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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Stop Double Talk

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Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) yesterday put President John Evans Atta Mills on the spot over what the party’s 2012 flag-bearer described as “his cold and hot approach to the Ivorian crisis and speaking from all sides of his mouth.”
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, on the Ivorian standoff, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the ambivalence had robbed Ghana of her post-independence continental leadership role.
According to him, the NPP wanted the president to comply with the collective decision of the regional body, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
He frowned upon what he considered President Mills’s betrayal of ECOWAS and almost immediately announcing his inability to contribute towards an ECOWAS troop arrangement after meeting with other sub-regional leaders.
“It is in our interest to remain reliable partners of ECOWAS. Let us be seen to be abiding by the commitments of the regional grouping, given especially that the African Union (AU), UN Security Council have agreed that this is the way forward,” he said.
Ghana, he said, should be seen to be playing a leadership role in continental affairs. “Did Mills indicate he is not in favour of the use of legitimate force in Ivory Coast when ECOWAS met in Abuja?”
The flag-bearer was consistent with the NPP position that the ECOWAS should supersede other considerations in the matter of the Ivorian crisis when he fielded questions in the direction of what he would have done as President of Ghana.
President Mills, the NPP noted, was emitting conflicting signals to the international community.
“There is a clear, unadulterated message of both the international community and the Ivorian people that Alassane Ouattara has been elected President of Cote d’Ivoire and that Laurent Gbagbo must yield power and go.”
Ghana, by such ambivalence, the NPP observed, “Is fast losing face as a major stumbling block against efforts to bring to an end Gbagbo’s quasi-military coup, which has massively been condemned by a concerted combination of regional, continental and international pressure.”
The confusion surrounding Ghana’s position on the Ivorian issue, according to the NPP, was predicated on the revelation by the Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, after his meeting with President Mills on Wednesday in which the former said, “There’s been misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Ghana’s position and that Ghana had never said that it was in disagreement with the option of military intervention.”
To the aforementioned quotation, the NPP stated, “If there is any confusion, misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Ghana’s position, then the blame must squarely be put on the President and his team.”
The NPP said Mr. Odinga might be forgiven for his comments. “He may not have heard President Mills moving his own lips by himself to announce that he was against military intervention.”
The opposition party criticised the ruling party for playing propaganda with the deliberations on the Ivorian issue by three non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, in which they stated that the military option was no option towards finding a solution to the standoff.
“As to how the African members including Nigerians could take a position contrary to that of their own countries, whose interest they represent at the UN was left to be swept up and away by the whirlwind of propaganda,” the party stated.
After circulating the leaked story to the media, the NPP stated, Koku Anyidoho, Communications Director at the Presidency, announced that “President Mills was humbly excited and happy at the apparent endorsement of his stance against military intervention.”
More confusing and ambivalent, the party added, is Mr. Anyidoho’s confirmation on Joy FM that “in the unlikely event of a military action, Mills will not go against it.”
Taking a step back in history, the NPP recalled how when the Ivorian issue worsened on Thursday, September 19, 2002, President Kufuor stated, “Ghana would remain firmly behind the legitimate government of Cote d’Ivoire.
That is the goal of President Gbagbo who had won the presidential election of 2000 for a five-year term.
“We will do whatever it is within our powers to support the tenets of democracy and the rule of law in the sister country.”
President Kufuor then sent a delegation to the Ivorian capital on a peace mission to Abidjan. “With that began the processes which prevented Cote d’Ivoire from plunging into a full-scale civil war,” the party stated.
Nearly seven years after, “we are faced with another history which the continent must put behind her.
How Africa deals with the Ivorian situation may have far-reaching implications on the democratic path which Africa has embarked on. Gbagbo cannot be allowed to get away with this impunity. It would be too costly,” the party said.
On Wednesday, the UN voted unanimously to send an extra 2000 troops to the troubled country.
There would be a rapid deployment force to respond to emergencies.
The UN troops in that country have in recent times come under attacks by Gbagbo forces.
By A.R. Gomda

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