The leader of Ghana's opposition People's National
Convention (PNC) is blaming President John Kufuor's ruling party and the main
opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over political violence that left
six dead and scores injured. Doctor Edward Mahama says both parties must
shoulder the blame after using what he described as unfortunate divisive rhetoric
ahead of the country's general elections. Partisans of both the ruling New
Patriotic Party and the opposition NDC accused each other of being behind the
escalated violence after going on a rampage and burning houses.
political observers blame Ghana's security agencies for failing to
prosecute culprits of earlier political infractions adding that the
perpetrators continue to commit political violence with impunity. From Ghana's
capital, Accra he tells reporter Peter Clottey that both parties have failed
the nation by employing divisionary tactics ahead of the elections.
"I'm blaming the two parties
because the fundamental cause of this mayhem is a high level of youth
unemployment. Now, when NDC was in power, the youth unemployment was high, the
NPP has come and the youth unemployment is still very high. And because these
people have nothing to do, as the Bible says, the devil will find use for idle
hands; the devil is a destroyer,"
blamed the two parties for engaging in activities, which he says are a recipe
I'm blaming both parties because the phenomenon across the northern part of
Ghana is what I call "factories of destruction". The NPP –NDC have erected
pavilions where they've given these young people draughts, ludu, cards, just
games to sit down and play and insult each other and fight amongst themselves.
And sometimes it spills over into intra-party or inter-party fights. In Accra
you don't see, how come in the north, they've erected these pavilions and allow
these young people to sit there with no job to do and then plenty of time to
idle and to cause mayhem," he said.
said although there are problems in the northern part of the country, some of
them could be attributed to the lack of jobs.
basically there is a lot of marginalization of the north. There is also a lot
of poverty in the north, and high levels of youth unemployment. Now, the
immediate thing that I am proposing should be done is that not only should they
move the police and the military there, but also they should send a medical
team including a psychiatrist and a psychologist because people were sitting
down and their homes were burnt, school children were running away from the
violence and the chaos. People have lost their loved ones, they are going to be
hurt naturally, they are going to feel angry and they are going to feel like
revenging. We must stop the vengeance, otherwise it is going to spread," Mahama
He concurred with calls by
one presidential candidate in this year's elections that all of the aspirants
should have security protection with the recent spate of increasing violence.
"Well, he may have a point
because I'm getting threats on my phone, but I just ignore them. Certainly, the
PNC, which I lead, has been a victim of violence and I abhor and condemn
political violence. But as I keep saying, it is not only politicians. You see
innocent people were sitting down and they got beaten down like it happened in
Gushegu. So, the levels of protection and individual protection in this nation
are very, very poor. Just a few weeks ago one of my workers when coming to work
early in the morning got robbed and rapped and there is no police protection.
And you cant call the police to come and help you at anytime," he said.
reported deaths occurred during a clash between the
National Democratic Congress (NPP) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters at
Kpatinga, in the Gushegu District of Ghana's Northern Region.
Some observers say the current scenario in the north has been expected long
time since those who have previously committed similar acts in recent past have
been left off the hook without any form of prosecution.