Ghanaian Politics: The security implications of Kennedy Agyapong’s outbursts -By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Dr Michael J.K. Bokor
Dr Michael J.K. Bokor
Folks, the (mis)calculated verbal outbursts by the NPP’s Kennedy Agyapong aren’t designed to shock Ghanaians into focusing on him as a martyr-to-be; that is, if his own threats of chaos in Ghana materialize to claim him as a victim of circumstance. He is bursting out because he thinks that he has enough to recommend him as the machoman of the NPP’s “takashi” politics, tempting Fate all along. And whatever that “enough” is can be traced to two things on the menu of the political cause that he upholds: a Danquah-Busia belief in property-owning and a strong obsession for power that cannot be tampered with or informed by reality.

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Grabbing political power “at all costs” is the objective, damn the devil in the way. And that devil, as we can infer from Agyapong’s drivel is the security apparatus that the NPP sees as supporting the incumbent. So, threatening that apparatus in the NPP’s strategizing for Election 2016 should be a matter-of-course. That explains why no day passes by without their affronting/confronting the security establishment.

Thus far, we have been made by Agyapong and all others parading the Danquah-Busia flag to know that if political power is not won by them, it is valueless in Ghanaian politics. That explains why in our time, the adherents of that political culture are doing all in their power to torment the system and to create the unfortunate impression that without their being in power, Ghana is doomed. And that also explains why they are bent on confronting just anybody or structure that they consider as an impediment.

It has a huge stake in our country’s political growth. Losing the trust of the voters since 1951 when elections became the standard measure for choosing the country’s leaders, they haven’t paused to assess issues properly to know that the fault lies in them and not the system. They haven’t been able to understand–and to come to terms with the fact—that despite all their claims of personal accomplishments at all levels of human endeavour, they don’t (as a group) appeal to the ordinary voters whose electoral decision shapes the political life of Ghana. And they don’t have any compunction threatening the voters either. Just look at the call by Kennedy Agyapong for Ewes and Gas in Ashanti region to be killed or the bogus voters register contents used by Dr. Bawumiah to reinforce their negative politics against the Ewes as ”undesirable Togolese interfering with Ghanaian politics” yet turning round to beg them for votes to defeat President Mahama at Election 2016.

History says it all. When they lost the 1951 and 1954 general elections, they fell apart, finding it difficult to know why. They won’t accept the fact that their material wealth and social status as intellectuals and so-called standard bearers couldn’t win the hearts of the voters to make them the rulers of the country. For more than 50 years ever since, they have been struggling to find their bearing in the political wilderness. No validation. Today, they are still fighting to connect with the voters. What exactly has gone wrong with them, they don’t want to know. Those of us who know will tell them straight to their faces!!

The outbursts of Kennedy Agyapong and many others in the NPP cabal set us off in this bid. We acknowledge the fact that such outbursts are politically invested but yield nothing but scorn. They threaten instead of winning the hearts, minds, and thumbs of voters. And they work very well to keep them away from the citadel of power. Threatening national security and stability won’t ensure victory at the polls. It will rather pit the voters against issuing the threats. The result is abject rejection at the polls that no recourse to the judiciary can reverse.

And for as long as these malcontents persist in their outbursts, they will set themselves up for more resounding negative fallouts. We make this statement in the context of outbursts by leading members of the NPP that Ghana will be immersed in chaos if President Mahama wins Election 2016. (as if they don’t know that he has already set himself on the path toward doing so while they continue to scare the voters away from their cause). Or if the NPP’s Akufo-Addo doesn’t win the elections because of a so-called orchestration by the Electoral Commission to rig the elections in favour of the incumbent. No need to recount the instances of such threats, especially if we consider how Kennedy Agyapong has summed it all up as reported.

Having monitored his spate of these outbursts from the NPP camp vis-à-vis Agyapong’s boasts of being a rich man, I wonder if he will be stupid enough to die for a cause that he may not even comprehend fully. Dying for a political cause takes more than verbal outbursts; it needs a strong unassailable spirit of self-death (equal to suicide bombing by those led to believe that they would go directly to heaven if they actualize the quests of those manipulating them). What is heaven for an NPP died-hard to aspire for?

In the context of the overwhelming threats posed by the political outbursts of the NPP and others, it is important to note some major issues for comment. Ghanaians cherish peace and security and will do all in their power to use the general elections to put in place those who can sustain that atmosphere. Why would the Ghanaian establishment contribute troops and logistics to securing peace in other parts of the world but look on for its own system to be destroyed by the very forces that will not accept reality? Is it the Congo Crisis? Lebanon (UNIFIL)? Rwanda? Liberia and ECOMOG? Southern Sudan? Kosovo? Or where else on this earth that Ghana hasn’t made a name as a strong security force to protect limb and property? Then, on its own soil? May God forbid!! Much is expected of the government as it reacts to the threat posed by those threatening mayhem. And it must act proactively and decisively!!

