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Insist on Your Right to Education

Uneducated citizenry is like a pitch any game can be played on it. Illiteracy is what has given the politicians in Ghana the chance to fool so many people for so a long a time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


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When President Kufuor became President in January 2001, though he said in his maiden speech that he would pursue a policy of Zero Tolerance for Corruption, his first few months in office are generally remembered by three very enduring actions:

The Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative or HIPIC, The African Peer Review Mechanism or APRM and the search for peace in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Current President, John Evens Atta Mills made a similar commitment to pursue a policy of accountability in his maiden speech on January 7 this year and has indeed been pursuing it with assiduity.

But whereas his predecessor, had HIPIC, APRM and sub-regional peace-making agenda as the main policy thrusts of his administration, President Mills is gradually working himself into a tight spot of vendetta, vindictiveness and vengeance. That is most ironic, because President Mills is regarded by many people as a true “asomdwe” man.

This perception of vendetta, vindictiveness and vengeance led the venerable Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) last week to express regret over recent events surrounding the former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

The Council’s regret also took sidelong glances at the BNI’s role in President Mills’ accountability crusade generally and has appealed for peace in the country.

A very powerful statement signed by the Reverend Fred Deegbe, General Secretary of the Council said it had noted with regret the loss of life and the alleged treatment of the wife of Mr. Asamoah-Boateng and legal counsel during the most recent action of the BNI in its eagerness to put bite into President Mills’ desire to hold former office holders accountable.

“We believe that citizens should be treated with honour and dignity in accordance with the law and due process, as we seek justice and accountability,” the CCG statement said.
The CCG noted with concern the “culture of

vendetta that seems to be taking root in our country” and called on the government and various leaders “to eschew this so that we can live in peace and progress and be the truly democratic and lawful country we seek to be.”

Those were not only harsh words but reflect a deep fear of the instability that may soon engulf the country if the BNI and indeed Mills Administration continue with what Ghanaians are now openly describing as harassment and terror tactics aimed at one section of the political community.

Already first blood has been drawn as one of the supporters who converged at the Greater Accra Regional Office of the BNI to protest the detention of Mr. Asamoah-Boateng died after police action that involved firing of teargas and live ammo.

Mr. Asamoah-Boateng’s arrest last Thursday was the culmination of BNI actions against him and his family, starting last month when he was stopped from travelling abroad after completing all his departure formalities.

He has since been charged with 9 counts, including causing financial loss, filed against him by the state.
He was charged, alongside six other persons including his wife Zuleika and a former Deputy Information Minister Mr. Frank Agyekum.

The charges relate to a contract awarded Mr. Asamoah-Boateng’s sister-in-law for some renovation works at the Information Ministry.

Since leaving office this year, some senior members of the former administration, including Kwadwo Mpiani, Chief of Staff and Osei Adjei, Foreign Minister, have been “invited” by the BNI for interrogation.

But the BNI’s strong arm tactics may rather be counter-productive and distracting the Mills Administration from pursuing substantive issues of economic development and growth. It is also backfiring as the public mood is clearly not in favour.

The Mail has been monitoring the radio stations and informal public comments and overwhelmingly, the BNI (and therefore the government) is coming out in a very bad light. Some have described it as actions following a coup d’etat and rather ominously, some have even suggested that it could lead to a coup d’etat. It is a worrying development

But The Mail has information that neither President Mills nor Vice President John Mahama condone the BNI actions but are powerless to “interfere”. The suspicion points at NDC founder Jerry Rawlings who as the real security capo of the Mills Administration is behind the activities of the BNI.

“Rawlings is in charge of BNI, he tells them what to do and what not to do,” a source said. The source mentioned Lt. Col. Gbevlo Lartey, National Security Coordinator and Mr. Yaw Donkor, Director of the BNI as “Rawlings’ boys”. According to the source, Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah, National Security Advisor is only there to give a “face of respectability.”

Mr. Rawlings is widely suspected of wanting to settle scores and his motives are clear. He found his appearance at the National Reconciliation Commission and his wife’s case at a Fast Track High Court very humiliating and vowed to get even should power land in his hands.

Equally irksome for him was the jailing of former ministers of his government for causing financial loss to the state – a law enacted when he was in power! The other motive however is psychological. Rawlings wants to prove that he is the “cleanest” and most able Ghanaian alive and therefore must be given the right of place to rule Ghana indefinitely.

That is where the Mills Administration may flounder and Ghana stumble – if the current fear and loathing in the country are allowed to escalate.

With the very little electoral margin that brought his party to power, Rawlings regards it as an overwhelming mandate for him personally and he is therefore back in power to exact the vengeance that he believes is his…


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