Thinking Aloud...Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh Writes
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein.
Many are those who have openly congratulated President John Dramani Mahama. As a roommate, I have not been able to do that because of the dent on the results, since I am not in a position to confirm or deny the claim by the New Patriotic Party.
But as students of Commonwealth Hall, we shall always defend the motto of the hall, “Truth Stands”, meaning that at the appropriate time, I will make a personal congratulation to my roommate for making me proud from our humble beginnings to the present.
Whenever I say that John Dramani was my roommate, I take pride and I know that he has equally on a number of occasions publicly made me proud by acknowledging that he was my roommate.
However, despite the fact that I duly informed him of the death of my father, he neither attended the funeral nor made a donation. I am waiting for his donation as we observe the first anniversary of my father’s demise next Tuesday, December 25 at Kyirikrom near Boamang in the Afigya-Kwabre District.
But when I decided to write, it was not about myself. I wanted to draw the attention of President Mahama to certain impunities that are allowed to pass in the name of partisan politics, not that partisanship in itself is evil, but then when the membership of a political party takes precedence over law and order, that is not in the interest of good governance and democracy.
In 2009, a number of innocent lives were lost at Agbogbloshie in Accra, merely because of political party interest. To date, nothing has been done to ensure justice.
In the wake of the declaration of the 2012 general election results and the demonstration of joy or protest, depending on whether you belong to the National Democratic Congress or NPP, some acts of impunity and lawlessness have happened. In all these, the police have not come to grips with the developments.
There have been accusations and counter-accusations, as to the number of people who have been stabbed, wounded or brutalised. There is the need for the police to deal firmly and decisively with the deviants who are carrying out these acts of bestialism, but they do not need to be ruthless.
To strengthen the hands of the security personnel in dealing decisively with all acts of lawlessness and impunity, there must be openness. If they do not act to stop the impunity from NDC supporters, it renders them vulnerable in dealing with deviants from the NPP. The cumulative effect of such a development is the breakdown of law and order.
That is why those arrested for their role in attempting to burn election material in the Ablekuma North constituency must be tried for the law to prevail, for as Albert Einstein notes, “nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.”
It is the primary responsibility of our President to empower the police to deal fairly and firmly with all, but that could be undermined if the Attorney-General becomes selective in the application of the law. One clear example that comes to mind is the recent convictions of persons who engaged in double registration. It appears they are summarily tried. But in our current Parliament and the next is an honourable member who escaped conviction for double registration solely because his party won Executive Power in 2009.
That does not give meaning and function to constitutionalism, due process, the rule of law, democracy and good governance.
In 2009, a group of suspected criminals was arrested in Gushiegu. The group, numbering about four, has since been in prison custody without any charge proffered against them. That is an aberration to democracy and the rule of law and something has to be done to have them lawfully charged or freed.
Again, all those who played roles in the last election and are established to have changed or falsified votes, have to be prosecuted since their acts were against the law and the will of the people.
Whilst it is true that the police cannot be everywhere, anytime they have brought their expertise to bear on issues, they have made breakthroughs, including the arrest of armed robbers and murder suspects.
So, when young men in broad daylight brazenly wielding destructive weapons go on the rampage in Accra and no arrests are made, that does not speak well of the police. So also is it not good news when political opponents are attacked at a demonstration ground, where police personnel are on duty.
It would be more productive, if the police worked to avoid impunity, including baseless attacks on innocent citizens than place awards on those who could help track bestials and deviants after they had wreaked havoc and disturbed the public peace.
One good thing is the setting up of a Transition Team in line with the Presidential Transition Law. We have to give dignity to democratic change over of government, whether to leadership of the governing party or an opposition party. Things must not be done as if there is no law and order.
More importantly, we should not begin 2013 with party footsoldiers unilaterally and wantonly seizing state assets as if whatever belongs to the state belongs to the government and the party in power. Situations as happened in Tamale with Metro Mass Transit, Ashaiman with public places of convenience and lorry parks and Atimpoku with road toll collections in 2009 must be nibbed in the bud, never to be allowed to resurrect in 2013.
Beyond all these, if the challenge against the election results is finally determined and resolved, we have to ensure that no one who has a role to play in the executive of any political party is simultaneously appointed to any public office. The state should never subsidise political party officers.
We have an obligation to defend constitutionalism, the rule of law, democracy and good governance. Therefore, no individuals or groups must be allowed to resort to impunity in their bid to exercise any fundamental right, whether of expression, movement or association.