Apr 24, 2012 at 2:41pm
Kennedy Agyapong’s Arrest And Matters Arising
COMMENTARY ON MATTERS ARISING AFTER THE ARREST AND CHARGE OF KENNEDY AGYAPONG, MP FOR ASSIN NORTH
Over the weekend all activities reportedly came to a standstill when the Member of Parliament for Assin North, Kennedy Agyapong made what some people have described as a triumphant entry into his constituency.
This came in the wake of a similar heroic welcome which the NPP accorded Kennedy Agyapong when he was granted bail last Thursday.
The lawmaker, whose name seems to connote intemperate language, was arrested and charged with treason and genocide when he declared war on Gas and Ewes on his Accra based radio station.
While the legal mathematics of Kennedy Agyapong’s infamous declaration is being worked out by the legal brains, it is important to critically look at the issues that arose in the wake of his arrest, detention and release.
In the party's press statement, it failed to condemn the MPs volatile utterances.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor's, statement also did not condemn the utterances and the flag bearer of the party, Nana Akufo Addo has since been silent on the issue.
But what the NPP could not say in words was, perhaps, communicated in action.
There could not have been a better endorsement of Kennedy Agyapong behaviour than the rousing welcome the party accorded him at the Constituency and National levels.
Another disturbing trend is the action of party supporters at the police headquarters and at the court when Mr.
Agyapong was arrested.
It is now more predictable than day after night that when a politician is arrested, hundreds of party supporters are mobilised to invade the police, the BNI or any of the legal state institutions handling the case.
This did not start with Kennedy Agyapong’s arrest but what happened last week means that it is being taken to bizarre levels.
It is true that the attitude of the police in dealing with electoral violence has not been the best, especially in the Odododiodoo Constituency where nothing seems to be done about acts of violence and impunity perpetrated by alleged youths of the ruling NDC.
This does not however justify the actions of party supporters anytime a politician is arrested.
Interestingly, the police, who were pelted with stones, were the very people whose praise Kennedy Agyapong has been singing since he was released.
At the NPP Party Headquarters where he addressed teeming party supporters after his release, Mr.
Kennedy Agyapong admitted that he did not know the police were so professional until his arrest.
Another issue worthy of condemnation is the hypocritical stance some notable individuals and civil society organisations adopted in the Kennedy Agyapong’s declaration.
The inflammatory comments by the law maker were something every right thinking person ought to have condemned.
Similar comments have set nations such as Rwanda ablaze and the suspended youth organiser of ruling African National Congress of South Africa, Julius Malema, was last year charged for singing a song that incited blacks against the whites.
Ghana prides itself as the oasis of peace in a conflict ridden-continent and any action by groups or individuals that threaten the peace of the country should be condemned.
However, certain notable individuals and groups which were expected to take a stand against Kennedy Agyapong’s statement decided to play it safe.
The National Media Commission failed to condemn the MP’s utterances while the Ghana Journalists’ Association in its press statement chose to be diplomatic by calling for a broadcasting law.
The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association is yet to comment on the issue.
This is unfortunate considering the fact that the media stand to be the greatest losers if the country's democratic process is derailed.
It is also important to remind individuals and civil society groups which decide to remain silent in such situations that they are not doing the nation any good.
Both the NDC and NPP have shown enough evidence that they are not committed to the peaceful process and as citizens, we have to be unanimous in condemning any such attitudes irrespective of who commits them.
Martin Luther King teaches us that “in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
BY: MANASSEH AZURE AWUNI, A JOURNALIST.