General News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Source: Joy FM
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo exhibited responsible leadership by condemning recent post-election violence in his maiden State of the Nation Address delivered to parliament on Tuesday February 21, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, has said.
According to him, the president has pointed out that that such acts are unacceptable and has called on all supporters of both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to desist from such conduct.
Persons suspected to be supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (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 opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) threatened to retaliate if the NPP did not call their 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 lawbreakers 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.”
Commenting on this on Accra-based Joy FM, Mr Ablakwa said: “He exercised leadership by pointing to the fact that this is unacceptable and he called on his party supporters to put a stop to it.
“[But] the president made reference to 2009 and stopped there and did not go to 2001, and that is the problem when you want to begin to get into equalisation. I thought that he could just have condemned it and left at it at that. He should also have pointed out to sanctions that he would want to enforce if the Invincible Forces and all those youth activists like Abronye (the NPP’s Brong Ahafo Regional Youth Organiser) and others who have become notorious for terrorising people, but I just want to give the president the benefit of the doubt that at least he owned up to it. He condemned it very early in his address, he said that that cannot continue.
“We need to have an honest discussion that now we have a presidential transition act, we have matured in our democracy, yes this happened in 2009, it happened in 2001 but it cannot continue. What is wrong is wrong – if it was wrong in 2001 it was also wrong in 2009 and it is wrong in 2017 and we must not tolerate it.”
He, however, noted that there were some omissions in the address delivered by the president.
He said: “There were some omissions which I thought were critical. First one is the Bimbilla conflict: I was surprised that he did not make any mention of it.”