The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has criticized the two main political parties in Ghana over their politicisation of recent kidnappings in the country.
ASEPA’s criticisms come on the back of the kidnap and subsequent rescue of 2 Canadian nationals last week.
In an interview with Accra based Starr FM monitored by ABC News Ghana, Mr. Mensah Thompson, Executive Director for the Alliance argued that the posture of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in apportioning blame is very disturbing.
“It is a very disappointing posture from the two main political parties who are supposed to be providing solutions to this kidnapping menace that is now taking the shine out of the image of Ghana,” he said. he Minister for Information, Wednesday, June 12th issued a statement and subsequently briefed the country on the rescue of the two canadian ladies who were kidnapped in Kumasi at the beginning of the month.
According to the statement signed by Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, “National security operatives in the early hours of wednesdasy completed an operation which successfully rescued the two (2) women recently abducted in the Ashanti region”.
The political football
One of the suspects, Seidu Mba seems to be at the centre of attention as both political parties: the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) peddle accusations and counter accusations against one another over the alleged suspect’s affiliation to their respective parties.
Seidu Mba is reported to be a leading member of pro-NPP security group, Delta Forces, but Mr. Kwadwo Bamba, who is the former leader of the dissolved group has strongly described the speculations as untrue.
On Thursday, 13th June, the National Communications Officer for the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi at a press conference said the party had identified some NPP-affiliated vigilante groups as the alleged culprits behind the kidnapping of the two Canadian women.
“After 24hours the nation is being kept in the dark as to conceal the true identity of the criminals. It is scary to reveal that the kidnapping was largely orchestrated by hoodlums and bandits of the NPP. It should tell you that the NPP has something to hide and we the NDC did not go to sleep because we know them very well,” Sammy Gyamfi stated at the Press conference.
However, speaking on the recent development, Mr. mensah added that the international community may be looking on with keen interest to see how the country will unravel the case concerning the kidnapping and so politicizing it will only create a bad image for the country.
“I mean for this particular case where an international tourist or citizen has been kidnapped, experts from their country has been sent down to rescue them and they expect that at least Government comes out or at least allow the people to be dealt with, or give us a proper briefing on the issue, the international community are watching. Let’s put our pairs in the shoes of the Canadian government. The people who have kidnapped their citizens have been arrested and all that country is interested in is which political party the kidnappers belong to, really? ” he bemoaned.
He stated categorically that the focus of the kidnapping discussions should be shifted from anything politically related.
‘…and do you think that they will credit us with some intelligence or to some maturity? I mean is that what should even be at the fore of our public discussion? he questioned.
What happens to the kidnappers?
Six out of the eight persons arrested in connection with the Canadian kidnapping were remanded in police custody by the Accra High Court when they made their first appearance on Friday, June 14th since their arrest.
The court, presided over by Justice George Buadi, remanded them for two weeks following a plea by the prosecution that investigations into the case were still ongoing.
The hearing continues on July 1, 2019.
The accused persons are Sampson Aghalor aka Romeo, Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar, all Nigerians.
The others, Yusif Yakubu, Abdul Nasir and Seidu Abubakari aka Mba, are Ghanaians.
All of them were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, while Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu, were separately charged with kidnapping.