Bawumia’s Woes Depeen

Dr Mahamudu BawumiaThere is no let-up in the politically-orchestrated woes of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, with plans afoot to deny him the privilege of an official bodyguard as a Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana on terminal vacation, as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) meets on the political harassment of its members.

DAILY GUIDE has learnt that even before the curtains are drawn over his long leave during which he is entitled to the privileges which go with the office of Deputy Governor of the country’s apex bank, efforts are on to deny him this as a means of embarrassing the young man.

But persistent harassment and intimidation of its members, according to the NPP, cannot be allowed to continue, leading to the holding of a crisis meeting yesterday.

As at press time, the party was still holed up at its Asylum Down headquarters over the criminal

attacks on its members, which have led to the arrest and displacement of several supporters in a move described as target attacks.

The NPP was also worried over the attack on its flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, whose vehicle was impounded at the Osu Castle on the orders of the Mills Administration.

The Toyota Land Cruiser cross country vehicle has since been abandoned on the instruction of Nana Addo who is not in a hurry to use it.

Dr Bawumia, running mate to the NPP flagbearer in the 2008 elections, was arrested and detained for close to one hour at the Tamale Air Force Station on Friday on suspicion of arms smuggling, leading to his police bodyguard engaging in a brawl with military chaps.

The NPP guru underwent the scathing ordeal less than a week ago at the hands of military boys in what was suspected to be officialdom political jigsaw, and the episode was justified by Presidential Spokesperson, Mahama Ayariga, who saw nothing untoward about it.

Dr. Bawumia was detained at a checkpoint soon after he landed in the Northern Regional capital and was leaving the facility in his vehicle.

Many who were initially perplexed about the underlying forces in the ordeal found the answer when the spokesperson said there was nothing untoward about the ordeal since as he put it, the Air Force personnel were merely doing their work, especially since a weapon was found in the running mate’s vehicle.

The frisking and detention of Dr. Bawumia was considered politically motivated by many who heard the story when it made the rounds across the country.

The spokesperson’s statement coupled with the disclosure in Tamale by the Air Force that they had been alerted from Accra about Dr. Bawumia’s vehicle was carrying arms and weapons, convinced many that the running mate is the target of an image-denting campaign by the government.

According to Mr Ayariga, Dr. Bawumia’s treatment was no harassment, adding that an AK47 rifle was concealed in the vehicle and that the soldier, seeing the weapon, had to satisfy himself that it was the only firearm onboard the vehicle.

The law enforcement agencies should be allowed to perform their functions, he said. Hon Ayariga described as unfortunate, what he said was an inflammatory statement by the General Secretary of the NPP in reaction to the development.

Dr. Bawumia’s bodyguard had told the Air Force soldier that as a policeman, he was entitled to bear firearms for his duties.

The loyal policeman might have aggravated the predicament of his boss when he called the bluff of their Air Force captors who claimed to be acting on orders from above.

Dr. Bawumia was virtually hounded out of office when after the last election he returned to his desk at the Bank of Ghana only to be threatened with a “resign or be sacked order”.

 Dr. Bawumia’s latest ordeal when he arrived in Tamale en route to Walewale appears to have left in its wake unsavoury repercussions, one of which is the transfer to Accra of Group Captain Sumaila Abass, the Air Force Base Commander in the Regional capital.

Although the helicopter pilot could be assuming an elevated appointment at the Air Force headquarters in Accra, DAILY GUIDE has learnt he is a victim of intrigues.

In an unrelated development, the Police Administration has assured all Ghanaians that a joint police/military operation is set to return the regional capital, Tamale, to normalcy.

Intensive day and night patrols, a statement from the Police headquarters noted, are being mounted by the joint teams.

There are some 300 personnel drawn from surrounding regions in Tamale to assist in the internal security operation.

Tamale was the scene of a fierce fighting between two youth gangs a few days ago.

 Some political elements belonging to both the NPP and the NDC have not hidden the fact that they possess firearms in the range of AK 47s, SMGs and G3s, all weapons belonging to military armouries.

By A.R. Gomda