28 September 2012

Ghana: Presidential Rhetoric Without Substance


President John Dramani Mahama was at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. The Head of State of the Republic of Ghana addressed the international community from the podium at the UN Headquarters in New York.

It is a moment like this that draws the attention of the whole world on small countries. The President of the Republic speaking to the whole world was a moment of pride to all Ghanaians.

What the President said was of fundamental importance to every Ghanaian. He promised to lead this nation to free, fair and transparent elections on December 7, 2012, to help consolidate the democracy of this republic.

Normally, we should have raised a glass to celebrate the exposure given to Ghana in the international forum and be grateful for the small mercies of ensuring that this election passes peacefully. Charity, they say, begins at home. If the election is going to be that peaceful, free and fair, conditions for this must be set here in Ghana.

Unfortunately, just as the President was promising to deliver a free and fair election, officers of the party that props up the Government were hard at it plotting to deliver a flawed vote, tainted with the connivance of the security apparatus.

The other day, Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan, National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress that is seeking to return President Mahama to Government House was caught on tape outlining diabolical plans to infiltrate state security and cause all manner of problems and blame it on the opposition New Patriotic Party, using party cadres who were to be given security tags and paid with state money made available by the Minister and his officials at the Ministry of Finance.

What is worrying is not the speech which was captured on tape. Since the incident became public knowledge, Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan, said to be an elder of a leading Pentecostal Church, has owned up. What goes to undermine the President's sense of fair play is how Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan has been left untouched by the laws of Ghana, for openly subverting the security operations of the country and exposing this country to ridicule, while people who have made what amounted to innocuous pronouncements have been arrested and paraded before courts, virtually at gun point.

When Kennedy Ohene Agyapong made a verbal complaint about lack of justice in the system and pronounced a one-man war without evidence of preparation, the Member of Parliament was arrested, incarcerated at the dreaded Bureau of National Investigations and arraigned before court on terrorism, treason and genocide charges.

Mr. Ernest Owusu-Bempah, Operations Commander of the Friends of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings was also arrested for suggesting that part of the Woyome money might have landed in the hands of the wife of the deceased President John Evans Atta Mills.

But when Mr. Boateng Gyan went bananas on tape claiming that monies were collected from the Finance Ministry and used to infiltrate national security with party agents who are on instructions to cause mayhem during the elections and blame it on the opposition New Patriotic Party, the President of the Republic, who has promised to deliver a vote of impartiality, has greeted the pronouncement with cemetery silence.

The Chronicle believes that equity could not be established when one party believes that it could get away with murder, while members of the other party are harassed at the least opportunity. The route to peaceful, transparent and free and fair elections is not by mere pronouncement in the international forum.

It hinges on the entire people believing that they are all being treated fairly. The President is advised to refer Yaw Boateng Gyan to the police for immediate action, otherwise The Chronicle, like the rest of society, would dismiss his UN pronouncement as mere rhetoric without substance.

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