By Benjamin Mensah,
Accra, April 18, GNA - Ghana, under the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has suffered “one hundred days of deception, thuggery, corruption and ostentation.”
The Minority Caucus in Parliament, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in an assessment of the first 100 days of the NPP Government said the Government failed to honour its campaign promises on which it rode to power.
The NDC Minority Caucus, at a media conference in Accra, alluded to the Ghanaian Akan proverb “agro beso a, efri anopa,” to wit, “the signs of an enthralling game can be detected right from the beginning,” and said the governing NPP had disappointed Ghanaians right from its early days in power.
The conference, addressed by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, his deputy James Klutse Avedzi and Ranking Member on Finance Cassiel Ato Forson assured Ghanaians that it would continue to hold the Government in check.
“On our part, we shall offer the needed support and criticise constructively with the view to shepherding the ailing Akufo-Addo government in order that they do not roll back the clock of progress set in motion by the NDC government,” the NDC assured.
The NDC Caucus alerted the NPP government that Ghana could not wait for what if called “four years of recklessness, violence lawlessness and insecurity, incompetence, hardship, and “110 elephant sized ministers.
It called on President Akufo-Addo to “listen to the plea of most well-meaning Ghanaians and drastically prune” his government now.
“And so, with only the next election as an option, we ask the Almighty God for divine intervention in the affairs of this nation. ’Awurade, begye steer no; May the Almighty take over the steering wheel,’” Dr Avedzi said in a statement.
Dr Avedzi, in a swipe at the NPP government, said they were not creating jobs for the masses and neither were they alleviating hardships, but only interested in creating an “elephant size” executive by appointing 110 ministers and deputy ministers, and other party apparatchiks to positions.
With reference to the activities of some vigilante groups in the country, the Minority NDC caucus accused the NPP of having earned the distinction of a violent organisation, recalling that internal disagreements within the party that degenerated into bloody political clashes long before the NPP came into power.
“The NPP has been importing wholesale into government, the same acts of violence and lawlessness that marked their time in opposition,” the NDC caucus noted.
And with reference to groups of thugs calling themselves “Invincible Forces”, Kahandar Boys” and “Delta Force” the Minority NDC caucus said these groups “have instituted a reign of terror in many parts of the country including government facilities and installations.
Dr Avedzi recalled an incident at the Flagstaff House, the seat of Government, on January 9, 2017, the very first day President Akufo Addo reported to work, when “members of the notorious Invincible Forces subjected a senior police officer, ASP Nankan Bruce to assault and harassment.... These thugs later went to intimidate his family at home, ransacked his house and towed away his personal vehicles.”
According to the NDC Minority caucus, the absence of professional staff and trained tour guards who otherwise manned the Kintampo Waterfalls as a result being driven away by the vigilante groups soon after the 2016 elections contributed to the disaster at the falls “which sadly claimed the lives of 20 promising teenagers.
While praying for the peaceful rest for the souls of the deceased, Dr Avedzi called the incident an “act of deliberate terrorism”, in addition to referencing the attack by another group named Delta Force, which he associated with the NPP that attacked the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator at the Regional Coordinating Council in Kumasi.
“The reason for this senseless act of thuggery was that the said appointee was not their preferred candidate for the job of Regional Security Coordinator, and that his appointment flew in the face of earlier agreements reached with the President.
“According to the illegal Delta Force, they had been promised their leader was the right and competent man for the post of Ashanti Regional Coordinator.
“...On 6th April 2017, thirteen of these Delta Forces were arraigned before the court of Justice Mary Nsenkyire in Kumasi, on the account of their assault on the legitimately appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator.”
“The Delta Force physically stormed the lady justice’s court and thumbed their noses on the justice delivery in Ghana, as they intimidated the judge and everybody who was in the court and its precincts and freed the accused persons, whiles the police personnel on duty looked on helplessly.
“This contemptuous act committed right in court and before a judge, led to the accused persons fleeing from justice that day.”
The NDC caucus laid the blame of “state lawlessness “at the doorsteps of President Akufo-Addo, explaining that he is the one who encouraged the training of “these thugs” by South African mercenaries and benefited most from their intimidation and harassment of his critics within the NPP, during the bloody confrontations within the party between 2013 and 2016 “in return for juicy appointments and precious gifts should he win political power.”
Citing other violent acts as driving away public sector workers, attacking schools and driving away caterers feeding school children, the Minority said the “impunity with which these violent thugs have behaved only stemmed from tacit support from the highest levels of government.”
The NDC caucus called on the President to go beyond condemnation to decisive action against “these hoodlums” and also urgently step in “to assure the judiciary that they can be free to work devoid of fear from political attack among others.”
The Minority also made mockery of the 110 ministers and deputy ministers, nicknaming it as “110 ministers in 100 days.”
“We demand on behalf of the people of Ghana, the full publication of the names and associated compensation packages of all persons engaged in this capacity since the Akufo-Addo government came into office.”