Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NPP On Cocaine: Obetsebi-Lamptey Is Pathetic!

There is a popular Ghanaian joke that almost every Ghanaian born in Ghana and growing up in Ghana is  likely to come across before the teenage ends. It is about three people who went to steal a goat. The story goes this way: Three friends conspired to steal a goat. They were able to capture it undetected, killed it, cooked it, and ate it with fufu and light soup. This was done secretly in the bush, so by the time the cooking was over, there was hardly any water left to drink after the meal.

Thus upon arrival into the village, the first thing that they were looking for was some water to drink. They thus went straight to the first hut. It was a neighbour's home, who, in their absence, had been alerted by an alarm that a goat had gone missing. Unknown to the thieves, everyone in the village was on the alert.

"Can I please have some water to drink onto something good in my stomach?" The first thief asked politely.

"My friend! Did we not agree that we are not going to say anything about it?" The second thief asked the first thief.

"Stop that immediately! Did you hear him mention any goat?" The third thief scolded the second thief.
Thus it was, that as this neighbour enter his kitchen to fetch some water, he whispered into his wife's ears:

"Go and tell the chief that I have got some suspects in my house!"

Pretending not to have followed the conversation, he served them one after the other with water, which they thirstily drank. The second round of cups were deliberately delayed to facilitate their impending arrest. End of story, funny or not.

Indeed, Obetsebi Lamptey is not addressing his fellow NPP thieves, he is addressing the Executive Secretary of the Narcotic Control Board, Mr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, so instead of asking "Did you hear him mention the word 'goat'?" Here we see him asking the NACOP boss to mention the goat or goats involved in the narcotic business.

A news story which first appeared on Joy Online and reported in the General News of Monday, 27 June 2011, on Ghanaweb, Name and shame politicians who use narcotic money - Dr. Aning, Dr. Aning, who is the Director of Research at the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Centre says, the call by the Director of NACOB, Mr. Akrasi Sarpong, who in an interview with told Joy FM’s Sammy Darko  said that "if any politician dares us (NACOB) and uses narcotics money for politics, that person will be sorry. Whether you are an NDC or NPP or CPP or whatever, you will be sorry," is timely.

Dr. Anning appeared to be confirming what Mr. Akrasi Sarpong said. He was reported as saying "There is a long lasting relationship between narcotic money and the funding of political party activities in Ghana."

Dr. Aning said “Narcotics, whether it is Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, Ephedrine, Methamphetamine or [others] is beginning to pose both a political and security threat to this country. We are now internationally known not only as a traffic country or a transit country but as a country where the impact of these narcotics are beginning to have a cumulative negative impact.”

A narco-state is a clear nightmare. Apart from the direct devastations by the drug on families, they come in with guns. Mexico is as dangerous as Afghanistan, even though the war there is different. It is a war of drug cartels. There is not a single Ghanaian who will not be negatively impacted by a full-blown narco-state.

First, it will drive away good business. This simply means more and more mouths to feed and less and less food to put into those mouths. As our population increases, job opportunities would be decreasing. Furthermore, this would also mean that Ghanaians would no longer be able to travel freely. The few who manage to get visas shall be subjected to some of the most humiliating searches, such as peeps into the anus by Customs officials, at international airports, simply because they are carrying Ghanaian passports! This is what happens to citizens of countries which are designated as transit points for illicit drugs. Who wants this to happen to this country?

And the threat is growing. According to Dr. Aning, "the trade is growing as it has been discovered that between eight and fifteen percent of the narcotics entering main land Europe come through Ghana." Clearly, something correct needs to be done. and every peace-loving Ghanaian must support the initiatives to get on top on the fight by drug barons to steal our sovereignty and peace from us.

I was therefore extremely surprised that instead of lending the necessary moral support and the boost that is needed to make Ghana clean, the Chairman of the NPP is the only  leader of a political party in Ghana not to take kindly to the words of the NOCOB capo. What even makes this extremely strange and unnecessary was the fact that the NACOB boss was absolutely non-partisan in his warning: he mentioned all the political parties:

"if any politician dares us (NACOB) and uses narcotics money for politics, that person will be sorry. Whether you are an NDC or NPP or CPP or whatever, you will be sorry!" He did not mention any goat. All he said was that "his outfit has information that some politicians are heavily funded by drug barons adding that NACOB will deal with any politician caught to be using proceeds from the illicit trade notwithstanding the party that the person belongs to."

