The Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku, Dr. Okoe Boye, has called on the leadership of the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to unite in condemnation of the post-election attacks targeted at state installations.
The NPP’s election victory in 2016 was followed by widespread and expected reports of party supporters taking over toll booths, public toilets and other state installations.
These actions have continued into February 2017, with the most recent reported incident happening in Tamale, where offices of the National Health Insurance Authority and the Youth Employment Agency, were raided and locked up by a pro-NPP group.
“We are all aware that these actions have accompanied changes in government over the last 16 years,” the NPP MP said, adding that both parties had to first acknowledge that it was a mutual problem so they can address it.
Speaking in an interview, Dr. Boye said, “We must come to a place where we say that this culture is unhealthy, unhealthy in the sense that it does not push us forward. It leads to victimisation.”
“There are a lot of things that divide us because this is partisan politics; but on few occasions like these we need to be strong and say that this is unacceptable; saying it and knowing that you are also part of the culture.”
Dr. Boye sounded a word of caution noting that, these acts come to haunt political parties at the polls.
“The conduct of some people in the NDC ultimately resulted in their loss at the polls, if we come and behave like the way our brothers behaved when they won power, it is possible that we can end up where they are today.”
A lot of the reasoning for the raiding of state institution comes down to individuals wanting to protect the state from the outgoing party.
Thus, Dr. Boye said the move by government to set up a taskforce with the mandate of retrieving state assets unlawfully being held by individuals could allay the fears of such persons.
“The lessons that we have learned, the lessons that should have been learnt in the past by any government are that, If the people with the power to put in place, the groups to check assets don’t act fast, overzealous party people can act ahead of them…
This (the task-force) could have come earlier and it would have preempted the actions of overzealous party people.”