The Member of Parliament for Assin North, Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong has been charged for treason. This was after he has been arrested by the police for allegedly making inflammatory comments on Oman FM, an Accra based radio station belonging to him. Mr. Agyapong was commenting on various attacks which characterized the biometrict registration exercise which is underway. Among the comments was his call on Akans (a tribe in Ghana) to rise and defend themselves due to what he terms attacks on them by Ga people. He was also to have declared war in Ghana. “I declare war in Ghana if our people will not be protected by the police,” he said.
One of the registration centres in Accra called the Odododiodoo constituency has been the centre of controversy. The controversy is stemming from who is qualified to register as a resident of a particular registration area. The parliamentary candidate of the Odododiodoo constituency in Accra Mr. Nii Lamptey Vandapuye of the office the President Mills, has come out publicly that he was going to fight with his blood to stop people who are not Ga from registering in his constituency. Meanwhile, the Constitution of Ghana allows people who have lived in a certain area for more than six months the right to register there and vote. This has ignited clashes and fights in the constituency.
Not happy with what was going on, a member of the NPP and a parliamentary candidate Ursula Owusu and the spokesperson of Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, Mr. Abu Jinapor decided to go to the Odododiodoo constituency to educate the citizens on their right to register and to encourage them to go out and vote. As they went round to speak to the people, a group of thugs pounced on them and beat them up mercilessly. The two called on some policemen at the scene for protection but they were alleged to have ignored them. The NPP administration upon these developments called a press conference and accused the police of bias against them. They recounted numerous occasions where the NDC members broke the law but were not arrested, but anytime an NPP person does something which does not even warrant an arrest, then he or she is quickly rounded up by the police.
It was this concern Mr. Kennedy Agyapong was addressing on radio when he went overboard to declare war in Ghana. He was first picked up by the police who later handed him over to the Bureau of National Investigation [BNI]. During his arrest, many party followers including the National Chairman Mr. Jake Obitsebi Lamptey rushed to the BNI premises to solidarize with him. The youth called for his immediate release from the cells. They blocked the roads and burnt lorry tyres in protest. The police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Some of them were also arrested and arraigned before court the following day.
Mr. Agyapong’s lawyers have called on the police to grant their client ball but they refused and have charged him for treason preparing to arraign him before court today Wednesday 18th April, 2012. Many organizations including the NPP have condemned the statement of Mr. Kennedy Agyapong. In a statement issued by Mr. Jake Obitsebi Lamptey, the party stated that they are against tribal politics since the NPP is a broad base party and not a tribal one. They have however condemned what they call selective justice and called on President Mills to see that the police fulfill their duty to protect all citizens of Ghana without discrimination. The Ghana
Journalist Association [GJA] condemned the comments from Mr. Agyapong and called on all media people to desist from inflaming tension while discharging their duties especially while the 2012 election is near. Mr Kwesi Pratt, an editor of The Insight newspaper has called on the Ghana Media Commission [NMC] to be stern on radio stations that allows politicians to use their medium to incite people into war in the country. He is demanding that the NMC revoke the license of Oman FM where Mr. Agyapong made the comments.
Many are however wondering whether Mr. Agyapong’s comments constitute treason. While some say it does, others think it is not and that the police are going to lose the case if they proceed with the charge of treason.
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