The directive by the Minister of the Interior to the Ghana Police Service to disband all political party security and vigilante groups ahead of the November elections isn’t a solution. It is porous and misguided. How are the Police to do so? And what is the guarantee that some disgruntled police personnel are not members of such vigilante groups or …?

Given the threat posed to national security by such politically influenced vigilante groups, one would expect the government to come out with a more workable directive to eliminate such groups. Giving the police the directive to disband them is not the solution. Why can’t the government proscribe such groupings, knowing them as such and ensuring that they don’t exist, and giving the police the directives to clamp down on them? At least, a serious security and intelligence system should by now have known who the members of such organizations are or what these organizations themselves are, where they are located, their leaders, and financiers!! There is too much lousiness here, which alarms me.

Turning the table, we see what the military is up to. We have been told by the Chief of Defence Staff that there is much “political tension” in the country as a result of politicking toward Election 2016. Although the CDS has expressed optimism that the military is working with the police to secure life. Limb, and property, more has to be done to that effect to allay fears, doubts, and suspicions. Against the background of negative comments from the NPP camp against the security set-up, constructed by the NPP as a lackey of the incumbent, much apprehension exists that trust in its operations is evaporating. It could be so because of utterances from former security operatives now with the NPP who are creating the impression that the national security apparatus supports the incumbent and cannot be trusted to work for a change of government. What will the implications be for Election 2016?

Those who know what is at stake will cringe at the fact that the NPP is fast expending energy and resources setting up analogous security institutions to back it up and to confront the legitimate state security apparatus. The recent activities involving South African and Serbian mercenaries recruited by the NPP to train its operatives is at focus here. Can we not see where these forces are heading to head-butt at the expense of the vast majority of the citizens wishing to live their lives in peace, even if living conditions are tough to cope with?

Folks, we will no longer belabour the point. I have been hugely amused by one thing that I want to share with you at this point. That is, the characters leading the NPP’s chorus on militancy and the threat to cause chaos in Ghana are not themselves security personnel who know what is at stake beyond their politically motivated madness. Kennedy Agyapong is at the forefront, making all that ugly noise as if when it comes to security, he ever knows what is at stake. Saying that Ghana will be thrown into chaos and the established security establishment overwhelmed by the NPP’s apparatus is traceable to him. But does he ever know what “security” means? Let him not be deceived.

The Ghanaian security apparatus can take care of him and all others misbehaving like him if they push the button. None will even bat an eyelid when it happens; but we don’t want matters to get to that point. If the threats had come from those in the NPP with military background and experienced in security work (like Capt. Koda and Budu Koomson), we might take them on at a different plane. But from wimps of Kennedy Agyapong and Maxwell Kofi Jumah’s fold, we laugh out a lot. I wish they’d be ready for that moment when steel will cut steel.

Considering the implications of outbursts from these NPP people, we recommend that the government and the security establishment act proactively to protect life and property between now and November 7 or thereafter. It is advisable for the government to work well with the security services to implement a consistent programme of national security including daily patrols all over the place. National installations should be protected. People should be protected as well, wherever they may be. Provisions must be made for securing everything that has the potential to affect livelihood. It doesn’t need any magic formula. People must be sensitized to be alert to anything suspicious and to deal with it.

More importantly, the government must immediately equip the security services with whatever they need to do their work, surveillance being the most important one. Looking at our Ghanaian situation, it is clear that once major plugs are pulled, anything likely to upset the system can be detected and tackled. This is not the time for experimenting, but the time for real practical action to secure limb and property. As happened before Election 2000, if stage-managed happenings such as the wanton killing of human beings (especially women) and the dumping of their bodies at strategic places is not constrained, the situation could deteriorate beyond comprehension and control. As much as the government focuses on infrastructural development to win the hearts of the people, it must invest in security too. The times are rough and nothing must be taken for granted.

I can infer from the outbursts of Agyapong and all those in the NPP that they will do all they can to subvert the security system in the vain hope of gaining some political advantage. The government—which has absolute control over national security—must not allow itself to be undermined in this guise. It has a lot to gain if it moves ahead of the curb instead of dilly-dallying to be overtaken by its opponents.

To end it all, it must be said here and now that those leading the NPP’s chorus to threaten national security aren’t themselves secure enough to escape being plucked. Just like a huge boil on a bald man’s head, they are easily noticeable. When it comes to the crunch, those who see them as they are will act against them. What makes them think that they are untouchable or immune to the impact of the trigger? No more!!

I shall return…

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