Early in the morning of June 17, 1972, several burglars were arrested inside the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), located in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C.
This was no ordinary robbery: The prowlers were connected to President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, and they had been caught while attempting to wiretap phones and steal secret documents.
Young Washington Post investigative journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward unearthed the connection to the president. About two years later, that invasion of the opposition party’s offices by the ruling party led to the resignation of President Nixon.
That is democracy at work. That is journalism at work.
Now fast forward 43 years later when the world has gotten more technologically advanced and democracy itself is supposed to have also advanced. Several men dressed in military uniforms with police escort, on Monday 23rd of November, raided the headquarters of Ghana’s main opposition party NPP, and damaged property while absconding with documents, hard drives, and other sensitive information belonging to the party. The Ghana Armed Forces and the Police Service have issued separate statements denying their involvement in the raid.
If the army and the police are not involved in the raid, then who issued the military uniforms and the vehicles for this criminal operation? Does the Flagstaff House have a para-military wing that does criminal operations for the NDC government? The nation, as well as all lovers and admirers of Ghana’s democracy, at home and elsewhere must condemn this heinous assault on Ghana’s young democracy.
Something is dangerously amiss in Ghana’s democracy, and the earlier the media, civil society, and the public at large show enough outrage to discourage such assaults on our democracy, the better positioned we will be as a nation to ward off civil strife that has afflicted many of our neighbors on the African continent.
NPP-USA has noticed a sinister pattern emerging. It appears the NDC government and its sympathizers, including some in the other arms of government, test the waters before a major rape of our nation occurs. You may recall Supreme Court Justice Atuguba’s dictatorial chairmanship of the panel of nine justices who adjudicated the NPP petition in 2012, and how he disproportionately targeted NPP members who criticized his handling of the case. Many believe the resulting cowing into submission paved the way for the eventual questionable decision that saddled us with Mahama’s presidency that is now undoubtedly the most incompetent in the annals of our political history.
Now as we approach the most important election of our time in 2016, men in military fatigues have raided the NPP offices and seized sensitive materials. As the public, civil society and the media remain silent on the matter; the NDC government is keenly watching to see if it would be able to get away with similar raids during the 2016 elections.
It is indeed sad that many in Ghana today seem to believe that the task of nation building, or “nation rescuing” in the current situation, belongs only to the main opposition party. No, it is the responsibility of every Ghanaian to play a role in furthering our democracy. And the culture of silence that characterized the monumental deterioration of our country in the 1980s and 1990s has reared its ugly head again today. No wonder Ghana today is now suffering the worst ever deterioration in her history.
There is a breakdown in everything including law and order, the economy, and civility among public officers. We see judicial scandals, executive corruption, burdening debt, a depreciating cedi, and total dysfunction in so many areas. To make matters worse, President Mahama’s excesses are getting more blatant by the day. Theft from the national purse is no longer done in secret. How did Ghana get this bad?
Judging by radio call-ins, and other nationwide chatters, it is becoming increasingly clear that Mahama and the NDC cannot win the 2016 elections. Their only chance now, they may surmise, is to cause mayhem in the NPP, to cause disaffection of the party among the electorate.
NPP-USA hereby serves notice that a peaceful Ghana has been passed on from one leader to another, and president Mahama is expected to carry on that tradition. We urge President Mahama to set up a high powered non-partisan commission to look into what might go down in history as Mahama’s “Watergate Scandal”, and bring the culprits to book. This will clear the name of Ghana’s Armed Forces and the Police from this sordid act. We also call on the NPP to wake up and smell the coffee, and not underestimate the threat that this break-in poses to our infant democracy. Let this act serve as an Amber Alert to the World, a warning sign of the evil intent that Mahama and his NDC have in store for Ghana come 2016.
NPP-USA, Public Relations Committee.
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