Of course, he added that "as the 2012 general elections approaches, NACOB will be very vigilant and monitor the situation carefully to bring to book any culprit found."

Why should any one who has nothing to do with drugs have an issue with this? Instead of welcoming and declaring his support, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, reacting to the comments by the NACOB Boss on the Citi Eyewitness News, on Monday June 27,  pleaded with Mr Akrasi Sarpong to "provide evidence to his claims and avoid speaking loosely."

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey complained:

“This is why people who are put in positions like this should not speak loosely, if things that you say, without providing any supporting evidence has the capacity to taint a person or a group of persons then you should avoid making certain comments at all."

This is in spite of the glaring fact that no goat has so far been mentioned! A fact which normally should make all goats comfortable, seems to irk some:

"If you really have any evidence that political parties are being financed by illicit drug whether from barons or not from barons then come out with evidence. But to come out to say generally that you are not going to allow political parities to be funded by drug money then straight away you are turning round to say that this is happening." Obetsebi-Lamptey is reported to have stated.

Indeed, the information concerning the names of the goats that the chairman of the NPP, Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey is publicly seeking from the NACOB boss, is the kind of information that any drug-pusher would pay huge sums of money to obtain: questions like, what kind of leads do they have on me? I was therefore amused to read Obetsebi Lamptey asking the NACOB boss to name politicians on the NACOB's list.

I was equally satisfied with the response from the NACOB boss to the NPP Chairman's call for the name of suspected politicians to be released, see: General News of Tuesday, 28 June 2011, NACOB boss refuses to name politicians on narcotic money list:

"The Executive Secretary of the Narcotic Control Board, Yaw Akrasi Sarpong has said he cannot be forced to disclose identities of suspected drug dealers on his watch list.

Defending his reason to issue the warning, Mr Sarpong said there are various ways to fight crime and the people who are involved need to know that they are being watched so that they can stay away from it."

Which makes complete nonsense of Obetsebi-Lamptey's rantings:

“If it is happening and you are in charge to make sure that it doesn’t happen then you should make sure that it doesn’t happen and not to generally castigate people in that light”.

And more so, when cast against a background where leading members of the party such as Dr. Arthur Kennedy, who is reported to have been shocked with the amount of money Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan were pumping into their primary campaign, that he said:

"If we do not take our time, one cocaine dealer would just take his money and buy this country and put our lives in danger." - Dr. Arthur Kennedy. "Dr Kwabena Arthur Kennedy also cautioned NPP delegates who would be voting to elect their presidential candidate to be mindful of some of the aspirants who have been going round splashing money on them because the source of the money could be a questionable one."

Indeed, if Obetsebi-Lamptey had not asked the NACOB boss to mention the goats, we would have missed the best part of the story. After declaring that he is keeping the names closely to his chest, Mr. Akrasi Sarpong further expressed disappointment in the manner in which the case involving the missing parcels of cocaine was handled in the past.

“In the past the police did a beautiful work. That work that was done by the police was not backed by the hierarchy of the police. It was done by officers who were down the line. Look we know what happened,” he said.

Security analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning concurs:

"There is a long lasting relationship between narcotic money and the funding of political party activities in Ghana."

The clearest sign yet, that the NPP is connected to drug barons is coming from the NPP chairman himself.
I have never liked the NPP, even though, somehow, I thought they have had very reasonably intelligent people to lead the party, perhaps simply because I was younger and they looked wise and educated, like Kofi Busia. The late B.J. Da Rocha, with all his human frailties, was a big brain that I met a few times at the Ringway Hotel and other places during the joint struggle against the PNDC. Comparatively, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey is pathetic, to say the least!

Nothing surprising at all in this, and we shall be seeing more of this. I know the man. That is why I was glad he was elected as NPP chairman. He has a reputation for causing electorally damaging blunders without even knowing what he had done, several weeks later. So far, only one political party has complained, even though Mr. Akrasi Sarpong mentioned all the political parties. Others have even praised the NACOB Executive Secretary. This is why I think Jake has used the "G-word", because the "g" is for the goats in the NPP whose names he wants to hear from the NACOB boss. Akrasi Sarpong did not mention any goat. Why should he?

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro
There are hypertext links to some of the news stories referred to in the article, which may not appear in this publication, interested readers who want to know more are invited to come to my blog:Feature Articles: http://nanaakyeamensah.blogspot.com/


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