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Monday, July 4, 2011

Is the NPP A Part Of Ghana's Drug Problems?

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    I am very surprised that the NPP seems to be the only political party unilaterally feeling the heat of a declaration that was essentially meant for all the political parties in Ghana. Let us have another look of what Mr. Akrasi Sarpong said:

    “if any politician dares us (NACOB) and uses narcotics money for politics, that person will be sorry. Whether you are an NDC or NPP or CPP or whatever, you will be sorry!”

    He did not mention any goat. All he said was that “his outfit has information that some politicians are heavily funded by drug barons adding that NACOB will deal with any politician caught to be using proceeds from the illicit trade notwithstanding the party that the person belongs to.”

    Is the NPP a part of the solution or a part of the problem? That is the question!

    My second question is for Dr. Kennedy:

    How far is it true that during his ill-fated bid for the flag-bearership of the NPP, did he or he did not caution “NPP delegates who would be voting to elect their presidential candidate to be mindful of some of the aspirants who have been going round splashing money on them because the source of the money could be a questionable one.”?

    I read the story from the following link, never saw the original news story, that is why I am asking!

    I got the story from here: “Tell them that they may know”, by FOKAA (FRIENDS OF KENNETH ASAFO-ADJEI), Feature Article | Sun, 21 Dec 2008:

    “If we do not take our time, one cocaine dealer would just take his money and buy this country and put our lives in danger.” – Dr. Arthur Kennedy. “Dr Kwabena Arthur Kennedy also cautioned NPP delegates who would be voting to elect their presidential candidate to be mindful of some of the aspirants who have been going round splashing money on them because the source of the money could be a questionable one.”

    Also, whilst at it, is it possible to kindly elaborate on how you managed to examine Akufo-Addo with your bare eyes and be able to claim, as a medical officer, that "Akufo Addo does not a drop of cocaine in his blood"? I read the following on Ghanaweb General News of Sunday, 28 November 2010, "Akufo-Addo Doesn’t Have A Drop Of Blood Tainted With Cocaine - Physician"

    "A certified medical practitioner" the story began, "says he can officially state that Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, flag bearer of the opposition NPP does not even have a minute drop of cocaine in his blood. He claims as a medical doctor who has handled several cases of drug abuse and addicts, he can attest to the fact that Nana Addo is not a drug addict."

    Just by looking at him, "Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy says he is certain that Nana Addo has never been under the influence of drugs"!

    I want Arthur Kennedy to answer the following:

    "Is Arthur Kennedy telling us he has a medical laboratory attached to his eye sights?

    Did he ask Mr. Akufo-Addo to even open his mouth for him to examine his teeth? You don't need to be a medical doctor to know that one of the symptoms of the premature loss of teeth is as a result of a long period of drug abuse.

    Dr. Kennedy cannot tell an HIV infected blood from one filled to the brim with Plasmodium falciparum! What do we say when such a doctor wants to give a clean bill of health to a suspect with a toothless mouth and no hair on his head? We also know that in addition to the premature loss of teeth, the other visible symptom is the loss of hair?"

    Kofi Wayo claims majority of the ‘cocaine politicians’ are within the NPP.

    “A lot of these cocaine guys are in NPP, yes. I know the big men in NPP all knew about (jailed former NPP MP) Eric Amoateng. Now it comes out that Yaw Anfo-Kwakye, Akufo-Addo’s Chief of Staff (sic) was arrested before for drugs. So why does he still keep him? These are the questions that show we have no morals and ethics. And we suffer for it. Go to London or Paris and see how they search you because you are from Ghana."

    The NPP has serious questions to answer Ghanaians about this, and I find the excuses they have been making extremely irresponsible!

    Thank you for your attention.


    The use of narcotic money in our politics

    Arthur Kobina Kennedy
    University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast.
    The Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board, NACOB, Mr. Akrasi Sarpong, made news when he warned political parties planning to use drugs in the 2012 campaign to cease and desist. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with the NACOB’S boss sounding the alarm on drugs.
    After all, illegal drugs are a very big global challenge and as a nation, we must do our part in the global effort to reduce the production, transfer and sale of drugs and its multiple negative effects on society. Indeed, currently, it is estimated that about a quarter of a billion people on earth or 5% of people use illegal drugs across the globe. Furthermore, it is believed that about ten percent of these users or 25 million people have addiction problems. West Africa in particular is believed to be a key transit point for drugs produced in South America and headed for Europe. Given all these, the focus being put on drugs by the NACOB’s boss should be welcome.
    However, a careful reading of Mr. Sarpong’s comments, together with comments by other government officials show clearly that Mr. Sarpong’s comments may be part of a public relations campaign to link the NPP to drugs and thus dent its reputeation and support.
    Following Mr. Sarpong’s comments, Presidential aide Stan Dogbe, said on Ekosii Sen , a discussion program on Asempa fm, that the Kufuor administration “ weakened NACOB to the extent that they cannot do anything and names were mentioned. The former Deputy Chief Executive of the Food and Drugs Board was sent to NACOB as Executive Secretary deliberately so that he cannot do anything.” According to the report of the discussion carried on Myjoyonline.com, “The Presidential aide also noted that the NPP took offense at the warning issued by the Executive Secretary of NACOB not to allow drug money to be used to fund political campaigns because “they know what their record is as far as Ghana’s situation is concerned in 2008 was. It was very clear.
    Wikileaks made it clear to us that the NPP benefited from funding from drug barons.” To cap it all, Felix Ofosu, an NDC panelist, noted “ I cannot imagine that a political party will take offense when an officer of the state whose mandate it is to ensure that the worrisome canker of drug trafficking in this country is dealt with issues a firm and robust warning to persons who are desirous of using drug money to fund their campaign to desist from the practice and you have a political party taking offense at such a statement.”
    When the Executive Secretary of NACOB states that he has evidence of the
    use of drug money to fund political parties but refuses to divulge those names to the public or more importantly to the law enforcement authorities, he is being derelict in his duties and may be committing an offense. If we have evidence of wrong-doing, why are we waiting for new offenses in 2012 when we can prosecute people for offenses allegedly committed in 2008? Why is it that drug offenses that destroy our youth, corrupt our politcs and affects our global image can be ignored while the government gets exercised about petty offenses?
    When a Presidential staffer accuses the previous government deliberately weakening NACOB, two conclusions must be drawn. The first is that the Presidential staffer is giving the opinion of his government and the second is that those in power are being derelict by playing politics with an issue that clearly affects our national security.
    Often, one hears of the BNI inviting people with evidence to help it investigate crimes. People like Amina of Yutong bus fame, Kojo Mpiani and Wireko Brobbey on Ghana at 50 and even panelists making allegations on talk-shows have all been hauled before the omnipotent BNI.
    And yet, they are not interested in the investigation of drug money to fund campaigns? Were Amina and Kojo Mpiani and Wireko Brobbey a bigger threat to our peace and stability than drugs and drug dealers? Or is the tape on this one too with one of those people the BNI is afraid of confronting?
    Indeed, yesterday morning, President Kufuor, during an interview to discuss his World Food Program award, was asked pointedly by Ekuoba Gyasi whether he had used drug money in his campaigns.
    Subsequently, there have been reports of supposed “crunch cocaine meetings” by the opposition NPP.
    Thus, under the pressure of the NDC spin and propaganda machines, we are moving to a point where people can make baseless allegations against others and instead of being asked for proof, we turn to those accused and demand that they prove their innocence.
    An analysis of these statements, coupled with the media coverage, in the context of our history shows clearly that the NDC is on another campaign of lies aimed at tarnishing the image of the NPP and benefiting themselves in the 2012 elections.
    Remember how in 2008 they said they had all the evidence, including tapes on the Ya-Na’s murder and corruption by the NPP? Then, as part of their campaign, they promised that they would prosecute those implicated after the elections and since they won, all what they have done is lose ill-prepared court cases and give excuses.
    In the next year, the NDC is going to insist repeatedly that they have evidence that the NPP is planning to use drug money to fund its 2012 campaign. Then they will reveal that the evidence, includes tapes. Then they will promise that if re-elected, they will prosecute NPP members for using drug money in the 2012 campaign. Then if—God forbid—they are re-elected, they will do nothing till it is time for another election. They have fooled Ghana before and we must not let them fool us again.
    They must not be allowed to get away with this. The man who founded the NDC, Former President Rawlings, based his public career on probity and accountability. The man who is President on the NDC ticket is a Law Professor who knows that he who alleges must prove. Let the party of Rawlings, for once, pursue accountability instead of just playing opportunistic politics. Let the party of Mills do its duty by Ghana by for once, backing allegations with evidence and respecting due process. If Professor Mills Professors are watching their fellow star pupil apply the law, they will weep today in sadness and disappointment.
    As Ghanaians, we need to have those who used drug money to influence our politics not only exposed but brought to Justice. This is a non-partisan issue. Our nation must come before our parties.
    It is important that we all fight the irresponsible attempts to politicize the very serious issue of drugs.
    Our history clearly shows that individuals involved in drugs have come from all backgrounds and there is no evidence that they have any particular political coloration.
    When some lawyers made unsubstantiated remarks about judicial corruption, there was a general demand that they should substantiate their allegations because “ he who alleges must prove.” This clearly is a case that demands that in the national interest, those who are alleging must prove.
    The time to address that is now. There is no assurance that in the middle of a political campaign, Mr. Sarpong, who owes his job to President Mills and the NDC, can and will be impartial in calling things as he sees them.
    How can we fix this
    serious problem?
    First, the BNI must, with the same enthusiasm with which it pursued minor cases like Amina and others, invite the NACOB boss and Stan Dogbe to come forward and substantiate their allegations. And once they get the evidence, the BNI and the Attorney General’s department must pursue the evidence wherever it may lead.
    Second, since the President was elected to enforce our laws, given how important this issue is to the health of our politics, he should consider the establishment of a Presidential Commission to investigate the role drugs have played in our politics and to recommend ways of insulating our politics from the malevolent influence of drugs in the future.
    Given the serious nature of these allegations, I believe Parliament must summon the NACOBS boss to explain why he has not forwarded his evidence to the appropriate quarters for prosecutions where warranted.
    Third, I believe that the political parties, as public institutions who are being maligned must take steps to protect their images.
    Therefore, today, I urge all political parties to seek legal remedies to require that the NACOB boss and Mr. Dogbe make their findings available to the BNI and the Attorney General for appropriate action. The willingness of the political parties to abide the idle and irresponsible talk of people like Mr. Sarpong and Mr. Dogbe may inadvertently convey the erroneous impression that they are guilty.
    Fourth, where are our Non-governmental institutions that are supposedly pledged to improving our politics? It will be refreshing to see these groups join together in a joint enterprise to rid our politics of drugs.
    Finally, while these measures proceed, I am consulting attorneys regarding my right to legal remedy as a proud member of the 2008 NPP campaign that has been tarred by innuendo and linked to drugs by NDC leaders. Based on the advice of my attorneys, I plan to explore my rights, as a citizen and a proud NPP member, to protect the image of all the fine men and women who were part of that campaign. As a Ghanaian patriot, I do not believe that drug money should have anything to do with our politics and that he who alleges must prove.
    If powerful politicians can fund their campaigns with drug money without being held to account, what right do we have to punish the little people who are drug couriers? Our laws, must deal equally with big and small people alike and this drugs issue is a very significant test case. That is why it must be exposed and resolved once and for all.
    Let us move forward, together.

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