Recent happenings in Ghana has left many to wonder aloud whether Ghana whose democratic credentials received lots of commendations worldwide especially after the December 2008 Presidential elections, which saw the National Democratic Congress(NDC) and its candidate won by a razor blade margin has not gradually transformed itself into a military regime under President Attah Mills!
Lots of heinous and undemocratic things are happening in Ghana currently which could only happen under military or unconstitutional rule. The irony however is that, such militaristic actions in a democratic Ghana in my opinion has not received wider condemnations as expected. It left me with no option than to ask if the government of President Mills has become a military one.
I will enumerate some of the illegalities and tortures that Ghanaians have undergone since President Mills took over the affairs of Ghana some eleven months ago for readers to tell if such occurrences are acceptable under a democratic administration.
Firstly, it was at Bawku that some persons including a teacher were striped naked and paraded on the streets over allegations that the military has since been unable to prove. The question to ask is why should human beings be striped naked and paraded on the streets under a constitutional regime? At least readers would agree with me that, such scenes are only reminiscence of a criminal military or unconstitutional regime. There is therefore every reason for Ghanaians to begin to get worry over this phenomenon
As of the time of writing this script, reports filtering in from Nalerigu and carried by Joyfm indicated that, some military personnel not, only allegedly molested the people of Nalerigu in the Northern region on the 24th November, 2009, but only they are alleged to have raped at least three women! I hope nobody will have the courage to describe this barbaric act as a feature of a democratic government.
Thirdly, one Salifu Maikankani was allegedly assaulted by officials from the National Security headquarters in Accra and died the following day. As of the time of writing this article no shadow has been arrested not to talk of a human being in connection with the death of Maikankani who was a very enterprising young man and the key bread winner of his family.
Fourthly, four members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) were butchered to death at Agbogloshie in Accra at broad day light and in front of a police station by alleged supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and nobody have been arrested. Even President Mills who on many occasions stated he was the father of all Ghanaians could not condemn such a barbaric act!
Also, some law abiding Ghanaians have had their constitutional right of movement curtailed since president Mills took over the affairs of Ghana. In some cases the way such persons are prevented from travelling is so ridiculous and criminal. I hope readers would remember the case of Mr and Mrs Stephen Asamoah Boateng and how they were prevented from travelling by the BNI at the Kotoka International Airport with their kids
Again some Ghanaians have had their passports confisticated contrary to a warrant or ruling from a court of competent jurisdiction. The case of the former Foreign affairs minister under the Kufour Administration readily comes to mind. I hope nobody would say this archaic action of the security agencies is a democratic feature. Infact it is more of a military regime action than a constitutional behaviour.
Media houses that are perceived to be anti-government are harassed like was witnessed when Ghana was under a military rule from 1981-1992. At least Choice Fm in Accra among other media houses has had their share of harassments which is still even ongoing with North Star FM in Tamale ever closed down!
Ghanaians are killed in their houses and the killing of a young man at Tema who once challenged ex-president Rawlings by unknown thugs should be a serious source of worry to all Ghanaians. The mystery is that in all these killings nobody is known to have been arrested!
I hope readers would remember the Rambo style manner that vehicles of ex-government officials including ex-president Kufour and even the Presidential candidate of the NPP were seized and are being seized in Ghana. The cause of worry of some of these seizures is that, at times those vehicles are taken in the middle of town and at traffic lights! When simple procedures could have been used.
Some of these things are uncalled for in a democratic dispensation. The only regime that such things can happen is under military dictatorship. Is it not so sad that, such things are happening in Ghana under the presidency of Attah Mills?
Further more mass dismissals from work of persons perceived to be unsympathetic to President Mills “military regime” is a daily culture in Ghana. In a democratic dispensation employees are entitled to maximum notice before the termination of their appointments. What we see in Ghana can only happen under undemocratic regimes. And now President Mills aside announcing much earlier that, non members of his “revolution” would be sacked from their jobs for NDC activists to take over, also announced yesterday through his Spokesperson that, government appointees should open their doors and windows to NDC activists and offer them any support. The question to ask is that, who should non NDC Ghanaians turn to?
The President must be told that, such directives portray him as president of some Ghanaians when in actual fact he swore an oath to be a president of all Ghanaians. He must also be told that some of the things that have happened in Ghana since he took over on January 7th 2009 can only happen under military or unconstitutional regimes. The question therefore is that, Is President Mills a democratic or military ruler?
Akilu Sayibu, UK Email:Akilu.firstname.lastname@example.org