The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will retaliate the violent attacks on its members since the government is training thugs to attack members of the largest opposition party in Ghana, Dr Clement Apaak, Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, has said in reaction to a comment by Council of State Member, Sam Okudzeto to the effect that former President John Mahama’s boot-for-boot comments smacks of irresponsibility.
Mr Okudzeto, has condemned Mr Mahama for stating that the NDC will be forced to match the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) “boot-for-boot” in the 2020 general elections as far as violence is concerned, if the Akufo-Addo government does not reign in the “hoodlums” that fired gunshots at NDC members and injured several of them during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on Thursday, 31 January 2019.
“Unfortunately, I think that is also irresponsibility”, Mr Okudzeto said when asked about what he made of the former president’s comment.
“We respect former presidents… They are supposed to set the standard, the example for others to follow. Therefore, if something like this [election violence] happens, the former president has access to the current president. These are matters he [Mr Mahama] should take up with them to talk about and see that the right thing is done [and] not to make provocative statements of this nature, because what he is saying is an encouragement for others in the NDC to say they can also behave in the same way… but two wrongs do not make a right,” he told Accra-based Joy FM on Monday, 4 February 2019.
But responding to Mr Ablakwa’s statement, Dr Apaak also in a statement wrote that: “Folks; Please tell Lawyer Okudzeto, Member of the Council of State that Boot4Boot it shall be. If the Government will use our taxes to train, clothe, arm and transport thugs to brutalise citizens, we are permitted, as long as we live, to protect ourselves.
“To think that a member of the Council of State, Lawyer Okudzeto, is taking on JM for stating the obvious, is very revealing. Indeed if you have people like lawyer advising our President what will you expect?
“Is it not interesting that Lawyer Okudzeto is worried about JM saying we will protect ourselves but sees nothing wrong with the man; President, overseeing the acts of lawlessness and impunity in Ghana today, but is rather worried about the man; JM, who says we will defend ourselves against government sponsored state brutality? Some logic indeed!”
He added: “Has Mr Sam Okudzeto seen the headline ‘Police Chase Ayawaso shooters’? Is this not the most dishonest and deceitful headline and story he has ever seen? I shall explain!
“Mr. Council of State member, does it make sense to you that the IGP will be hunting for the hooded thugs who were on rampage at Ayawaso; shooting and beating citizens, when the Minister in Charge of National Security at the Office of the President has admitted that these hooded and masked thugs are from his outfit. Is it not obvious that the IGP knows where to find them?
“Mr. Okudzeto, please be informed that these thugs were wearing the insignia of NSC, National Security Council. As a member of the Council of State, you know as a matter of fact that, the President Chairs the National Security Council. It’s the President who appointments the Minister in charge of National Security at the Presidency is it not so?
“Lawyer Okudzeto, I don’t expect you to publicly admit this, but truth is that the President can’t pretend he knows nothing about what went down in Ayawaso, he chairs the National Security Council. His appointees in the area of security; the Minister of State in charge of National Security, the Minister for National Security, the Minister for Defence, the Minister for Interior, the Chief of Defence Staff, the IGP, the National Security Coordinator, the National Security Adviser and all the heads of the security agencies who are members of the National Security Council can’t say they know nothing about the acts of lawlessness that occurred in Ayawaso.
“Sir, if the President, his vice and the rest of the members of the National Security Council have no knowledge of the senseless and wicked operation undertaken by the masked and hooded bandits, then God save us all. As a member of the Council of State, you should be worried. I put it to you that at the very minimum, the Minister of State in charge of National Security must be fired and a full-scale probe initiated; a Commission of Enquiry. I expect you to agree with me.
“Think about it sir, how can the police investigate a matter spearheaded by a Minister of State in charge of National Security at the Presidency if he remains in office?
“Now you understand why Boot4Boot has come to stay! You ask why? Your guess is as good as mine. The designers and implementers of these acts of lawlessness will walk and will feel emboldened given your type of logic!
“Lawyer Okudzeto, if you can’t advise the President to act in the interest of all citizens please be informed that we will not be sitting ducks the next time, certainly not. Indeed self-preservation is the essence of every lifeform! Hence Boot4Boot Lawyer Okudzeto!”