Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, November 28, 2015
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the raid at its national headquarters at Asylum Down and its office annex at Kokomlemle, all in Accra, was the handiwork of the National Security.
“After a careful review of the invasion, evidence and subsequent events to date, the NPP is in no doubt that the attack on our offices was conducted by the State, specifically, using certain rogue elements within the National Security set-up, in full collaboration with some identifiable individuals now bent on destroying the fortunes of the NPP,” the party’s Acting National Chairman, Freddie W. Blay, said.
At a news conference in Accra yesterday, the party’s bigwigs including the vice presidential candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and MPs turned up to lend their support.
Ahead of the news conference, the party asked all its members to be in red or black attire in protest against the raid.
The Acting Chairman said that the Mahama-led NDC administration had put aside a huge budget plus a crack team aided by elements in the National Security “to make the job of attempting to damage the NPP a top priority.”
He averred, “To the ruling NDC, creating confusion in the NPP is a more competent and convenient way to gain electoral advantage than fixing the myriad problems they have visited on the country. We are aware of the tens of millions of Ghana Cedis in slush funds dedicated to this special project.
And we also know of the individuals, including two heads of important organisations, whose job it is to fund and fuel this evil plot.”
Mr Blay said, “Our findings so far suggest that what happened on Monday was a wickedly orchestrated attempt to turn this head office into a bloodbath and with one aim only: to score a political point against the country’s largest opposition party as we draw ever closer to the next general elections.”
He said intelligence the party picked up and the manner in which the raids occurred and the response by the security agencies “all point to one direction: that the raids, although unofficial, were done on the orders of highly placed people within the National Security setup.”
The Acting National Chairman said that the party’s preliminary investigation revealed that police patrol vehicle, specifically a blue Nissan Navara Pick-up, manned by men in police uniform, drove to the NPP head office around 1:00 am and “a man in police uniform caused for the gate to be opened.”
He also underscored, “Two military vehicles carrying men in uniform came to the Party head office and the 15 men who led the raid wore uniforms issued by the army. They carried weapons issued to authorised officers.”
Mr Blay continued, “The police have so far not given any useful information about the weapons in the sack. No action was taken against the trespassers who took unlawful custody of our head office annex. Confidential information on the voters’ register and related items on electoral affairs were targeted and taken away.
“Why was the office of the Director of Electoral Affairs the one singled out for theft of confidential documents, both in electronic and paper formats? Which group stands to benefit from getting its hands on vital, confidential information about our election plans including documents on the current issue of a new voter register?” the acting chairman asked.
He also queried, “Who authorised the use of military vehicles for that dawn operation? Who authorised the use of the police patrol vehicle? Which police officers were in the patrol vehicle?”
He said that the first set of police deployed to the NPP head office appeared to be only interested in the weapons in the sack and arresting our security guard, but not the raiders. He asked, “Why did the police not arrest the men in military uniform?”
“Is it because the police were satisfied with the identity of the purported military officers who handed over the sack of weapons to them? Is there an official army and an ‘unofficial’ army within the Armed Forces in Ghana? Is there an official Police Service and an ‘unofficial’ Police Service?”
The party wanted to know if the police had been able to trace the source of the weapons in the sack, asking, “What are the names, units and identities of the men in uniform? Have any of the men in uniform been arrested?”
The party’s acting chairman wondered, “How come the results of the so-called search conducted by the police-cum-military have not been released to the leadership of the NPP so far? Why were the trespassers arrested at our Kokomlemle office immediately released and not taken into custody for interrogation? Who gave the order to release them?”
A certain Inspector Odoom, who led the police team to the NPP former head office, now serving as the Greater Accra Regional Office, arrested some of the red-shirted hoodlums and later freed them after seeking authorisation from an unknown superior.
Mr Blay said the NPP had suffered similar police raids in the past but in this instance, “it appears those who raided did not want to take chances so they brought their own weapons to be found by themselves.”
He revealed that the raid by the men in military uniform “was apparently to clear the two party offices for the men in red T-shirts to ostensibly take over,” adding, “Their presence at the two party offices was designed to provoke the Invisible Forces to storm the two places with reinforcement in an anticipated move to take back ‘control’ of the Party buildings.
“This could then trigger violence, turning the head office of the largest opposition party in Ghana into a scene of nasty, ugly bloodbath. This is how far some are prepared to go for the sake of scoring a political point against the NPP.”
He said the party remains united and would never fall for such machinations.
Govt Hits Back
The government has reacted to the NPP statement, describing the allegation as “deliberate fabrication.”
A statement issued and signed by the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, claimed “Government is constrained to correct a wicked and malicious falsehood peddled by the New Patriotic Party to the effect that Government, acting through the military and police, invaded the party’s headquarters in Accra in the early hours of Monday, 23rd November, 2015.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Government wishes to place on record that this claim is a deliberate fabrication by the New Patriotic Party calculated at shifting blame for the horrendous leadership it has had leading to its rapid descent into chaos, violence, lawlessness, brutal killings and total confusion over the last year or so.”
The statement continued, “Government notes that the police have been investigating the matter under reference with a view to bringing the culprits to book. We call on the NPP to cooperate with the police in this regard and desist from the ridiculous gambit of blaming others for their woes.”
The Police Administration has also reacted to the NPP news conference saying they are concerned about “efforts to entangle the Service with the recent unfortunate incident at the NPP headquarters, even though there is absolutely no cause to do that.”
A statement signed by the Director-General/Public Affairs, DCOP Rev David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin, denied categorically that it had a hand in the raid, saying that its mandate did not include “such nefarious activities.”