By-election violence: Set up public investigation - Totobi Quakyi demands
A former National Security Minister has urged the President to set up Public Investigation into security lapses which marred the recent by-election held in Ayawaso West Wuogon with violence.
“I urge you [ president] to act with haste to commission a Public Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the events at Ayawaso West Wuogon that justice may have its day. This must be an investigation of true substance, one that will be palpably credible,” Mr. Totobi Quakyi said in an open letter to the president.
However, he cautioned the President not to be blurred by partisan colouration in such an exercise.
“We must set aside our partisan colourings that we might learn from what happened and commit ourselves to the avoidance of any future repetition for the sake of posterity. The unsettled scores of yesterday’s men must not condemn the hopes of tomorrow’s and of their generations, “he said.
Borrowing from his previous experience as a National Security chief to emphasize his point on neutrality, he wrote, “Your Excellency, I held the National Security portfolio during the presidential election of 2000, and oversaw the first democratic transition of political power since Ghana attained her independence some four decades prior.”
Mr. Quakyi added, “The result of that election did not favor my party nor my esteemed candidate, and the lost opportunity to further the work we had begun was a disappointment. Yet I was privileged to have played a critical role in affirming this nation’s commitment to the high ideals of freedom and justice, and to the path of peace and democracy.”
Mr. Totobi Quakyi concludes that if the president fails in this regard, the nation may go over the edge.
“I fear our national memory of your legacy will be of moral negligence that allowed us to go over the edge,” he concluded.
Read the full statement as published below.
His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President of the Republic of Ghana Jubilee House Accra.
I write to you in my capacity as a former Minister of National Security, as a son of the land, and as a father in the hope that you might exercise the moral authority of your Office to pull this nation back from the precipice on which it now stands. The scenes we witnessed during the by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon were utterly disgraceful and well-deserving of the condemnation of all true patriots of this nation.
More importantly, those events were but another expression of a pervasive lawlessness, impunity and disregard for due process that our democracy certainly cannot survive if left unchecked. Nothing less than the very stability of this nation is at stake, for the next step from this point takes us over the edge and into the abyss.
Your Excellency, I held the National Security portfolio during the presidential election of 2000, and oversaw the first democratic transition of political power since Ghana attained her independence some four decades prior. The result of that election did not favor my party nor my esteemed candidate, and the lost opportunity to further the work we had began was a disappointment. Yet I was privileged to have played a critical role in affirming this nation’s commitment to the high ideals of freedom and justice, and to the path of peace and democracy. Many of the details of that momentous period remain in the confidences of those of us most intimately involved, including your good self.
You know well that sound counsel prevailed over petty partisanship, and that ego was subjugated to the interests and wisdom of the Ghanaian people. I respectfully pray you to be mindful of this, for the uncertainty of the present hour demands no less.
Your Excellency, I have taken the time to apprise myself of public details of the unsavory events that marred the by-election, and have brought to bear my little national security experience in assessing them and their implications without prejudice or presumption. This is why I deem it imperative that Ghanaians have an honest, fact-based conversation about the events of last Thursday.
They were ominous portents of the coming election in 2020, and of the inevitability of bloodshed if we persist in this course. Our continent is replete with countries that have degenerated into civil war for less. embers that we must hastily put out. The conceitedness of her response evidences an astonishing degree of political immaturity, and her attempt to discredit the observations and valid concerns of the independent observers is truly unfortunate, unconscionable and unwise.
The events at Ayawaso West Wuogon mark a notable escalation in the political thuggery that is fast becoming a staple of our politics, because they were perpetrated in the name of the State and with the implements of its defense. They establish a precedent that all but ensures a cycle of revenge and reprisal that will irreparably weaken the rule of law in this country, and, of greater concern, destroy the already frail public trust in some of our most critical national institutions.
This, Your Excellency, is the ultimate threat to the security of any nation, especially in our part of the world. Several civil society organisations including Occupy Ghana have urged you to establish a judicial commission of enquiry into the unfortunate events of last Thursday. I beseech you to heed these calls. The inaction of your government will amount to the complicity of your Presidency in those inexcusable acts. Your Excellency, it has been my custom in recent times to abstain from the brouhaha of our public discourse, as I truly relish the solitude of private life.
But silence in such a moment as this amounts to moral cowardice, and I owe it to my God, my family and my country to speak out against what is manifestly and unequivocally wrong. I urge you to act with haste to commission a public investigation into the circumstances surrounding the events at Ayawaso West Wuogon that justice may have its day. This must be an investigation of true substance, one that will be palpably credible. Otherwise I fear our national memory of your legacy will be of a moral negligence that allowed us to go over the edge. I conclude with the words of a hymn of my beloved Methodist Church, which I have been reminded of in recent days. I hope it will resonate with you as a man of faith, and that persons of moral authority in Ghana who shall chance upon this letter might stand for the right and echo its counsel:
Once to every man and nation Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side; Some great cause, some great decision,
Offering each the bloom or blight, And the choice goes by forever Between that darkness and that light. --- Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet the truth alone is strong; Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own.
Your Excellency, far too much has already been sacrificed for the future of this nation. I send you the assurances of my highest consideration in this matter.
I remain, Sincerely Yours, Kofi Totobi Quakyi, C.V.