The executive director of the West Africa Media Foundation
says political impunity displayed by Ghanaian President John Kufuor's
administration should be blamed for the escalated violence ahead of this year's
elections. Professor Kwame Karikari says the failure of President Kufuor's
administration to deal decisively with the alleged conspirators in the murder
of a king and 40 of his elders after seven years in office sets a dangerous
precedence that could have significantly contributed to ongoing violence in the
country head of this year's general elections.
blames both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and main opposition National
Democratic Congress for fueling ethnic passions that he said help inflame
violent clashes between supporters of both parties.
From Ghana's capital, Accra
Professor Karikari tells reporter Peter Clottey that there is a need to curb
ongoing violence in the country in order to have a peaceful election this year.
recent times, there have been a number of incidences related to the election
processes. Virtually all of these are incidences that have occurred and
perpetrated by the two big parties, the ruling
(NPP) party and NDC. Now, in all of these incidences involving violent
attacks on individuals and groups, involving the destruction of properties
while the police have not arrested anybody. Apart from that since the government
came to power, there have been other incidents involving chieftaincy disputes
and violence. And the most dramatic was the murder of the king of the Dagbon
people in the northern regions of Ghana. He was murdered in cold blood in
daytime with 40 other of his people. Up to now, six years later, not one soul
has been arrested and charged with those crimes," Karikari pointed out.
said there was need for President Kufuor's government to curb the
ever-increasing violent clashes of rival political parties ahead of the
December 2008 election.
security people must do their work, these things just don't come up like that.
They are related to political parties, and it is possible that sections or
factions or groups within these parties are responsible for this violence. The
way these things are happening you cannot say that they are necessarily that
spontaneous. We can't continue to think that they are spontaneous because there
appears to be some orchestration. And so, I'm saying that the intelligence agencies
must put their ears to the ground to stop this," he said.
described as disturbing the failure of the current administration to arrest and
prosecute the perpetrators who allegedly conspired to murder the Dagbon king
and 40 of his subjects over six years ago.
is very difficult for me to know like most citizens, why the government has
been so lax and has been so irresponsible in this matter. It's unthinkable for
the police to close their eyes to any murder of any citizen at all in this country.
It doesn't happen the police always go after such criminals, but this is very
baffling and I think it poisons the politics in that region and also helps
poison national politics. It is very difficult to understand why the government
has behaved the way it has behaved, and that government has also been silent
about it," Karikari noted.
Karikari charged pressure groups as well as Ghanaians to
stand up and direct the issue of political violence at the doorstep of
President Kufuor's government adding that it would compel the government to be
more active in taking actions against lawbreakers.
He also chided the security
agencies for not doing enough to bring perpetrators to book, but rather
accusing the media of fomenting troubles.