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STATE-SPONSORED POLITICAL THUGGERY: THE CASE OF NPP’S INVISIBLE FORCES- Kobby Barlon

I have observed with utmost disdain and utter disappointment, the deterioration of state security in this country. As a concerned citizen and an active one at that, I take delight in the call by President Akuffo Addo on us to be active citizens and not sycophantic spectators.

So at this point of our state of insecurity, I wish to exercise my right to citizenship, by expressing my disquiet at the bizarre state of insecurity, intolerance, political thuggery and state sponsored terrorism that is speedily rearing its ugly but ‘fat’ head in our politics. My lens takes cursory overview of the unlawful activities of the NPP’s invincible and Delta forces, the role of the state security and its implication on the protection of life and property of the ordinary Ghanaian citizen.

Clearly, the actions and inactions of the State and NPP’s para-military wing the INVINCIBLE& DELTA FORCES depictsa fierce romantic relationship between the duos. The state appears to be in bed with these forces as their nefarious activities is either being ignored or cosmetic in steps being taken to deal with the lawlessness exhibited by these NPP branded thugs.
The activities of these para-military thugs of the NPP have become so pronounced and common placed to the extent that their names have become house hold to even primary school kids. It is also known to all, as a group affiliated to the NPP and officially sanctioned to manage security for the NPP. Several leading officials of the governing party have confirmed and reaffirmed their support and affiliation of this group to their party. Loud mouths like Nana Obiri Boahen, Deputy General Secretary of the NPP and Kennedy Agyapong have on several instances had calls to defend their actions amidst public uproar.

As a country,do we still need to ask when this illegal vigilante group came into existence? Who formed it and who finances it? How it does its recruitment? The logistics and resources it has and how it is procured and stored? Certainly no. We are fully aware that the whole setup of this illegal para-military group is officially sanctioned by the NPP and they now roam freely in the Flagstaff House as security agents.

I remember watching John Kumah, CEO of Youth Enterprise Support (YES) and leading member of the NPP on Good Morning Ghana Newspaper Review segment on Metro TV on 27th March, 2017. He stated explicitly that these illegal thugs actually assisted with party security when they were in opposition. A tacit admission of the recognition of the invisible forces.

As a youth leader, I am even more deeply worried about the deepening intolerance of this political thugs of the NPP that has led to several injuries, destruction of property and the obvious loss of lives since the NPP took over the governance of this country.It would be recalled that right after the December 7, 2016 elections these thugs went on rampage seizing government installations and perpetuating thuggery that is alien to our body polity. A direct response to the call by the NPP Acting National Chairman Freddy Blay and Youth Organizer Sammy Awuku on them to take position.

Surprisingly, the NPP government want us to believe that the appointment of a New National Security Minister in addition to the National Security Coordinator, Interior and Defense Ministers into their “obolo” government will improve efficiency but what do we see? The upsurge of NPP sponsoredhoodlums terrorizing innocent citizens including senior police officers. Yes including senior police officers seems to be the order of the day.

As a nation, we are all witnesses to the brutalization of ASP Nanka Bruce who was on secondment at the Flagstaff House during the tenure of President John Mahama on 9th February, 2017. In a widely circulated CCTV video ASP Bruce was seen chased, dragged out of his car and brutalized by some members of the invisible forces. It took the combined efforts of other senior police officers and the military stationed at the Flagstaff House to save the situation.
The sad reality of the development is that hours after the leakage of the video, the NPP government was more concerned about how the video got leaked instead of dealing with the dastardly act by its hoodlums. They actually got a soldier who was on duty post at the CCTV monitoring Centre that day arrested and detained for close to 72 hours without food and water at Burma camp.
As if that is not enough, when an Accra circuit court issued a warrant for the arrest of the leader of the police assailants Mumuni Jabil for assaulting a police officer contrary to section 205(9A ) of the criminal offences Act, Act 29/60.The gentleman was nowhere to be found. The NPP has obviously refused to hand him over to the court for prosecution.

Sadly, the nefarious activities of this Nana Akuffo Addo approved para-military thugs reached its crescendo when their forceful takeover of the Kintampo falls contributed significantly to the death of 17 revelers from the Wenchi Methodist Senior High School and University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani on March 19, 2017. Unfortunately, we had Nana Obiri Boahen once again justifying the action of these thugs.

As a nation we can no longer condone these actions of the invisible forces. Like Sampson Lardy Anyenimi said “ the accident cannot be described as an act of God , we should hasten slowly and take time to examine the evidence , the facts will inform who needs to be held responsible for the lapses that may have led to their deaths”. I totally agree with the body and soul of his submission. How can the untrained invisible forces be in charge of such a sensitive national asset? What skills do they have to enforcing safety measures at the falls? I am even told that they do not account to anybody but themselves as asserted by the Kintampohene Nana Essah Boakuro. I ask again, is this truly what Ghanaians voted for?

We were also in this country when about 200 NPP’s Delta forces believed to be the mother body of the invisible forces attacked the Ashanti regional security capo- George Adjei on 24th March, 2017. This para-military vigilante group stormed the RCC in Nhyeiso and hounded him out of office. They broke Louvre blades, vandalized furniture and ransacked the office of the security capo. It took the efforts of police from the Regional command to save him from being lynched by the thugs who demanded to be given the appointment instead of somebody who was not in the trenches with them.
As if that is not enough, they also went on rampage on 27th March, 2017 attacking school feeding caterers, pupils and teachers of Atecoe Demonstration Basic School in Atebubu in the Brong Ahafo Region demanding that the school feeding contract should be abrogated. What sort of lawlessness is this? Is Ghana now a banana republic?

The NDC have had calls to call on President Nana Akuffo Addo and the security agencies to deal with this growing menace. All these calls unfortunately went unheeded as the likes of Nana Obiri Boahen contend that “it will be over his dead body to disband the invisible forces”. This distasteful comment was made whilst speaking to Gifty Andoh, host of the Pulse programme on the Joy news channel on Multi tv.

I must say I am not the least surprised by these commentaries from an official of the NPP who ought to know better. The President’s own public utterances in the past and now do not depict him as somebody who is ready and willing to crack the whip when his own supporters misbehave. Although he called on the new IGP Asante Apeatu to arrest miscreants who foment trouble in the country irrespective of their political color. This in my opinion is cosmetic and were just words that have so far not being backed by deeds.

Is this what Ghanaians voted for? This gross disrespect for the voice of reason must not and should not be allowed to continue under this clueless government. We must rise to condemn what is wrong and punish perpetrators when it matters most.

As a nation, we cannot continue to look on while these thugs who have the full backing of the state under the leadership of President Nana Akuffo Addo terrorize innocent Ghanaians simply because NPP has won political power. Power is transient and it was handed down to the NPP with the trust that they will protect life and property of every Ghanaian. The growing intolerance, disrespect, crass impunity and state supported thuggery must not be allowed to continue. We must rise, Ghanaians must rise! Both old and young to demand what is right. We must nip this growing terrorist grouping in its bud before it becomes difficult to control.

Boko Haram started as a small movement and today it is one of the worst nightmares of not only Nigeria but the world over. It is estimated that the emergence of Boko Haram has resulted in more than 32,000 deaths and over 2million people displaced.

Any further attempt to cover up the dirty acts of these hoodlums, as it is currently being done has a recipe to create political discontent and the intolerance will engender the creation of similar vigilante groupings for protection which will worsen our already bad situation.

ComradeKOBBY BARLON
Deputy National Youth Organizer
National Democratic Congress (NDC)
+23324468302

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