NPP should act now or never!

Tue, 27 Jul 2010 Source: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Staging a comeback to power in 2012 - NPP should act now or never!

According to Abraham Lincoln, “things that come to those who wait may be the things left by those who got there first”. The United Party (UP) political tradition has paid a big price for its inaction and the use of diplomacy in its political activities over the years. This is because such diplomacy has been wrongly assumed by our political opponents as leniency and the corrosive effect is that the other political divide had been taken advantage of the situation to subject our members and sympathizers to all manner of treatments. Unfortunately, the party leadership over the years has not come out with any realistic strategy to nip in the bud the unruly behaviour of our opponents, especially the NDC. Refreshing our minds prior to the independence era in 1957, Dr. Nkrumah succeeded in using lies and deceit to pursue his political ambition. Yes, Nkrumah made it appear to Gold Coasters that Dr. J.B. Danquah and the other leading members of the UGCC had received £25,000 from the British colonists in order to delay the granting of independence. Seriously, this blatant fib quashed the UGCC’s chance of strategically winning the independence. In fact, the biggest blow to the UP tradition was not only the ‘glory’ Dr. Nkrumah received as a result of gaining political independence, but the wicked manner in which he jailed and killed his political opponents, such as Dr. J.B. Danquah through his obnoxious law of Preventive Detention Act. Having missed the unique opportunity of leading the country to political independence as pacesetters, the UP tradition worked hard to assume the reins of governance for the first time in 1969. This was through the Progress Party (PP) led by Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia. Sadly, after only twenty-seven months in power, the inaction of the PP government allowed the military to take over the administration of the country thus denying our tradition of the opportunity to implement most of our good policies to improve the lives of the people. Similarly, when the opportunity availed itself in 1979 to form the next government, the UP tradition allowed the parochial interest of individuals to override the supreme interest of the party. This sent us into the political wilderness for 30 years. And what happened afterwards? The consequence was the atrocities committed against Ghanaians during the 19 year dictatorial rule of the Scottish-born leader - J. J. Rawlings. Could these atrocities be recounted? Typical examples were the secret agenda of collapsing businesses belonging to Akans. For instance, the Apino Soap factory, the A-Life shopping mall similar to ASDA and Sainsbury in the UK came to a halt leading to mass unemployment. Also, three High Court Judges in addition to an Army Officer were murdered in cold blood and consequently burnt with petrol. Who can pay for the psychological and emotional pains of the families of these victims? This took another courageous intellectual from our tradition - the late Prof. Albert Adu-Boahen to break the ‘culture of silence’ in the country to pave way for multi-party democracy in 1992 with the Kufuor-led NPP being in the helm of affairs between 2001 and 2009. Admittedly, the country was in a state of hopelessness in terms of good governance, sound economy, better education, fundamental human rights and freedoms, among others but fortunately the NPP administration turned the economy around to the extent of discovering oil in commercial quantities. Good people of Ghana, is it not disheartening to see the collapse and mismanagement of NPP’s good policies and programmes such as; capitation grant, NHIS, NYEP, LEAP, free maternal care, mass cocoa spraying exercise, metro mass transit, Presidential Special Initiatives (PSI) by these nation wreckers? Ideally, these interventions were just enough to convince the electorate to retain the party in power, yet the NPP became complacent and sat down as ‘robots’ for the NDC to use propaganda, threats, violence, voter irregularities and big promises not only to deceive some Ghanaians, but also to coil us into our shells and eventually won political power cheaply. The NPP was thus denied the greatest opportunity of using the expected oil revenue to expand the above-mentioned social interventions to improve the lot of Ghanaians. Talk about propaganda cum idiocy and the likes of Kweetey, Afriyie Ankrah, Ablakwa, Agyenim Boateng, Omane Boama, Koku Anyidohu, Asiedu Nketia, Pratt, and Tony Aidoo will not be hard to find. These nonentities took time to debunk the significance