The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has applauded President Mahama for joining the chorus of condemnation of the Ghana Police for meting out unprovoked brutalities against unarmed demonstrators in the Wednesday, September 16, demonstration for a new voters’ register.
The President’s condemnation, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, has reassured all democrats and freedom loving Ghanaians about the nation’s commitment to maintaining democratic governance.
It will be recalled that President Mahama, at the Asogli Yam festival, at Ho, on Saturday, September 19, is reported to have said that “I have held discussions with the police authority and urged the command to review the unfortunate event of last Wednesday in line with policies and procedures that officers are expected to follow in response to incidents of this sort. The basic rights of all citizens must be recognised and respected at all times.”
However, Nana Akufo-Addo respectfully disagreed with the President’s directive for an internal police review into the brutal assaults of the demonstrators, stating that it could lead to a cover-up.
Nana Akufo-Addo reaffirmed his position made in Bolgatanga, a day after the assaults, that a commission of inquiry is the only way to unearth the truth about what happened on that fateful Wednesday, and make the appropriate recommendations to forestall its reoccurrence.
“The police hierarchy was very quick to come out to defend their actions. An internal review is likely to lead to a cover-up, because the hierarchy will find it very difficult to reverse itself,” he said.
He continued, “An independent commission of inquiry is what is needed so we can have an impartial, objective and transparent inquiry, which will make the appropriate recommendations that will enable us have confidence that we have a police service that can police a free, open, democratic society.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, on behalf of the NPP, also extended his deepest condolences to one of the demonstrators, Justice Adzakumah, who lost one of his eyes as a result of police brutality in the demonstration.
The NPP presidential candidate made this known on Sunday, September 20, on the final day of his tour of the Northern Region, whilst addressing a meeting of regional and constituency executives, as well as parliamentary candidates and their competitors from 15 constituencies of the Northern Region. The constituencies were Tolon, Nanton, Yendi, Savelugu, Mion, Yapei-Kusagu, Salaga North, Salaga South, Gushegu, Tamale North, Tamale Central, Tamale South, Sagnerigu, Kumbungu, and Karaga.
Change is coming
Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his warning about an impending Mahama-led tribal campaign in the 3 Northern Regions in next year’s electioneering campaign, because the President will not be able to campaign on his record.
He told the gathering that, after what he has seen from his tour of 5 regions so far, he was in no doubt that “the Ghanaian people are yearning for a change.”
That change, he said, “is going to take place across the length and breadth of our country. No tribal campaign is going to stop that movement”, further assuring the gathering that “the North is going to be a central part of the drive for change and victory in 2016.”
He continued, “My dream is not that I am going to fill my pockets with the money of Ghana. That is not my dream. My dream is that in 30 or 40 years’ time when our grandchildren are writing the history of Ghana, they will say that ‘it was in Akufo-Addo’s time that our grandfathers and grandmothers turned around the fortunes of our country, and laid the foundation for the prosperous Ghana we are in today’”.
Sunday’s meeting with his party faithful brought to an end the first half of Nana Akufo-Addo’s “Rise and Build Tour”. After touring the Volta, Eastern, Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions, Nana Akufo-Addo will from Wednesday, September 23, commence the 2nd half of the tour.
The Western Region will be Nana Akufo-Addo’s first point of call, followed by a tour of the Central Region beginning on Friday, September 25. Nana Akufo-Addo will then move to the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti Regions, before ending his “Rise and Build Tour” in the Greater Accra Region.
Nana Akufo-Addo was accompanied on his Northern tour by National Women’s Organiser, Otiko Afisa Djaba; former Minister of Trade and Industry under President Kufuor, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku; former Minister of State under President Kufuor, Elizabeth Ohene; Political Assistant, Francis Asenso-Boakye; Press Secretary, Eugene Arhin; Campaign Aides, Iddrisu Musah ‘Superior’ and Pius Hadzide, together with regional stalwarts like Daniel Bugri Naabu, Northern Regional NPP Chairman; Hon. Prince Imoro Andani, a former Northern Regional Minister under President Kufuor; and Alhaji Haruna Tia, former Northern Regional NPP Chairman.