Opuni, Agongo On Trial, Koku Anyidoho Arrested Over Free Speech
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is giving Ghanaians a dose of its 2001 to 2008 political harassment which engulfed the country during the administration of t President John Agyekum Kufuor, which sent many to jail, deaths, near deaths and staged presidential pardons.
Ibrahim Adam, Victor Selorme, George Sipa Yankey, Kwame Peprah, Dan Abodakpi, Mallam Isah and Tsatsu Tsikata, spent various times in jail for what many have described as political witch-hunting of appointees of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The likes of the late Dan Lartey of the Great Consolidated Peoples Party (GCPP), ex-NDC MP for Ningo-Prampram, E.T Mensah and ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, were at various times interrogated at the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) over alleged treasonable comments.
On Monday, the Akufo-Addo government began the trial of ex-COCOBOD CEO, Dr Stephen Opuni, and businessman Seidu Agongo, on 27 charges of willfully causing financial loss of GHS217million to the state, through three separate fertiliser supply contracts between 2014 and 2016.
Yesterday, the NDC Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho, was arrested in the full glare of journalists by heavily armed personnel of the Criminal Investigations Department [CID], for making what has been described as treasonable comments. They drove him to his private residence at Oyarifa in search of his home.
He was picked up at the International Press Centre yesterday during a press conference by a group of opposition political parties known as the Inter-Party Coalition for National Sovereignty, who are kicking against the Ghana-US Defence Cooperation agreement ratified by Parliament last Friday.
The group comprises the People’s National Convention [PNC], the National Democratic Congress [NDC], the Convention People’s Party [CPP], the Progressive People’s Party [PPP], and the All People’s Congress [APC].
The press conference was attended by a number of the parties’ top officials, including NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Hassan Ayariga of the APC and Bernard Mornah, PNC Chairman, who condemned the invasion of the press conference to arrest Mr. Anyidoho, saying it was an attempt to silence them and a threat to freedom of speech.
Mr. Anyidoho, in an interview on Accra-based Happy FM, indicated that President Akufo-Addo, would be overthrown just like his father and the late Dr. K. A Busia, due to the ratification of the controversial defence cooperation agreement between the US and the government of Ghana.
“Somebody should tell Nana Addo that history has a very interesting way of repeating itself. On the 13th of January 1972, a certain Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led an insurrection that removed the progress party from power. Busia was the Prime Minister and Akufo Addo’s father was the ceremonial President. Someone should tell Akufo-Addo that history has an interesting way of repeating itself,” Anyidoho warned.
When he was asked by the Host to clarify his statement , Koku Anyidoho, maintained that “history has an interesting way of repeating itself.”
“There will be a civilian coup d’état. There will be a social revolution. We [NDC] are starting it on Wednesday. The movement is starting on Wednesday. Nana Addo, will have sleepless nights. He will suffer diarrhea. He said he wanted to be president, but we will make sure he will be fed up on the seat,’’ he noted further.
Government, had yesterday said that it expects the country’s security agencies to interrogate Mr. Anyidoho for making what it considers treasonable comments.
Speaking to Citi News, the Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid, condemned Koku Anyidoho’s comments, saying “Our [government’s] immediate reaction is utter condemnation of the comments by Koku Anyidoho. We condemn it in the very strongest of terms. When people make treasonable comments, when people allude to the fact that they intend to overthrow a government, it will be important for the security agencies to have a chat with him and to find out how he intends to do that.”
He indicated that, although the NDC, has subsequently dissociated itself from Mr. Anyidoho’s comments, it has to take a firmer stance by strongly condemning same.
“Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the General Secretary of the NDC says the party disassociates itself from Koku Anyidoho’s comments, but we think that merely disassociating the NDC from that comment is not enough. We think that the NDC should condemn this in the strongest possible terms.”
The NDC, has stated its opposition to the Ghana-US Defence Cooperation agreement, after its Members In Parliament, staged a walkout during the approval.
The Minority in Parliament, has already served notice that on Wednesday, it will join some Ghanaians in Accra to demonstrate against the recently ratified Ghana-US Defence Cooperation agreement.
In a statement copied to citifmonline.com, the caucus, described the agreement as a betrayal of the Ghanaian people by the Akufo-Addo government.
The Ranking Member of the Communications Committee and MP for Sagnarigu Constituency, Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini, who signed the statement, said they have taken a decision to “unanimously and without reservation resolved to support and join Ghanaians who will be demonstrating tomorrow [Wednesday].
Meanwhile, the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has described as positive the arrest of one his deputies a day before the one Ghana demonstration.
The General, as he is affectionately called, said the arrest of Koku Anyidoho, will, if anything, expose the culture of intimidation by the government and encourage people to embark on tomorrow’s demonstration, which is against the ratification of the Ghana-US Military cooperation agreement.
According to Asiedu Nketia, his deputy was invited to the Police CID, but was not told why.
He said, just when they sat in a vehicle to move to the police HQ which was about 300meters from the press centre, they realized the police had taken over the entrance of the centre.
So they decided to get down from the vehicle and walk to the Police HQ.
“You are inviting us and impeding our movement, so we had to get down and walk,” he told Joy News’ Evans Mensah.
Tens of supporters decided to take part in the walk to the police headquarters and the number of followers increased.
According to the General, Anyidoho is “fine and great” and described the arrest as “much ado about nothing.”
When he was asked why his deputy was arrested, Asiedu Nketia, said no reason was given and wondered why his colleague, will be arrested for unstated reason.
He would not also answer, whether the comments by Anyidoho. were appropriate, except to say the party was in “crisis” as a result of the arrest and will not comment any further.