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Is Mark Woyongo Afraid Of Akufo-Addo?

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Garden City, New York

July 10, 2015

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

Even as Mr. Sofo Azorka, the epitome of political gangsterism in Ghana, struggles to extricate himself from the notoriety that has become synonymous with his name, Interior Minister Mark Owen Woyongo is busy exulting and luxuriating in the sort of wanton violence that has come to be widely associated with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at election time. Calls have gone up for the immediate resignation of the former Defense Minister, in the wake of his shameless public endorsement of the raw violence and intimidation that marked the July 7 Talensi by-election. Rather than condemn it, Mr. Woyongo has vehemently defended the Azorka Boys, an NDC-sponsored terrorist organization, for causing mayhem at Talensi, in the very Upper-East Region where the Interior Minister was also once the Regional Minister.

Mr. Woyongo claims that Nana Akufo-Addo's "All-Die-Be-Die" cautionary note to the then-Mills/Mahama-led National Democratic Congress amply justifies his staunch and brazen defense of the Azorka Boys. He also blames the three-time Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party for having masterminded violent occurrences at several by-election locations around the country, including Fomena and Atiwa. But in all of the preceding instances, there is clear-cut evidence that it was a desperate National Democratic Congress whose key operatives single-handedly initiated such politically regressive incidents of mayhem and carnage.

In Atiwa, for instance, it was Ms. Anita D'Souza, the National Women's Organizer of the National Democratic Congress, who literally mowed down pedestrians on their way to the polling booth with her chauffeur-driven car. The "All-Die-Be-Die" credo, it is significant to observe, never constituted any violent or military strategy of the New Patriotic Party; it was primarily meant to serve as a warning to the erstwhile Mills-Mahama posse that there was a breaking or boiling point of the systematic and perennial orchestration of violence from the camp of the NDC operatives beyond which the members, supporters and sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party would be apt to revenge.

Maybe somebody ought to remind Mr. Woyongo that being Interior Minister obliges him to professionally reduce the level of violence in the country at all times to the barest minimum. If Social Darwinism, or the Rule-of-the-Jungle ought to be the regulatory norm of Ghanaian society and political culture, then, clearly, he is not the right person for the cardinal cabinet portfolio of Ghana's Interior Minister. I am afraid his level of ratiocination, or critical thinking, verges on borderline mental retardation. To-date, even as I observed in a previous column on the same subject, Mr. Woyongo has not provided any hard evidence pointedly backing up his claim that it was NPP-affiliated vigilante groups that instigated the violence in Talensi, although he also claims that the NPP operatives who traveled to Talensi on by-election day "brought their own package of violence."

And so the logical question to ask here is this: In what capacity was Mr. Woyongo acting when he traveled to Talensi? For instance, did he travel to Talensi as a private citizen or as Ghana's Interior Minister? He may not want to hear this, but it is clear that Mr. Woyongo has completely lost his moral credibility and administrative authority. Whether he refuses to resign or not is decidedly immaterial at this juncture. What matters most is that those of us avid lovers of democratic governance are hell-bent on making sure that he does not get away with this nose-thumbing at the very people who underwrite his fat paycheck and perks.

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame