The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has descended heavily on the recent announcement by government on the formation of a joint task force to retrieve all state assets in the custody of individuals, especially former government appointees.
The statement from the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, said the task force will be composed of officers from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division), the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Office of the President.
But a statement issued by NDC’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia on Saturday said the task force “can only be an implausible cover-up for the state-sponsored thuggery and violation of the human rights of innocent Ghanaians over the last four (4) weeks”.
It said instead of the “lawless” seizures receiving condemnation, “these criminal elements, loyal to President Akufo-Addo, have received approbation from leading figures within the NPP who have sought to justify their conduct amidst threats to seize more private properties”.
Find full statement below:
LAWLESS SEIZURE OF PRIVATE PROPERTIES BY NPP THUGS & AGENTS OF THE AKUFO-ADDO GOVERNMENT
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has taken note of a statement issued by the Akufo-Addo government in which it announced that a ‘task force’ has been set up to retrieve ‘state properties’ allegedly in the possession of former government officials.
This can only be an implausible cover-up for the state-sponsored thuggery and violation of the human rights of innocent Ghanaians over the last four (4) weeks.
Let it be known to government that the quest to justify the criminal activities of its party hoodlums who have gone about wreaking havoc on innocent citizens, destroying government properties, beating up hardworking civil and public servants and attempting to seize properties of former government officials and leading functionaries of the NDC, can destabilize the peace and stability of our beloved country, Ghana.
The activities of these NPP hoodlums operating under the name ‘invisible Forces’ with tacit approval from elements within the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service, have gone on for several weeks without any noticeable effort by government to take action against them.
Instead of condemnation and firm action to end this spate of lawlessness, these criminal elements, loyal to President Akufo-Addo, have received approbation from leading figures within the NPP who have sought to justify their conduct amidst threats to seize more private properties.
The indiscriminate seizures of lawfully-acquired private property came to a head when unseen powerful hands at the seat of government, commandeered uniformed personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces to team up with the violent INVISIBLE FORCES to seize and take away vehicles from the residence of the National Organiser of the NDC, Mr. Kofi Adams.
Before then, campaign vehicles belonging to the NDC had been unlawfully taken away from across the country. Some officials of the immediate past government also had their private vehicles forcibly taken away by the same marauding gang.
Furthermore, innocent citizens of Ghana who find themselves working in government offices and installations have come under violent attacks nationwide from these NPP thugs, while supporters of the NDC have been violently assaulted, causing serious injuries in some cases.
In other instances, employees of some security agencies and ordinary citizens have been evicted from their official accommodation by members of the notorious INVISIBLE FORCES.
A disturbing feature of these raids is that they are soon followed by profuse apologies from National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, with promises and assurance to avert a recurrence, only for the same attacks to be replicated.
This state of affairs reveals a worrying breakdown of the chain of command of the nation’s security agencies and the running of a vigilante security system parallel to what is duly established by law. The attempt therefore by the Akufo-Addo government to issue a post-facto rationalisation of this disgraceful behaviour through the setting up of a supposed task force must be roundly condemned.
If government meant well and was willing to act in good faith, lawful procedure would have been used to secure any state asset deemed to be in the hands of unauthorized persons.
Conventional wisdom would dictate that proper inventory would be taken of all government assets whereupon any missing assets would be traced to any person keeping same. This is especially so, as each and every government asset, movable and immovable, as captured in the handing over notes were handed over to the NPP representatives of the Joint Transition Team.
The gung-ho approach adopted by the NPP and President Akufo-Addo betrays their siege mentality which is completely incompatible with democratic practice.
The NDC demands an immediate cessation of the violent attacks on its members and the seizure of their properties.
To the best of our knowledge, members of the immediate past administration have complied with the provisions of the Presidential Transition Act in so far as it relates to the handing over of state assets. That said, if the NPP government has genuine reason to believe that any assets are outstanding and yet to be returned, let them provide evidence of same and use lawful means for their retrieval.
To enhance the credibility of the process we call on government to publish the said assets which they deem missing.
We wish to make it clear that we stand prepared to cooperate with government in any effort to reconcile national assets and secure them. We would however not tolerate any violation of the rights of our members under the guise of retrieving phantom state assets.
Any further attacks on officials and members of the NDC will be fiercely resisted.
JOHNSON ASIEDU NKETIA