of all the pro-poor policies the NPP implemented, the impressive economic record as well good governance. In launching his scathing attacks on the founding fathers of the UP tradition, that sub-human - Fiifi Kwetey described Dr. J. B. Danquah as an unrepentant Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent, who was prepared to sell our destiny to foreigners. To Prof. K. A. Busia, Kweetey remarked; “Osama Bin Ladin was a little better than him because Busia turned himself into a devil and was prepared to kill innocent people for power through bomb throwing” (Daily Guide 30/09/08). Again, Kwetey in preaching the gospel of lies alleged that on August 1, 1962, a bomb planted in a bouquet of flowers put in the hands of 7 year old girl to be presented to Nkrumah exploded, killed the girl and caused severe injuries to Nkrumah and the UP tradition was behind it. Fellow Ghanaians, please do me a little favour by identifying the body/agency in charge of security when the president travels across the length and breadth of the country. For instance, if the NDC’s “Konongo Kaya” makes any official trip to his so-called 2nd home of Volta Region, which of the following executives will host him - the NDC or the NPP? Therefore, how could the opposition at the time give a bouquet of flowers to a girl to be presented to Nkrumah? Your guess is as good as mine. In the last general elections the NDC made a big political gain from the unfortunate murder of Ya Na, in March 2001, by accusing the NPP government of behind that heinous crime; making some few ignorant people in the country believe this class one story. Similarly, His Excellency, J.A. Kufuor was wrongly accused of selling Ghana’s gold reserves and this affected the fortunes of the party in one way or the other in the 2008 general elections. This confirms Billy Franklin’s assertion that; “if a lie is repeated often enough all the dumb jackasses in the world not only get to believe it, they even swear by it”. On the issue of threats and violence, the NDC has indeed shown its true colours that it was born out of the PNDC. Prior to the 2008 general elections, there was every indication that the NDC members meant business. The then thrice defeated presidential candidate of the NDC, Prof. John Mills threatened to BURN Ghana like Kenya should his party be denied victory in the general elections. That particular statement by a man who claims to be ‘Asomdweehene’ put fear in many Ghanaians and no wonder a lot of cowards voted for the NDC just to avoid any bloodshed in the elections. In September 2008, an NPP rally was disrupted by gunfire, forcing the party’s vice presidential candidate Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia to flee. Then on the Election Day (07/12/08), there were several reports of voter intimidation and election irregularities in Volta Region. Dr. Sammy Ohene, an NPP polling agent was subjected to an inhuman treatment at Dedeho in Ho West constituency. A group of between 10 and 15 people set upon him, kicked him, and others took planks and sticks and stones and beat him up like a thief. When the blood started spurting from his face, one of them said let’s finish him off. This wicked action was condoned and connived by the presiding officer, Mr. Ankude and the chief inspector Attisogbui. Readers would agree with me that ever since this monstrous party (NDC) unfortunately came into power in January 2009, not a day or a week passes without hearing cases of assault, intimidation, threat to kill and killings, gunshots not forgetting other disasters like floods, fire outbreaks, mining and motor accidents in all parts of the country thus posing a serious threat to our fundamental human rights to life, liberty and security. It is very surprising to note that documented evidence of harassment and atrocities committed against NPP members and sympathizers across the country have gone un-investigated or un-prosecuted. Below are a few examples of such documented incidents. • In January 2009, His Excellency J.A. Kufuor had his office and cars seized. This was followed by Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Bawumia and other former government officials. • In February 2009, the Director General of GBC gave a cease transmission order, thus cutting of the broadcast of live programme following a complaint of bias against the ruling NDC party made by the NDC communications chairman. The panel of one NDC and two NPP was discussing the state of the nation address. The director said the composition of the panel was not in the best interest of the nation. • On the 8th of August, 2009 in Osu, Accra, police shot the 18 year old son of a former Member of Parliament in the leg outside