It has been over twenty-four hours (24) since reports emerged that the Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Hon. Hawa Koomson, discharged a weapon at a registration centre in her constituency. The circumstances leading to her action, which many find difficult to comprehend, have been difficult to justify.
One thing is clear, well-meaning Ghanaians, and institutions such as the Peace Council, OccucpyGhana and security experts including Kofi Aning and Adam Bona, have all called on the President to fire her. However, many Ghanaians are doubtful if President Akufo-Addo, whom they believe, has allowed such acts to fester since he took over the reigns of this nation, would fire her as many have called for.
Those who doubt the ability of the President to mate out sanctions to his appointees and party folks for wrongdoing and blatant violation of the law, and directives by the President himself, have every reason to be skeptical. The reason is simple, they are witnesses to lawlessness and selective application of the law under President Akufo-Addo.
Ghana for many years, had been promised the coming of a man who was denied a chance to be President of the Republic by the apologists of the current President. A man projected to be a human rights advocate who was said to have fought for the rule of law.
From 2007 since becoming the Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Akufo-Addo, currently President of the Republic, was projected to the Ghanaian people as the man who is capable of dealing with acts of lawlessness and fighting corruption in Ghana. Well the evidence proves the contrary.
Soon after he was handed power, acts of hooliganism and lawlessness began rising. Party thugs were deployed to hijack and in some instances, burnt down toll booths in some parts of the country.
A security detail at the Seat of Government, the Flagstaff House, ASP Nanka Bruce, was brutalised on live camera with footages released into the public domain. Its over three years and counting, no one has been held accountable. Rather those who recorded the act of lawlessness have been sanctioned.
The acts continued and resulted in the assault of the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, appointed by the President, equally captured on live videos with the perpetrators caught in live videos and pictures. Soon after these individuals were arrested and arraigned before court, a group of hoodlums in the NPP, mobilised and invaded the courts premises to free their members standing trial and in the process terrorising a pregnant judge who was adjudicating the matter.
Then on the 31st day of January, 2019, the nation witnessed what was to be the deadliest acts of violence and hooliganism sponsored by state security miscreants who were under the guise of providing security during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections. Innocent citizens who only wake up to engage in their civic rights of electing a Member of Parliament to replace the late Boakye Agyarko, were maimed and shot at.
When the state had the opportunity, through the Emile Short Commission, to deal with the perpetrators of these heinous crimes on innocent citizens, the state power came to their defence and shielded them. The President, having the sole mandate to show an example, rather chided the Short Commission for exposing the inner evil-mindedness of party thugs who were roped into the state security setup and used to visit mayhem and pain on innocent citizens. Since the President failed in showing a worthy example in this apparently glorious opportunity, acts of violence have received a new stamina from his party folds.
Manasseh Zure Awuni, an investigative journalist was lambasted for capturing and airing a documentary from the Seat of Government on how the government is sponsoring the training of thugs at the Christian-burg Castle , Osu. The state had showed no seriousness in dealing with the substance of the matter, but sponsored attacks on the innocent journalist who simply worked to expose the training of individuals who stand to risk the peace of this country. Manasseh as well all know had to go into hiding for fear of his life for sometime.
Not long ago, Ghana saw a deadly act of callousness from a colleague Member of Parliament for Tema West, Carlos Ahenkorah. The Member of Parliament was diagnosed to have tested positive to the deadly coronavirus. He was subsequently advised to self-isolate, but blatantly disregarded the medical advice and went to patrol registration centers in his constituency. This act, was a violation of the very EI 64, which Nana Akufo-Addo signed into law. Before this violation, other Ghanaians, none of which were tested and declared positive, were apprehended and prosecuted by the state. Sadly, the Honorable Carlos Ahenkorah who doubles as an Appointee of Nana Akufo-Addo as Deputy Trades Minister, has not been prosecuted. A resignation voluntarily can’t be enough such an act of recklessness, which was also in violation of directives.
We all witnessed how then candidate Joshua Akamba, seeking election to become the National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was condemned for “campaigning” in the Timpane Senior High School on his way to Worinyanga. Though he was accosted by the students who demanded he speaks to them, the Ghana Education Service was immediately mobilised and impressed upon to issue a statement baring political actors from visiting and campaigning in Senior High Schools.
Just a few weeks ago, Nana Boakye Yiadom, the National Youth Organizer of the NPP, went into Senior High Schools in the Ashanti Region and was seen campaigning. Since those images of him were released, the Ghana Education Service has not found the space to crack the whip on Nana Boakye Yiadom. The government has not found the voice to condemn his acts as a violation to the directives being superintended over by the very government.
A couple of days ago, a 28 year old teacher, who simply visited a registration center to obtain his voter ID card to enable him vote on December 7th in Banda, was innocently killed. The state has shown no serious efforts at apprehending a single soul to account for the innocent life of this young promising man.
Then we woke up yesterday to another rather unfortunate incident in Kasoa involving Hawa Koomson, Minister for Special Development Initiatives and MP for the area, wielding and discharging a gun at a registration center that saw innocent and unarmed men simply undertaking their civic duties. In an interview on Adom FM, an Accra based radio station, the Hon. Hawa Koomson confessed to have fired the gunshots, which became subject for the condemnation by the Electoral Commission, the supervising authority of the registration exercise. Twenty four (24) hours had elapsed since her confession, but the state has once again, failed to apprehend her.
In an interesting twist of events, there is in the public domain, a suit filed at the District Magistrate Court in Winneba subsequent to the arrest of the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for the Effutu Constituency in an incident that occurred on Monday 20th July, 2020. In the writ, it was stated that he has been charged for comments which challenged the chairman of a committee, including stating that his conduct has made the Winneba town not to experience peace. The police and the state, had wasted no time in charging the NDC Parliamentary Candidate, while failing to act swiftly in another matter involving Madam Hawa Koomson whose conduct was recorded on the same day.
From all the incidents recounted above, we can see how reluctant the government and for that matter, President Akufo-Addo, has been in cracking the whip on lawless actors from his party. In the other instances involving members of the National Democratic Congress, we can all see how swiftly the government and for that matter, President Akufo-Addoo, has acted.
Building a nation with such selective application of state power, only entrenches the divisiveness we experience. The laws of Ghana are promulgate and expected to be applied fairly and equally. Unfortunately, the man who was projected for many years as an astute lawyer with the acclaimed title of human rights lawyer, appears to have failed the state with his selectivity in the application of the law.
It is important to remind the President, Akufo-Addo, that, as President, he swore an oath to protect and to do good to all manner of persons regardless of their political, religious and others affiliations or orientations. He must, as a matter of importance, remind himself of the expectations of Ghanaians from him which must not be short of fairness in the application of the law.
Ghanaians indeed deserve better!
I remain a citizen.
Dr. Clement Apaak
M.P, Builsa South