Opinion: Finally, the Giant-Dwarf Has Spoken – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo/Photo: The Impact Crew

He spoke to this most politically disconcerting incident emphatically and at the most opportune moment as he ought to. The incident, of course, is the patently lawless and inexcusably lame decision by some desperate members of the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) militia group called the Delta Force to spring some 13 of their members from the custody of a Kumasi circuit court. Obviously, the Delta Force members were taking a cue from their vigilante counterparts of the main opposition National Democratic Congress. Vigilante groups like the Azorka Boys. Well, not only did President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo aptly apologize for the great embarrassment brought his government and its reputation by the gross and abject misbehavior of the Delta Force operatives, Nana Akufo-Addo also made it instructively clear that under his executive watch, “Crime has absolutely no political color” (See “ ‘Not Under My Watch’ – Akufo-Addo Condemns Delta Force in First Easter Message” MyJoyOnline.com / Modernghana.com 4/14/17).

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The message was also terse and poignant, as it ought to be. The culprits, whom we understand are largely land guards whose energies had been rechanneled into serving the Security Wing of the then-opposition New Patriotic Party, will face the full-music of the law, nevertheless. But we also hope that the National Democratic Congress-induced hostile and violent political climate, under which this self-defensive group was founded would be seriously taken into consideration by the trial judge as a mitigating circumstance. By the same token, we also hope that the NPP leaders will quickly rise to the occasion by finding something lucrative and economically sustainable for the Delta Force members presently and in the foreseeable future. So far, a judicial fine of GH₵ 2,400, a piece, has been imposed on those involved in the Kumasi Circuit Court incident, which was originally sparked by a lawless attempt by some members of the Delta Force to nullify the legitimate appointment of Mr. George Adjei by President Akufo-Addo as the Asante Regional Security Coordinator.

The initial public reaction of party stalwarts like Mr. Freddie Blay, the Acting National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, left much to be desired. It was clear that many of the key operatives of the party had been caught flatfooted or off-guard. The flabbergasting implication was that there was absolutely nothing that any party leader or stalwart could do to bring the Delta Force operatives to heel. Now, President Akufo-Addo has left no doubt in the mind of any vacillating party leader that it is time for every institutional or para-institutional component of the party to join the mainstream of the ruling New Patriotic Party and conduct itself as such. “We will be governed by the rule of law, and the law will work without fear or favor,” the President was quoted to be saying.

It is rather sad and pathetic that matters had to reach this near-crisis and chaotic point. But it is quite understandable, in view of the fact that the last 8 years under the National Democratic Congress’ rule were one of judicial impunity and general lawlessness. And so it was to be expected that ruling party-affiliated militant groups like the Delta Force and the Invincible Forces would use the occasion of their party’s decisive victory at the polls to let off some steam, as it were. Now, it is time for these fierce and avid defenders of the faith of yesteryear to re-channel their energies for self-improvement and the cross-party and non-partisan development of the country. This is the focal message of President Akufo-Addo, and it could not have been cast in better terms.

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