When the pot calls the kettle black in national politics…There must be a Woyome lurking in the background
Ebo Quansah in Accra
The outburst by Mr. Kennedy Agyapong, Member of Parliament for Assin North, appears to have provided those supervising over the looting of the state treasury, the caveat to go after imaginary enemies with the kind of venom that defies logic.
All over the place, there is agitation for the blood of the MP, and anybody associated with him. Like the events leading to the Union Government campaign, people clearly linked to some political parties are hiding under spurious organisations to fan ethno-centric activities in the name of finding the appropriate forum to address what they claim to be a creeping intolerance of ethnic unity. I have had a lengthy chat with Mr. Agyapong, and I am absolutely convinced that he did not intend to start a war of any kind in the country.
While I may not have made the statement he made with those words, I am of the view that Mr. Agyapong was not calling for ethnic cleansing. From my point of view, he was drawing attention to very dangerous developments in our body politic. When people seeking to register to vote in December, are assaulted with impunity, there is cause for concern.
One of the problems with this society is that we all tend go hypocritical on very serious and sensitive issues. When it comes to promoting ethnocentrism in the country, I do not believe any person has advertised his tendencies more than Prof. Kofi Awonoor.
In the Ghana Revolution, a book claiming to espouse the virtues in the anarchy that answered the name of December 31, and which consigned this nation into a culture of silence for 11 and a half years, Prof. Kofi Awonoor reduced political contest in this country into a battle between the Ewes and Ashantis.
The man, born as George Awornoor-Williams in Wheta, near Keta in the Volta Region on March 13, 1935, claimed that the large presence of Ewes in the military, police, civil service and academia, was an effective means of holding Akans (Ashantis) in check.
Incidentally, the so-called revolution coincided with an era when the Akans, the largest ethnic group of people in this country, felt discriminated against most. Today, Prof. Kofi Awonoor sits on the Council of State as the Chief Adviser to President John Evans Atta Mills.
The time has come for this nation to take a hard look at the way things are unfolding, and strategise to stop the sliding of society into various blocks. We need to deal with problems when they occur without using the sledge hammer or an Ak47 to kill a mosquito.
The mosquito is a nuisance. But, the route to eliminating its influence is to clean our environment, and not resort to arms to deal with it.
On Wednesday, when I heard the National Democratic Congress General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, addressing the media and putting all the blame of society on the opposition New Patriotic Party, I thought I had been transported to another territory far from this society.
Does Mr. Asiedu Nketia believe he and his political party are saints? I am not an official of the NPP. I would like to believe the executive and members of the party are capable of responding to the charge of being violent themselves. As a journalist, I deem it a duty to let the truth prevail, no matter the consequences to my person. In this day and age, when to express anti-NDC sentiments is tantamount to treason and terrorism, one ought to be careful with pronouncements that border on the sanctity of the state.
Nevertheless, I do state with all the command at my disposal as a journalist who has been around all this while, that the NDC, as a political party, was born in violence. It was nurtured in violence and is currently using violence as one of its most reliable working tools. I will explain myself.
One man, with the help of the gun and people who claim to believe in him, dismantled all that the people of Ghana had done, by installing an administration after a very keen contest culminated in the inauguration of the People’s National Party, headed by President Dr. Hilla Limann on September 24, 1979. Barely 27 months after the installation, one person, who had openly advertised his penury existence previously, took the gun and overthrew the administration violently.
For three and half years, the people of Ghana were reduced to poultry animals ordered to sleep at the whims and caprices of the coup plotters. Curfew hours were varied. They ranged from 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The official reason given was that imaginary enemies, dreamt up by the people calling the shots, were bent on overthrowing the illegitimate regime.
After 11 and a half years of the Gospel according to Jerry John Rawlings, and with the people of Ghana calling for an end to the rule by the gun, officials were alleged to have used state resources to constitute the entire government machinery into a political party.
In other societies, this would have been classified as fraud on the people of Ghana. The sham of an election, during which ballot boxes were removed from the electoral areas and taken to ‘safe havens,’ where numbers were called out to represent voting figures, could only have been countenanced in Ghana, where in the name of peace, fraud was openly perpetrated in the kind of results announced.
The fraudulent nature of the 1992 presidential election is epitomized by the fact that the presidential candidate of the People’s Heritage Party was listed to have scored zero at the polling booth where he had voted for himself, together with his family.
Fraud was not the only worry. Violence characterised the poll won by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, the military dictator who contested the poll while in office. There were cases of machomen carrying electoral boxes away and beating up people who were protesting their actions.
The two military regimes ran by Flt. Lt. Rawlings – the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and the Provisional National Defence Council – both abused the rights of the ordinary people of Ghana with impunity.
It is on record that nearly three hundred Ghanaians, including the then Aburihene, Nana Osae Ntifu Ababio, who was also the Adontenhene of the Akuapem Traditional Area, cannot be accounted for.
Like the Akan concept of the tsetsefly, which has its head always full of blood, even when the PNDC became the NDC in the constitutional experiment, violence never departed from the body politic. Apart from threats from the leadership, there were several instances of the manifestation of violence.
President Rawlings’ answer to people clamouring for an open and accountable government was the evolution of the concept of ‘democratisation of violence.’ There was the effusion by Warrant Office Isaac Frimpong, alias Red Light, who espoused the need for the freedom of assassination as the regime’s answer to those demanding freedom of association.
On May 11, 1995, the regime visited violence on thousands of demonstrators protesting the high cost of living and the government’s introduction of the Value Added Tax. Four people, including Ahunu Hongar, a 14 -year old pupil of the Liberty Avenue Junior Secondary School, were shot dead.
A number of the marchers were seriously injured and admitted at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. They included Yaw Frank, 19, Yaw Kyei, 22, Kwabena Appiah, 21, Kwasi Ababio, 31, Abukari Adama 25, Kwabena Asante 22, George Agyiri 22.
The march was organised by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Dr. Charles Wereko-Broby and Mr. Abdul Malik Kweku Baako among others. The perpetrators were identified as members of the Association for the Defence of the Revolution and soldiers on duty at the Castle.
In its manifesto and other relevant documents, the NDC claims its antecedent from the two military regimes, which visited violence on the people most. It is on record that truck loads of toilet were poured on the offices the Free Press, The Guide and The Chronicle. These inhuman acts were stoutly defended by Mr. (Now Prof.) Kwamena Ahwoi, Minister of Local government and Rural Development, whose office took charge of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, which is responsible for the disposal of liquid waste, justified what became known in local parlance as ‘shit bombing.’
In the words of the then Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, the ‘shit bombing’ was “the people’s rejoinder to articles written by these media outlets.” That is how bad it was.
If the NDC held the press conference the other day, to try and divert attention from the GH¢51 million Woyome dole-out, I take this opportunity to assure General Mosquito and his ‘troops’ that Woyome will continue to live on. No one can put a lid on the scandal until every pesewa of state funds given to one person to take care of the party and other matters have been recovered.
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