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General News Sun, 24 Oct 2004

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Hackman "Strips Himself Naked"

Accra, Oct 24, lens -- The Interior Minister, Hackman Owusu Agyemang, has been caught in his own web of lies and spins when he sought to deny having stated that he has seen a video of the events leading to the brutal massacre at the Gbewaa Palace between 25th and 27th March 2002, resulting in the deaths of the overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II and over forty of his kinsmen.

Having stated quite categorically that, "I have seen the video; there was firing from both sides," in his contribution to a discussion on the lifting of the state of emergency over Dagbon, on Joy Fm's current affairs programme, Frontpage on Friday 20th August 2004, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyemang is now hopping from one radio station to the other trying to distance himself from his own amazing revelation.

On the said programme, the Interior Minister, Hackman Owusu Agyemang, expressed the view that the killing of the Ya-Na was as a result of an act of war between the feuding parties in Dagbon, and to buttress his point he said very clearly that, "I was not the Minister of Interior at the time, but I have since seen the video, there was firing from both sides."

On Saturday 9th October 2004, the Interior Minister called into Radio Gold's programme Alhaji and Alhaji current affairs and denied having said that he has seen a video recording of the events leading to the death of the Ya-Na. However, the host of the programme, Alhaji Bature Iddrisu, would have none of the Minister's deception so he played the recording of what the Minister said.

Thus exposed, the Minister retreated into sophistry as he vainly tried to get the listening public to believe that what he meant was that he had seen a video recording of the scene, which indicated to him that there was firing from both sides.

Indeed, prior to this, on Friday, 8th October 2004, more than a month after he made the statement, the Interior Minister called into Joy FM's current affairs programme, Frontpage, hosted by the same Kwaku Sakyi Addo, and denied having stated that he has seen the video. Surprisingly, the host of the programme, Mr. Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, the same man who mercilessly pushed the Minority Leader, Alban Sumana Kingsford Babgin into making perhaps the worst mistake of his political life, failed to confront the Minister with the recording of what he actually said.

Perhaps, it was this let-off by Kwaku Sakyi-Addo that emboldened the Minister into venturing into the arena of Alhaji and Alhaji, having obviously deluded himself that nobody else has a recording of what he said on 20th August 2004.

This latest shenanigan of the Interior Minister should leave no one in any doubt about the extent to which the Kufuor-led NPP regime is prepared to go to provide a cover-up for the murderer of the Ya-Na and his kinsmen.

It would be recalled that the substantive Minister of Interior at the time of the Yendi massacre, Malik Alhassan, speaking on Peace FM on Friday 30th January 2004, said the Police did not act due to the "heavy artillery fire" because the Policemen are also human beings. A clear admission that, at least the Police, and by extension the government, knew what was going on in Yendi. Amazingly, the same gentleman had said at the time that the Gbewaa Palance was under sustained gunfire assault that Yendi was absolutely calm and denied reports of the troubles in Yendi.

The questions that the Kufuor regime must be answering are how come more than two years after the Ya-Na was killed in broad daylight in front of his palace, a few metres from the Yendi Police Station, after three days of sustained "heavy artillery fire", neither the killers nor their sponsors have been found, especially as the Minister of Interior has publicly admitted having seen the recording of the sordid affair?

Why did government not act to protect life and property in Yendi between the 25th and 27th March 2002?

What were the Situation Reports submitted by the various security agencies, the Police, Army, BNI, and even the NPP constituency executives in Yendi on the days in question? Did those reports inform government of the actual situation? If so what did the government do?

If the reports did not accurately inform government of the situation in Yendi at the time, what action has been taken against the security officers responsible for that monumental and fatal dereliction of duty?

From every indication, government was aware of the fact that the Ya-Na was under gunfire attack but failed to act to protect him.

It is now quite certain that Mr. Kufuor and his people are determined to gloss over this matter, and not really go after the killers. Why? Is someone in authority afraid that, once caught, the killers would expose their highly placed sponsors who are in the Kufuor regime?

Source: Lens

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