The Akufo-Addo government and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), is struggling to extricate itself from what looks like a trap it set for its political opponents which had the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, declared a suspect by the Police Criminal Investigations (CID) in a kidnapping case where victims and complainants were unknown.
While, the government through the Police CID, is yet to make public details of Mr Ofosu-Ampofo’s victims, complainants, accomplices and crime scene report, the NDC, is having a field day identifying some members of NPP-affiliated groups as the culprits behind the kidnapping of the two Canadian women, who have since returned to their home country.
The opposition party, has mentioned as much as four men who it said are connected to the NPP and maintains that “it is scary to reveal that the kidnapping was largely orchestrated by hoodlums and bandits of the NPP.”
Their names were given as; Seidu Yakubu alias Mba, Abdul Rahman Suleman, Sadat Oboi and Safiano Alokari.
The situation, has virtually forced the NPP National Organizer, SammiAwuku, to vehemently condemn what he describes as the politicization of crime in the wake of the recent arrest of the suspects behind the kidnapping of two Canadian ladies in Kumasi.
According to the NPP big man, the politicization of crime, emboldens a criminal to continue to perpetuate it knowing that one political party or the other will come to his defence whenever he is caught.
Some of the four suspects, have been linked to the Kumasi-based pro-NPP thugs; Delta Force, which stormed the National Security office in Kumasi in March 2017, and threw out the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei.
The officer was physically manhandled, because according to the group, it cannot work with him since he was not part of the struggle’ to wrestle power from the NDC during the December 2016 general elections.
Same group, later stormed a Kumasi Court where some of their members were being tried over the attack on the National Security officer on assault and damage to property, to disrupt the court proceedings, threatened the judge before setting free their members from the premises of the court.
The connections established between the NPP, which were supported audiotapes of some of the trumpeting their ties to the NPP, pictures of some of the kidnappers poses with NPP bigwigs,by the NDC’s Communications Director, Sammy Gyamfi, at a press conference last week Thursday, has since left the NPP in a tight corner, saying crime must not be politicized.
Mr Gyamfi, had explained that the NDC was left with not much of an option than to expose the real identities of the people behind the kidnapping, particularly following the NPP’s efforts to demonize the NDC.
“After 24hrs the nation is being kept in the dark as to concealing the true identity of the criminals”, adding “it is scary to reveal that the kidnapping was largely orchestrated by hoodlums and bandits of the NPP.”
Another reason for the exposure he maintained, was to reveal to Ghanaians the “manner of people leading them,” stressing “it should tell you that the NPP has something to hide and the NDC did not go to sleep because we know them very well.”
Sammy Gyamfi, mentioned the supposed ring leader of the abduction group, Seidu Yakubu, as being a staunch member of the NPP. Seidu, Sammy Gyamfi said, had earlier disclosed he was a member of the NPP during an interview on Kumasi-based Fox FM in February.
He added that, Yakubu is an active member of the NPP and has participated in several acts of lawlessness by the NPP vigilante party. One Abdul Rahman Suleman, was mentioned and noted to be the owner of the car used for the abduction.
While, Sadat Oboi, was identified as a member of the Delta Forces in Asawase and Safiano Alokari, another suspect came up as a motorcycle mechanic and a member of the NPP as well.
According to him, “today with the NPP in power…..Ghana’s security is in complete shambles and tatters. State-backed goons have unleashed terror on courts, hospitals, security officials, NDC supporters and innocent citizens. The politicized, biased and unprofessional CID of the Ghana Police Service has become a political tool for harassing leading figures of the opposition. The coercive force of the state is being deployed for state-sanctioned hounding of key figures of the NDC, including our National Chairman, Hon. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo on grounds of political expediency”.
He said that ordinarily, “the matter of the kidnapping of the two Canadian girls should not be a matter for political discourse, given its serious implications for national security and our diplomatic relations with the Canadian state. However, the fact remains, that the Akufo-Addo government has sought to demonize the NDC and its National Chairman in its desperate attempt to conceal their security failures and destroy the hard-earned reputation of our chairman and the NDC as a whole”.
He observed that the “Akufo-Addo government has in the past few months accused and put the National Chairman of the NDC through emotional and psychological trauma over false and malicious charges of kidnapping. But today, our God who is faithful in all of His ways has vindicated Hon. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and the NDC”.
In the circumstances, Mr Gyamfi said his party is “…left with no other option than to clear the name of our highly esteemed national chairman and the NDC by unmasking and exposing the true identities and political affiliation of the people who are behind recent cases of abductions and kidnapping in the country”.
