Opinions of Mon, 15 Nov 200412

On Recent Rumor of A Coup, NDC Has Selective Memory

Though authorities are yet to establish irrefutable evidence that a former army officer and his minion did indeed hatch plans to destabilize the country, rumours of a coup in the waning months of the 2004 campaign have engendered fears and set tongues wagging.

But in the rush to assuage fears and calm nerves, but above all, to gain political advantage, some politicians are spewing half truths and engaging in smear. These are the same politicos who in the past did not hold back on doling out stern lectures about good governance to the NPP and vowing violent revenge if the government did not clean up its act.

This is true of all political parties: when a party belatedly realizes that it has helped foster a poisoned atmosphere, it tends to exhibit selective amnesia....it intentionally glosses over incendiary statements by party leadership and hurls bombs at the most convenient scapegoat...its opponent.

In a move ostensibly calculated to insulate itself from charges of vociferously clamoring for an unconstitutional change of government, the NDC rushed out a self congratulatory press release on Wednesday attacking the NPP and essentially accusing it of frantic histrionics and cheap rhetoric.

"In their desperation, they have become oblivious to the resulting damage that has been caused to Ghana's image abroad and the investment climate at home that the NDC worked so hard to build and sustain," the release said.

The NDC went on to accuse the NPP of stonewalling and putting up smokescreens in the face of public demands for accountability and transparency.

"Whenever the Kufuor administration has been confronted with public demands for their actions as in the very recent case of pre-mix fuel scandal where three ministers are reported to have embezzled billions of cedis, they deliberately create diversions to confuse the public," the NDC said.

How ironic. After all, the party has not been shy taking to the airwaves, bluster and all, to warn of a doomsday scenario if the NPP failed to rein in corrupt officials.

Though not the first in the party to fire the opening salvo, Dr.Josiah Aryee, the rambunctious general secretary of the NDC was not mincing his words when he told an Accra rag...the Heritage that the country was veering dangerously close to a civil strife with the NPP in control.

"People have made references to the genesis of war across Africa and else where in Africa disputed election results tend to trigger conflict," Aryee told the newspaper. He then pointed to the mayhem and bloodshed in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Ivory Coast to drive home his point.

Then there is the irascible Edward Doe Adjaho, the NDC representative for Avenor. Not to be outdone in the battle of the NDC blubbermouths, Adjaho, miffed that the NPP had kept him out of a crucial discussion on an amendment leading to the representation of the people bill, threatened brimstone and fire.

"Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable," Adjaho blurted out on a radio programme early this year.

And how can we forget the daily barrage of incendiary statements from the party's founder, Jerry Rawlings. His fiery oratory has irreparably exarcebated the already toxic political discourse in the country and despite calls from other politicians and traditional leaders to tone it down a tad, the former president has not held his fire, lashing out at the NPP with reckless abandon at campaign stops.

Though well intentioned, critics will always depict every move by the government to thwart coup plotters as playing to the gallery, but Ghanaians are less concerned by the number of times the NPP cries wolf so long as it keeps them safe and secure from another debilitating military upheaval.

It is clear that the position adopted by the NDC is predictive of its overall strategy in the campaign for Osu Castle....demonize the opposition even if we have a hand in the current overheated rhetoric in the country.

It is hypocritical of the NDC to tar the NPP with sleaziness. The nation is better served if there is a concerted bipartisan effort to defeat those who would want to derail our democracy.


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