a night club as he was leaving the venue with friends. Sadly, two hospitals denied him medical attention because he didn’t possess a police report. • On Tuesday August 28, 2009, some NDC activists who call themselves “Taliban Boys” butchered to death three NPP members whilst others sustained varying degrees of injury. Not even a Press Conference by the Minority to release names of seven persons responsible for this heinous crime on September 25, 2009 could compel the police to effect any single arrest. • In the same August, Mainoo was beaten to death by NDC thugs after taking part in a demonstration against the unlawful detention by the BNI of Mr. Asamoah Boateng, former Minister of Information. • On August 5, 2009, police arrested and detained the regional editor of Metro TV, after he entered a courtroom to witness a rape case. In the same month, two NPP men were killed at Kokomba Yam market in Agbobloshie, Accra. • On September 17, 2009, police briefly closed an independent radio station in the Northern Region owned by former vice-president, Alhaji Aliu Mahama. The regional police commander ordered the police to close the station and the staff were arrested and detained for several hours. • On April 11, 2009, an Upper East Regional correspondent of The Chronicle was assaulted by supporters of the NDC for photographing party activity. His camera was also destroyed. • On May 28, 2009, a group of NDC supporters besieged a privately owned FM radio station in the Brong-Ahafo region, attacking three persons and vandalising the station. • In August 2009, the Deputy Regional Minister of Brong-Ahafo, Eric Opoku condoned and connived a serious crime by hiding a murderer under his bed. • On September 29, 2009 several NPP members and sympathizers sustained various degrees of injuries by NDC activists as a result of the by-election in the Chereponi constituency in the Northern Region. • In the same year, the Deputy Minister of the Eastern Region, Baba Jamal declared Jihad (Holy War) in the Akwatia constituency in his quest to win the parliament seat when he knew clearly that he was fighting a losing battle. • In November 2009, a video clip and still photos were released to the media depicting military personnel in Bawku interrogating and abusing two naked civilian suspects who happened to be professional teachers. Still photos showed a soldier kicking a suspect and placing the tip of his gun in the suspect’s mouth. They were later made to parade the principal streets naked and in front of their school children. • On January 6, 2010, the Ashanti Regional Minister – Kofi Opoku-Manu urged NDC supporters to resort to violence during a speech to his party supporters in Kumasi. Should any opposition member dares criticize the NDC government, “slap him if you can do so” are the exact words from that 70-year old blockhead. • In February this year, 27 houses belonging to NPP sympathizers were completely burnt down by NDC activists in Tamale during a clash between the two parties’ sympathizers. As of now not a single arrest has been made. • On February 6, 2010, another thickhead who is alleged to have been infected with HIV, one Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh – a greenhorn of the NDC violently attacked Lawyer K. Owusu Afriyie aka ‘Sir John’, then a contender in the NPP General Secretary race during a political discussion on the studios of Hello FM in Kumasi. He pulled a chair and tried to smash it on Sir John until he was restrained by the other panellists. • On February 18, 2010, Nana Darkwa, an NPP activist was arrested by the police led by Kofi Adams – a deputy general secretary of the NDC and an aide to J.J. Rawlings. Nana was subsequently prosecuted on charges for publishing news with the intent of causing fear and alarm in violation of the Criminal Act 208. • On March 22, 2010, the NDC youth at Sankore in the Asunafo South of Brong – Ahafo Region attacked the NPP youth with cutlasses, sticks and other offensive implements without any provocation leaving three people with severe injuries. • On April 10, this year, 30 persons including the caretaker of the Abudugate, a vice – chairman of Yendi constituency, a former DCE of Yendi in the Kufour administration were arrested at dawn by the police in connection with the murder of Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na. • On May 24, 2010, the Buffalo Unit of the police service in Kumasi picked Alexander Adu-Gyamfi, also an NPP activist for allegedly describing the face of John Mills as similar to that of a big ‘Chimpanzee’. • On June 27, this year, Bashiru Mohammed aka ‘Red’, another NPP activist was apprehended at the Kotoka International Airport by BNI officials on his way