How Akufo-Addo Neglected Kume Preko Demo Victims


Years After Playing Politics With Their Plights

The announcement by the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, that he was going to lead the “Wongbo Demo” in protest against the incessant power outages, has sparked some very interesting debate.

Key among the issues raised are Nana Addo’s participation in the “Kume Preko Demonstration” against the Value Added Tax (VAT) initiative by the Rawlings regime, which led to the death of some four innocents Ghanaians, including a 14-year-old, Ahunu Hongar at Farisco on the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.

Some of the victims of that demonstration don’t want to hear anything associated with the NPP and Nana Addo, who has being trumpeting “Kume Preko” protest as his biggest political achievement.

The victims feel neglected, because the criminal trial promised them by the John Kufuor regime, with Nana Addo as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, was a fiasco.

Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe’s book titled, “Never Say Die; The Autobiography Of A Ghanaian Statesman”, mentions Kwabena Asante 22, Jerry Opey 25 and Richard Aminga 43, as those who also lost their lives, while many others were also badly wounded.

Some leading figures in the NPP, are set to hit the streets of Accra today in a demonstration dubbed, “Wongbo”, to wit in Ga “they are killing us” in protest against the Mahama-led administration, over the continuous power outages which has engulfed the country. The demonstration is billed to be replicated in all the regional capitals in the coming weeks.

Firstly, questions are being asked as to what alternatives Nana Addo and his party folks, some of whom had been Ministers of Energy or Chief Executives Officers (CEOs) of energy-producing companies, will advocate to help resolve the national crisis, which is collapsing businesses and throwing people out of jobs.

To many people, Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP, are only out to score cheap political point, against his bitterest political rival, John Dramani Mahama, and the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Secondly, some have also raised doubts about the over 70-year-old-Nana Addo’s capacity to lead the demonstrators by walking almost five hours from the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, to Trades Union Congress (TUC) , to Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, and ending at the Accra Hearts Of Oak Park.

Party insiders, who recalled him hidden himself in the “belly of the kume preko demonstration”, shielded by the other matchers, insist Nana Addo, cannot lead today’s match.

Others say, ageing Nana Addo, cannot walk that distance as done in the past by the late President, John Evans Atta Mills, ex-President, Jerry John Rawlings, during the various Wahala Demonstrations organised by the Committee for Joint Action (CJA), against the John Agyekum Kufuor regime.

Thirdly, Nana Addo is painted as someone, who doesn’t care about people, except the benefits that their sacrifice will bring to him. Mention was made of Nana Addo and NPP’s neglect of the victims of demonstration especially, families of those who were killed by elements of Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), and personnel drawn from Castle Security Police.

The Herald’s, recent visit to residence of one of the victims of “Kume Preko Demonstration” at Adabraka in Accra, during the Christmas festivities, revealed that Nana Addo is not seen in any good light, because he did not honour several promises he made to them.

The family of Ahunu Hongar, revealed that many invitations extended to the family by Nana Addo, while as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, were honoured, but he was never available to meet them.

As NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo, again invited the Ahunu Hongar family for interactions. The family led by Ahunu’s over 80-year-old father, Okuleytse visited his Campaign office many times to meet him but yet again, they could not meet him, despite his insistence on a visit.

The Hongar family, recalls that the only support they and others got came from the Rawlings regime. They revealed that Rawlings got monies paid into their accounts, which also supported them to organise funerals for their love ones.

From Kumasi, Samuel Mensah Torbizo, reports that the Kumasi Diocese Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev. Prof. Osei Safo Kantanka, has opted from his priesthood duty to join the campaign trail of the opposition NPP.

He is urging Ghanaians, particularly the churches, to come out in their numbers to participate in today’s demonstration being organised by the NPP.

Rt Rev. Prof. Kantanka, was emphatic that as citizens of the country, they have every right to revolt against the government to pour out their anger, concerning the economic difficulties, occasioned by the power crisis.

“Are there some Ghanaians, who are angry enough to cause a change to occur for these nonesense to stop”, he quizzed.

Rt. Rev. Prof. Kantanka, was addressing a large congregation at the inauguration of the Atonsu Circuit of the church in Kumasi.

He charged Ghanaians, especially the members of the church, not to fold their arms and not comment on issues bordering on their wellbeing.

“He chastised organizations such as the TUC, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), National House of Chiefs (NHC), and other civil society groups, for being dormant in playing their expected roles.

“Where are the TUC, AGI, NUGS, House of Chiefs and the other groupings’’? Why are they now silent over what is happening in the country, are they not hearing’’, he demanded.

The reverend minister was, however, quick to add that he was not calling for coup d’état.

“I’m not calling for coup, but come out in your numbers to demonstrate against this government, although we are crying about the mismanagement of the country, I believe this government is far better than military regime”, he remarked.

According to him, there must be a cause for immediate change of the leadership of the country, lest her future will be in disarray.

“What measures have they put in place to remedy the economic problem?” he asked.

The visibly disturbed reverend minister identified that the power crisis was a big opportunity for President Mahama to prove his critics wrong, because all the successive leaders, could not find a permanent solution to it.

“This dumsor, dumsor crisis that has afflicted the country for some years now, I am of the opinion that it is the greatest opportunity for President Mahama to silence his detractors”, he said.

He stressed that “If I were him (the president), all my attention and resources, would be directed to addressing this energy”

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