The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has petitioned the diplomatic community about the “brigandry” of supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) following the recent change in government.
The NDC says it is resorting to the diplomatic community because of the failure by President Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP to call their security arm – Invincible Forces – to order.
The Forces have been taking over toilets, toll booths, harbours, and other state institutions for the past week.
“We will no longer countenance the brigandry of Nana Akufo-Addo’s Invincible Forces,” Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho told Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Tuesday, saying: “… We began the process yesterday [Monday] and are still in the process of doing that.”
According to him, the “…banditry of the Invincible Forces shall not be countenanced any longer”, adding: “Everybody knows how closely they are associated with Nana Akufo-Addo; they worked with him closely in opposition, they have not hidden the fact that he is their boss and we are pleading with Nana Akufo-Addo that when he was opposition leader he took no oath on any NPP platform to ensure that there is peace, there’s harmony and there is internal decorum and decency within the NPP. However, as president of the Republic of Ghana, he took an oath on a Bible and held the sword of office and promised to do good to all manner of persons. He promised to uphold the constitution and ensure our welfare or wellbeing, and so he is under oath now as president of the Republic of Ghana and it is incumbent on him to hold on to the united Ghana that was bequeathed to him by President John Dramani Mahama, so now he is under oath and that is why it is even more compelling to approach the diplomatic community. … Now he cannot be ignored, he is the President of Ghana.”
Meanwhile, opposition MP for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, has said the NDC will next week form a vigilante group to start counter-attacking the governing party’s Invincible Forces if the police service fails to protect NDC members from marauding NPP thugs.
“We’ve told the police today [that] if by the end of this week we don’t see the police visibly protecting life and property in our community, we’ll take the law into our own hands and also form a [vigilante] group because they are moving in pick-ups that are not registered,” the opposition legislator, who is the Minority Chief Whip, told his constituents and party members on Monday.
“Even this morning they were at Asawase market threatening the contractors who are working there,” he complained, and wondered why the president has remained silent on the attacks.
“… Why is this thing happening and then the president is quiet; why is the president quiet? He should remember the oath that he swore on the 7th, he said that he will do right to all manner of persons. He didn’t say he would do right to NPP persons; he said that he would defend the constitution of this country and he would do it without fear or favour.He must walk the talk. … If he fails to do it, we are assuring the people of this country that we will not be the first to go and attack anybody but definitely we are not going to sit for anybody to run over us. We are more than them, we can assure them that we are also watching. If by the end of this week we don’t see the…police protecting life and property, we will also form our vigilante and wherever they are, we’ll also be chasing them,” Mr Mubarak threatened.
A few days ago, the acting Chairman of the governing party, Mr Freddy Blay, justified the thuggery and violent takeovers saying the Invincible Forces were just protecting state properties.
Mr Blay said he would not condemn all the takeovers since, according to him, the perpetrators were acting in the interest of the state.
… In some cases, particularly places like the harbour, DVLA, Peduase Lodge, polling stations [sic] and so forth, in some cases the people had to go there to protect state property to ensure that looting stops,” he told Ghanaweb in an interview on Thursday.
“I’ve been told that in some public offices and so forth, all of a sudden those who were working there have refused to come to work, not because they are being intimidated or being chased out, but they themselves have suspected that because of how they came there, or purely based on they being members of the party then in power, some people will chase them out and they’ve left those public places to the wind, to the weather and people have gone there to protect it.”
According to Mr Blay, such persons acting in the interest of the state must not be condemned. “It’s not a question of condemnation. I’ve told you that in some instances I won’t condemn if they were there to protect property,” he added.
Citing examples to buttress his point, Mr Blay said: “At the harbour people are stealing cars, people are carrying away items that should attract duties and so forth, containers being taken away without going through the right processes and so forth, and I think people should be bold enough to say: ‘stop what you are doing’.”
Asked if the NPP sympathisers had the right to take the law into their own hands and become vigilantes, Mr Blay answered: “It is your duty, my duty to stop anybody stealing, even an individual property, if you have good reason to know that what the person is doing amounts to stealing. If you see people stealing cars from the harbour, taking them away, are you suggesting that we should wait and go and call the police before they stop them?”