The Reign of Terror in a Democracy: Ghana has a lot to worry over

Today, a section of the citizens of the Republic of Ghana live in fear. Fear of unprovoked attacks from political vigilante group of the ruling government.

In the past, when attacks are reported, it was as a result of provocations from one group (political party) against the other. For the defense of one’s interest group, clashes were reported in the past which were bloody.

Today, what we are witnessing as a state, is the operations of deadly groups sympathetic to the ruling government. These groups were variously and severally formed while in opposition, to assault the pillars of power. Today, even though their preferred political party has won power, the assaults on the pillars of power had intensified like never before.

What remains a worry to many citizens is the fact that only lips service have been rendered in the direction of dealing with these deadly groups. Everywhere you go in this country, a group has been named, which is operating unlawfully and deadly, in the interest of the ruling party.

This has compromised severally, the security and safety of the state. The most worrying of all is that there are instances where security officials were seen standing by and watching without any attempts to remedy the situation.

A journalist of a media house sympathetic to the ruling government, Oman FM, reported how he was attacked and beaten by the Invisible Forces of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) under the watch of the police without any efforts to rescue him from the ordeal.

If we cannot, as citizens, be rescued from terror hands of these deadly groups by the law enforcement agencies even before their very eyes, where and how else can any citizen be convinced of safety as they go about their everyday businesses.

Not too long ago, a regional security coordinator of the Ashanti Region, was dragged out of his office, upon the appointment of the president, beaten, injured and thrown out of the office. When some of the members of the Delta Forces, another deadly group formed in the Ashanti Region for the NPP, were arraigned before court, other group members developed the temerity to invade the courts, freed their men and assaulted the judge presiding over their case.

To what can be classified as an encouragement of a judgment to continue the acts of hooliganism and terrorism, the courts fine each of thirteen (13) members, Gh$1,800 equivalent to $420 or £346 for beating a security coordinator, invading court to free offenders standing trial and assaulting a judge.

Moments after this very lenient judgment, a police station in the Upper East Region was invited by another deadly group also formed for the interest of the NPP, to free members who were in custody over the assault of a District Chief Executive (DCE) who had to flee his office for his life. The responses on the lips of some citizens then is “if they could invade a whole court and walk away with such a fine, what is the big deal in invading a police station to free their members?”

Even before this issue could be dealt with, there were other video footages from Ada East, a District in the Greater Accra Regional, of Invisible Forces invading a room where Assembly Members were gathered to elect a DCE nominee of the president, hijacked the ballot box, held everyone hostage, stuffed the ballots and declared the president’s nominee winner of the elections, while beating those they could in the full glare of the Ghana Police Service men.

What is even worrying is that what is supposed to be a stern warning to these groups were issued by the president and the Interior Minister, including the Inspector General of Police (IGP). In the wake of all of these, these deadly groups appear not to be bothered because they are members of the New Patriotic Party and are convinced that the system would not give them up.

What we witnessed at Ada East especially, must be a cause for worry to all democrats anywhere in the world. For groups of individuals to invade an election and hijack ballots and declare a winner when an institution is charged with such a responsibility, we would be jeopardizing the credibility of our 2020 elections.

When the formation of these groups started, and especially when the South African citizens who were expatriated under the former president John Dramani Mahama over their illegal training of members of these groups, many were those who spoke against the act of the president then. Today, we are all expressing concerns about the threats these groups are posing to all of us.

With each day that passes, these deadly groups feel emboldened. They operated under the full glare of the sun, captured on cameras, and have been left to go about their everyday businesses of harassing innocent individuals without the state’s ability to stop them.

The point must be driven to the President, and so clearly, that he was elected into office to protect and defend the Republic of Ghana against any external and internal security threats. What we are witnessing within the country today, is sufficient cause for him to worry because he appears to be failing in dealing with these threats in safeguarding the safety of people who are not members of his party.

Today, under his own authority, people he has appointed are being abused without cause. His very authority is being undermined by the passing of every day. This must be a source of worry to him. Where lies his authority as Commander-In-Chief, when hooligans recruited and trained for his interest, are refusing to take his orders? Can he stand up to the defense of those who are not members of his party when his own party men are being beaten?

It is high time the president realized that he is failing the public the safety that is his greatest duty. If Ghanaians don’t feel safe to work, he can’t make the taxes he require so much to execute his vision. If people do not feel safe, they would never engage in contacts with foreigners for investments because they would be disgraced in the end.

We are endangering the future of our next elections each day that passes when these hooligans are walking free act after act. It would be appropriate for anyone to say that these groups are being maintained for a deadly and parochial interest. It is unfortunate for the president to have allowed these groups to fester over these long months since he took power.

The time to blame John Dramani Mahama over these groups is past and gone. These groups were created for you and you must have the ability to tame and disband them and allow citizens have their freedoms Mr. President. There are law enforcers within the state charged with responsibilities to enforce laws. Mr. President, please, take charge of the state and ensure that this nation is not reduced in the eyes of those who held our democracy high as these are signals of a weak state. I wish you well in this endeavor.

Source: Stephen Kwabena Attuh, ASK

Ghana News Online

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