursday, 19 January 2017


Be even-handed with NPP sympathisers - Nana Obiri Boahen

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has urged the police to be even handed in their quest to clamp down on alleged cases of takeover of state institutions by sympathisers of the party.

According to the party, elements in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had, in the past, been involved in many violent acts but the culprits had still not been arrested by the police.

However, when it was alleged that sympathisers of the NPP were taking over state institutions, the police had suddenly found their voice.

A Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Obiri Boahen, who made the call when he addressed a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Accra, said the party had already condemned those alleged acts but it was surprised at the hypocritical attitude of the NDC which was communicated in a press conference organised by the NDC on January 13, 2017.

Violent acts by the NDC

Nana Obiri Boahen catalogued a number of incidents involving actors within the NDC, saying, for instance, that the Chairman of the party, Mr Kofi Portuphy, had led a team of NDC foot soldiers to forcibly take over the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) office after the declaration of the results of the 2008 elections even before he was appointed to head that organisation.

He said the then National Women's Organiser of the NDC, Madam Anita De Sousoo, had also driven her vehicle through innocent NPP supporters but the police were yet to arrest her.

On the alleged plagiarism by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his inaugural address, he said the President had not committed any act of intellectual dishonesty, since the said quotation that he was alleged to have used and attributed to a former United Kingdom Prime Minister, Sir Woodrow Wilson, had been used by past American presidents without referencing.

The speech writer of Sir Wilson, he said, had even denied that the quotation came from him.

Alleged plagiarism

In any case, Nana Obiri Boahen said, the NPP and the people of Ghana were more interested in the spirit of the President’s address, not the text.

He made reference to the 2013 inaugural address by former President Mahama and alleged that Mr Mahama had borrowed quotes from 13 past American Presidents.

One other issue of contention, he maintained, was the reference to Ghana as "Nkrumah's Ghana" by the NDC, saying that was clearly mischievous, since the struggle for independence had not been at the instance of Dr Kwame Nkrumah alone.

He said for the records, members of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) had long initiated the various processes before Dr Nkrumah was brought on board.

Invisible Forces

Nana Obiri Boahen also condemned attempts to draw the person of the President into the seizure of state institutions by some people, saying it was unfortunate for the NDC to ask the President to call his "Invisible Forces" to order.

He said it was a matter of public knowledge that the Invisible Forces had been in existence before the President was elected and that it was only bogus and dishonest to make such a call on the President.

He said the NDC had, based on the suspension of some executive members of the NPP, called the President a divisionist, as though the suspension of those people had been done at the whim of the then flag bearer of the party.

He explained that the decision to suspend those executives was one that was taken by the highest decision-making body of the party, in line with its constitution.

But the NDC had shown how divisive it was, having expelled members of the party who lost primaries and went independent, he said.

“The divisive tendency of the NDC had culminated in the formation of political parties by Goosie Tandoh, Dr Obed Asamoah and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings,” he added.