On political violence: Mahama is spot on
I was not a bit surprised when former President Mahama responded harshly to the widely condemned incident which took place during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on Thursday 31st January 2019.
Ex-President Mahama, who is moving heaven and earth to reclaim the presidency, is reported to have said somewhat lividly: “We are not going to joke in 2020, and I’m sounding a warning to the NPP – we are going to match them boot for boot.
“I want to sound a caution that NDC has a revolutionary root and when it comes to unleashing violence, no one can beat us to that. It is just that we are mindful of this country’s democracy and that is why we must be the first to respect it.
“That is why we are acting as a party that is docile and respecting rule of law.
“But if we believe that the government cannot protect our people and we believe that the government is using its vigilante groups and illegal forces to intimidate and harass and injure our people, then we may have to advise ourselves (classfmonline.com).”
In fact, every right thinking Ghanaian knows that there are more than two vigilante groups in Ghana. The crucial question then is: why is it that the NDC faithful only find it convenient to limit the scope to the ‘Invincible and Delta Forces?
If you may recall, more recently, the NDC homicidal brats, revoltingly calling themselves ‘Al-Qaeda’, unblushingly assaulted some Northern Regional NDC Executives during a meeting on Saturday 3rd November 2018 (See: NDC clashes: ‘The treasurer was beaten in my presence – Inusah Fuseini; starrfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 05/11/2018).
I have pointed out numerous times that some of us witnessed the appalling events which took place over a period of three decades (1970-1990s), and hence cannot be hoodwinked or proselytised by the propagandists.
I have also stressed time and time again that when experienced politicians keep holding on to vague rhetoric and political inebriations with a view to deceiving the unsuspecting Ghanaians, it gives some of us every reason and the energy to confute such misconception.
Of course, it is not entirely correct for the NDC operatives to claim that it was the NPP that introduced vigilantism and lawlessness into Ghanaian politics.
To be quite honest, whilst discerning Ghanaians have every right to ventilate their arousing disgust over the apparent reprehensible actions by the vigilante groups, it would be absolutely wrong for anybody to suggest that the ‘Invincible and Delta Forces are the only spoilt children in town.
Trust me, the ‘Invincible and Delta Force’s revoltingly ugly actions do not supersede the relentless harassments we received from the paramilitary groups which were created by the founders of the NDC.
Believe it or not, it was the founders of the NDC who set up paramilitary organs such as the People’s Defence Committee (PDC), the Civil Defence Organisation (CDO), which was popularly known as the Militia and the Workers Defence Committee (WDC), where the last two organs were later reorganised and renamed as the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR), whose collective mandate was to defend the revolution by hook or by crook.
“The PDCs and the WDCs (Workers Defence Committees) had their own courts and "meted out justice according to no established legal procedures” [Amnesty International, 1983).
The PNDC's political opposition back then hotly contested the democratic nature of such organs and saw them as nothing but state-sponsored vigilantes engaged in intimidation and human rights abuses (Source: U.S. Library of Congress).
It was, however, rumoured that when Ghana returned to democratic rule in 1993, some members of the paramilitary groups who could not get the opportunity to join any of the security services bolted with their guns.
Consequently, armed robberies and other heinous crimes increased exponentially in the early days of the Fourth Republic in 1993. Safe to stress that the armed robbery menace has continued unabated.
And, we have regrettably sat apathetically over the years and allowed the boisterous homicidal brats and other ill-motive paramilitary groups to cause havoc to innocent Ghanaians.
In the light of the above exposition, it would be hypocritical on the part of anyone who attempts to put all the blame on the NPP with regard to the creation of vigilante groups in Ghanaian politics.
Amnesty International (1983), ‘Amnesty International's Concerns in the Republic of Ghana: An Amnesty International Background Paper. London: AI
U.S. Library of Congress (2017), ‘Ghana: The Revolutionary Organs’, (online). Available: countrystudies.us/Ghana/93.htm
Rawlings, J. J. (2017), ‘June 4 Full Speech, (online). Available: www.starrfmonline.com
Badu, K. (2017), ‘Bongo MP, It Was The NDC That Came Out of Coup d’états’, (online). Available: www.ghanaweb.com