According to the NDC, “the Akufo-Addo government has superintended over the pathetic nosediving of our security, through the formation, training and encouragement of vigilante groups, members of which have now become Frankenstein monsters devouring innocent citizens. It is scary to reveal, that the kidnapping of the Canadian girls, which has shocked our nation as the latest in the rising spate of kidnappings in Ghana, was largely orchestrated by hoodlums and bandits who are key and active members of militia groups of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)”.
To him, “Very typical of the Akufo-Addo government, which has perfected the art of subterfuge and diversion in concealing its failures, after over 24 hours of such a high-profile arrest of the kidnapper, the entire nation is being kept in the dark as to the real faces behind that dastardly act. However, as government tries behind the scenes to manipulate state security into concealing the true identities of these criminals, we did not go to sleep”.
But through its “painstaking and diligent investigations”, the NDC he said has “unmasked these thugs behind the recent kidnapping. And we shall proceed to share the chilling details with the Ghanaian people so that they will know the manner of people who are leading us today”.
According to him, “the ringleader of this syndicate, who goes by the name SeiduYakubu(aka Mba), has identified himself as a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Speaking on Kumasi-based Fox FM, Seidu openly declared that he is a known member of the New Patriotic Party, and in fact, the Founder of the Aboabo Fun Club of the NPP. This evidence is incontrovertible proof of Seidu’s membership of the NPP”.
“Seidu’s association with the NPP is more than meets the eye. He is alleged to be the personal bodyguard of the Asokore Mampong MCE, Alhaji Alidu Seidu, and an errand boy for both Manhyia South MP, Mathew Opoku Prempeh and Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi-Bosiako (aka Wontumi)”, the NDC communication head said.
He described as strange the posture of Seidu in group pictures of the kidnappers making the rounds. To him, Seidu is seen in as relaxed and in an unflustered manner as to suggest he is not bothered because of his influence in the NPP, adding “some NPP leaders have openly confessed their association with Seidu”.
Details were also given on Abdul Rahman, aka ‘Wofa’, another suspect. He was identified as the owner of the car that was used for the operation. He is a resident of Sawaba and a known operative of the NPP, always in the company of Seidu.
The NDC again announced identifying a third suspect, called Sadat Oboe. He is a motorcycle dealer, and a known member of the NPP’s Delta Forces in the Asawase Constituency, also seen mostly in the company of Seidu Mba.
The fourth suspect identified as Safianau Alokere, who wears dreadlocks (Rasta hair) and limping on one of his legs.
Safianu Alokere, is said to be a well-known NPP man, and a motorcycle mechanic. His limping condition was occasioned by an accident resulting from leading a convoy of then Candidate Akufo-Addo in the 2008 electioneering campaign.
Mr Gyamfi, insists that “the ringleader and masterminds of the nefarious kidnapping of the two Canadian girls are not ordinary criminals” but “party thugs associated with the New Patriotic Party vigilante group, Delta Forces in the Ashanti Region”.
He added that “we in the NDC have always maintained that the phenomenon of political party vigilantes could have the potential of a tailspin into full-blown violent crime. This is because, criminals will always remain criminals, irrespective of whether they are clothed in party colours or not”.
To him “the devil will always find work for the idle hands, and after using these thugs for the purposes of winning elections, President Akufo-Addo and the NPP have abandoned them to fend for themselves. In their quest for survival in these difficult times, resorting to kidnapping has become a lucrative venture for them”, adding “indeed, today, the world has seen the true character of President Akufo-Addo and the NPP. They are reaping the fruits of the evil seed they planted. Their evil agenda against the NDC and its National Chairman has backfired terribly. We now know who the real kidnappers are, and the political party they belong to and work for. To this end, he urged “all Ghanaians to continue to remember our nation in prayer at this difficult time. May God deliver us from the oppressive and treacherous rule.”
But in response, Sammi Awuku, speaking to host Kwaku Owusu Adjei on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa FM last week, condemned the unnecessary politicization of the issue, stressing that crime is a crime and should be treated as such devoid of political colourization.
“If an armed robber comes to attack you in the night he doesn’t ask you to show your party card, whether you’re NPP or NPP that does not matter to him, he goes ahead and commits the crime. I plead with the youth on both sides of the political divide and communicators of both the ruling party and the opposition NDC that crime has no colour. We shouldn’t let the politicization of crime create a fertile ground for a criminal to perpetuate crime and later clothe his bad deeds with a political party so that depending on which party he aligns himself with, its supporters will defend him with the other side attacking.
He added: “This practice if not stopped, will continue to embolden criminals. If anyone commits a crime, let’s judge the person based on the content of his or her character and not the political party affiliation.”