The New Patriotic Party takes note of the arrest yesterday, 16th April, 2012, of the Member of Parliament for Assin North, Hon. Kennedy Agyepong, for an intemperate public statement made by him last Friday in reaction to the unfortunate incidents in the Odododiodio constituency, Greater Accra Region.
In the last few weeks Ghanaians have witnessed with dismay divisive statements by political leaders and violent acts, all because of the voter registration exercise. The NPP has been most disturbed by these acts of violence and intimidation, the inflammatory statements and other illegal acts that have been associated with the ongoing exercise. We have also been disturbed by the selective, partisan manner in which the law is being enforced in dealing with the situation.
It was for this reason that we issued an open letter to the President of the Republic recently. The NPP is fully behind the police in the execution of their mandate and we expect them to do this in a fair, even-handed and professional manner. However, the current posture of the police to take no action to protect our party members and ordinary Ghanaians, in the face of such acts of violence, intimidation and exclusion at the hands of the NDC, particularly in Odododiodio, poses a serious threat to the maintenance of peace and security nationwide. The arrest of the MP for Assin North is further evidence of this selective application of the law.
For the police to take no action against the perpetrators of violence but to suddenly discover their powers to take action against those, who in frustration, make statements in reaction to acts of violence and police inaction sends very worrying signals about the forthcoming general elections. This is affecting public confidence in the police. The Police Service must be professional and act without fear or favour.
The violence, intimidation and the apartheid manner in which the NDC parliamentary candidate for Odododiodio and a senior aide to the President, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, has been conducting himself during this registration exercise is completely unacceptable. The President, the Commander-in-Chief, in whose office Nii Lantey Vanderpuye works, is yet to take any action against these blatant acts of lawlessness.
The NPP makes it absolutely clear that we do not support intemperate statements and actions that can incite and inflame ethnic passions. Ghana is a proud multi-ethnic country and the NPP, a truly national party, is committed to jealously guard and promote this heritage.
We urge our supporters to be calm in the face of provocation. This biometric registration exercise is about giving all Ghanaians voters an equal chance to decide, first, where they ‘ordinarily reside’ and, ultimately, on the future of their country on voting day. Our duty, as politicians, to those voters is to keep Ghana peaceful, democratic and just for all her citizens.
We applaud our party loyalists who have been defending these values and the integrity of the registration exercise in spite of the intimidation, violence, ethnic challenges they have faced. We encourage them to stay focused and be vigilant in monitoring the ongoing registration exercise. They should have courage and stay on the right side of the law.
We finally call on the President of the Republic to be at the forefront in ensuring law and order. His statement that he is not a police officer gives the unfortunate perception that the Commander-in Chief is distancing himself and his office from this all important responsibility of maintaining law, order and security for all citizens.
Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey
NPP, National Chairman