General News of Tuesday, 21 February 2017
President Akufo-Addo’s condemnation of acts of lawlessness involving persons believed to be affiliated to his governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the wake of the party’s victory in the December 2016 elections has come too late, Johnson Asideu Nketia, General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said.
Mr Akufo-Addo, in his maiden State of the Nation Address on Tuesday February 21, condemned all post-election violence that rocked parts of the country, describing such acts as unlawful.
Persons suspected to be supporters of the governing NPP, especially those belonging to the party’s private security arm, Invincible Forces, shortly after the president was sworn into office, attacked state institutions and seized some state assets while harassing persons they suspected were appointees of the Mahama administration.
The NDC threatened to retaliate if the NPP did not call its supporters to order.
Delivering his address on the floor of parliament, Mr Akufo-Addo said wrong was wrong regardless of political affiliation and called on the Inspector General of Police to bring law breakers to book.
“Mr Speaker, certain instances occurred during the transition period which are matters of concern to me and should be to every Ghanaian. Wrongdoing has no political colour and I do not subscribe to the lawlessness of political party supporters simply because their party has been elected into office,” he stated.
“Mr Speaker, when those incidences began, I instructed the then Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor, to apply the law irrespective of political affiliation to all law breakers. This instruction was also carried on to his successor David Asante-Apeatu to act upon it to bring such situation under control.”
But Mr Nketia, speaking to the press after the president’s address, said: “If he has given instructions that these people should be dealt with and those people are not being dealt with, then he should have complained. Part of your government appears to be legitimising the hooliganism and then you come out to say something else. Who should we believe?”
“This Abronye DC (in reference to Kwame Baffoe, NPP Youth Organiser of Brong Ahafo) or whatever we call him and his gang of Invincible Forces are still going round, so it is not enough for you to just condemn what they are doing as the president, as Commander in Chief. You have to take action and make sure that the matter is solved.”
On the main address, Mr Nketia said: “Parts of the speech are good, others are things that we have heard already.”