From Ashaiman to Tamale; from Bibiani to Asuagyaman and from Cape Coast to Nima, supporters of the ruling NDC have been flexing their muscles demanding that it’s their time to rule and so they should be allowed to take charge of everything – from bus terminals to public toilets.
It’s been going on for months. In some cases they have threatened violence. In others they have succeeded in forcefully taking over what has not been offered them.
Initially, it seemed like a joke. In fact, it was a joke. They were fighting for toilets for Christ’s sake. They seemed ready to kill for the rights to manage those stinky, warehouses for the crappiest of human crap. Fewer things are more ridiculous than that. So most of us laughed it off, thinking that someway, somehow, the ruling party will rein in its supporters and tell them to lay off.
It was too much to hope for.
And now things are almost getting out of hand. After seizing the toilets, NDC supporters have attacked offices of the National Health Insurance Authority and the National Youth Employment Programme in various parts of the country, chasing away officers and demanding that only those who campaigned for the ruling party and voted for it are qualified to work for these agencies.
In Bibiani, they locked up the district offices demanding the dismissal of civil servants they claim were at the forefront of the NPP’s campaign in 2008 and who they perceive to be sabotaging the Mills administration
In Asuogyaman, they have actually issued death threats against civil servants they want fired and replaced by party faithful.
How long will this sort of senselessness continue?
Granted that the NDC is in power. That does not mean that all sensitive public sector jobs should go to only those who swear allegiance to the party. Is this what democracy is about? It’s annoying enough that the boards of all the para-statal agencies have been stuffed with those who will readily go down on their knees and lick the boots of the president and his men.
It’s also been quite disconcerting that very qualified, able-bodied, full-blooded Ghanaians have been pushed out of office – instructed to “proceed on leave” – simply because they (are perceived to) belong another party.
The excuse is that the NPP did it. That’s true. But it’s no excuse. Didn’t President Mills promise “a new way of doing things”? And as far as I am concerned Ghanaians voted for the NDC and Prof. Mills because they wanted something different and better than what the NPP did.
What is happening, with these brutish NDC supporters moving around different parts of the country like a marauding army, flexing their muscles and demanding that everyone gets out of their way is reminiscent of terrible times gone by. Each time bandits of the NDC decide to take the law into their hands to seize what is not theirs or use violence (or threats of violence) to chase their perceived opponents out of their offices, they chip away at the very foundations upon which we are supposed to be building a strong, viable and united nation.
Today they are in power and they are hounding their opponents with machetes and stones. How do they expect to be treated when they find themselves in opposition? And it won’t be long before they go back into opposition. They shouldn’t forget that.
It will serve the greater interest of this country if the leadership of the NDC (and the government) call their supporters to order. We are yet to hear a stern word from any NDC official condemning these senseless acts of banditry. From Ashaiman to Tamale; from Bibiani to Asuagyaman and from Cape Coast to Nima no supporter of the NDC has been arrested and prosecuted for using violence and threats to take what does not belong to him or her. It’s hard to believe that these criminal acts are not being instigated or sanctioned by the ruling party – and the government.
But we’ve had enough. It’s time for some intervention. None other than the president should speak out in condemnation of these dastardly acts. Even though he is almost always holed up in his castle, President Mills cannot pretend to be unaware of what has been going on. Supporters of the NDC look up to him as their supreme benefactor. If they do not listen to him, who will? Who should?