from South Africa and is being prosecuted at a court in Tamale for possessing firearm without lawful authority and offensive conduct in 2004. • On Thursday July 27, 2010, two NPP supporters were severely beaten with sticks and metal bars by NDC thugs for reporting to the police that an NDC co-ordinator in Akyem Begoro in the Eastern Region was carting illegal timber. • In the course of the year, leading members of the NPP – Messrs Mpiani, Sammy Crabbe, Osei Adjei, Dr. Wireko Brobbey, Dr, Anane have been hounded to the court charged for wilfully causing financial loss to the state. • In the course of the year, many employees of the NHIS, NYEP, SFP, Metro Mass etc alleged to be sympathetic to the NPP have been dismissed by NDC ‘fool’ soldiers. To me, it is regrettable and difficult to bear these irrational and barbaric actions of NDC fanatics. Dr. Martin Luther King warns us that; “the ultimate tragedy of the world is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people”. So, for how long should the NDC continue to kill Ghanaians whilst we, the good people, stand aside and look? We need to understand that the NDC as party is neither interested in peace nor negotiations. This diabolic party is only interested in macho-posturing and intimidation to achieve political goals and it is time to stop this idiocy. We, as a democratic party have a responsibility – a responsibility to protect our members and sympathizers in particular and Ghanaians as a whole. It is sometimes easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of shirking our responsibilities. “Mpanin se, s3 y3dey3 wo na any3 woya a, y3nyae wo fay3”. We should not be deceived into thinking that “Election 2012” is a foregone conclusion. The NDC should never be underrated when it comes to any election. They have won almost all by-elections despite their abysmal performance. They have the ‘Azorka Boys’ and the ‘Taliban Boys’ to cause mayhem at any point in time. Recently, seventeen different committees were formed by John Mills to co-ordinate activities for the 2012 general elections and the head of National Security Intelligence – Gbevlo Lartey was unconstitutionally named a member of one of the committees. All the security agencies – Police, CEPS, BNI, and Immigration have been filled with most NDC members. Some of them have also been sent abroad to be trained specifically for Election 2012. Volta Region is still a no-go area for the NPP in terms of guarding the ballot boxes and winning more votes. It is still questionable as to why most of the rejected ballot papers were recorded in our strongholds. Apathy is still rife in our fold. Our polling agents have not been adequately trained and resourced to stand the test of time. These, among others, are the major challenges that should pre-occupy the NPP and wake the party leadership up from its slumber because failure to act now would deprive the party of its valuable members and sympathizers. This will keep us in opposition and make our expertise and intellectual capabilities absolutely useless. In this way, Ghana’s resolve to reach the middle income status by 2015 would be a mirage as the nation will continue to be deprived of both local and foreign investments. I would therefore entreat all leading members of the NPP to bury their differences and resolve to use every democratic means to kick the NDC out of office in the next polls. We should not give them space to operate or nose to breathe through. We should never give them the chance to attack first only for us to react by defending ourselves because even in the game of modern football, it is often said that the best way to defend is to attack. We are aware that the road to the Jubilee House is rough but with a united NPP, coupled with our numerical strength, there is no way we can’t match the NDC boot for boot. Fortunately, we are motivated by Barack Obama’s advice in his book – Audacity of Hope, that, if we are not willing to pay a price for our values or not willing to make some sacrifices in order to realize them, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all. Let’s teach the NDC that if they cannot reason, we of the NPP are more reasonable. Therefore, let’s resolve to emancipate Ghanaians from this “Chimpanzian” slavery for no one can make us feel inferior without our consent. We cannot continue to be strangers in our own land. A word to the wise...

Kukrudu! Kukrudu!! Kukrudu!!!

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Hull, UK. katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk. 07944309859 Member of Media & Publicity, NPP-UK “Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success”.

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku