Kofi Portuphy – NDC Chairman
In their most scathing remarks yet against President Akufo-Addo since losing power, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) last Wednesday accused him of being complicit in the recent Delta Force breach of the law in Kumasi.
The NDC also expressed dismay at what the party said was the paltry fine of GH¢2,400 slapped on each of the Delta Force members who turned themselves in after escaping from court, adding that they deserve a stiffer punishment by a Kumasi court.
Describing the actions of the vigilante group as a manifestation of the president’s ‘all-die-be-die’ mantra, the party’s National Chairman, Kofi Portuphy, said during the press conference in Accra that “these are the latest manifestation of Akufo-Addo’s all die be die mantra.”
The groups, Delta Force and Invisible Forces, both associated with the NPP, he said have been with the complicity of the president, as he put it, responsible for the seizure of cars, offices, toll booths attacked and killing of NDC supporters.
The court, he said, should not treat lightly a grievous offence by those he called local terrorists associated with the governing New Patriotic Party who, according to him, “physically attacked the courts.”
Recalling the occurrences leading to the nasty incident, the NDC chairman who succeeded in sending the party to opposition said the vigilante group claimed George Adjei did not play any role in the party’s electoral victory and therefore did not deserve to be appointed to hold that office, hence their action against him and their subsequent besieging of a courtroom, including the freeing of their colleagues standing trial for their unlawful action.
The clergy, civil society groups and the Ghana Bar Association were not spared the scathing remarks of the NDC, as the chairman accused them of not reacting in the light of the “lawless state in which the country has been plunged.”
He said these groups were vociferous in their condemnation of occurrences when the NDC was in power, no longer so with the NPP at the throttles.
In the wake of the Delta Force unruly conduct in Kumasi, these groups reportedly condemned the vigilante group developments which were lavishly captured by the media but the chairman chose to ignore these in his statement nonetheless.
The criticisms of the groups when the NDC was in power, he charged, were borne out of political or ethnic prejudices.
Turning to the former Bank of Ghana Governor Dr Nashiru Ishahaku, he said the banker was pushed out of office by the government as he posed a rhetoric question “do you think he would say he was pushed out of office?”
His position is at variance with the former governor who said he resigned on personal grounds.
The NDC, he added, would watch every move of the ruling NPP, saying, “The NDC will challenge every step of the way.”
Kofi Portuphy did not fail to raise the spirits of NDC supporters when he expressed optimism about the party’s electoral chances in 2020, saying it will stage a comeback then.
He disclosed that the NDC will be voted for in the next elections because there is growing discontent with the ruling NPP’s performance three months into their administration.
“Don’t we hear Ghanaians express regret that they have exchanged their colour TVs for black and white?” he asked and said, “The NDC will bounce back in 2020.”
He was sandwiched by party functionaries, including General Secretary Asiedu Nketia, who did not fail to amuse party supporters with his political theatricals.
He said if there is no peace in the country, there would be neither be free SHS nor ‘one factory one district’, as he drew applause from the party supporters at the venue of the press conference.
Mr Portuphy said the challenges facing the NDC are similar to the ones it faced after it lost the 2000 elections. “At that time we managed to overcome that. The NDC will bounce back in 2020,” he said, drawing applause from the gathering of party functionaries.
The NDC is on a choppy nationwide tour with Prof Kwesi Botchwey to determine what led to their defeat in the recent polls.
Even before Kofi Portuphy finished reading his statement which he did with a frowned countenance, observers wondered how soon he has forgotten his virtual seizure of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) soon after the electoral victory of the NDC in 2009 and becoming the national head of the agency.
The NDC claimed to have disbanded vicious vigilante groups which were active in the bloody Talensi and Chereponi by-elections as it fired salvos at NPP over the Delta Force activities in recent times.
The difference between the NDC and NPP vigilante groups is that whereas the former enjoyed government support when members breached the law, the latter as evidenced from the Delta Force debacle steer away from any interference with the due process of the law.
By A.R. Gomda