Former Chief Executive of the National Service Secretariat (NSS), Dr. Kpessah Whyte, has suggested Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, needs basic education in political science and governance.
According to him, the Minister’s claims that permit for the importation of the container-load of firearms was granted under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, which left power almost two and half years ago, exposes him as someone bereft of knowledge in governance.
Governments all over the world, he said, inherit assets and liabilities and stressed even if indeed such permit was granted two years ago the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government had all the time at its disposal to review the it.
Dr. Kpessah Whyte, a panelist on TV3’s political programme, The Key Points, indicated permits for importation of arms expire in six months and for the Minister to suggest the permit granted for this business man was official for over two years is quite strange.
Oppong-Nkrumah, according to him, did not even appear to know permits for gun importations expire and therefore failure to carry out the import within the stipulated date require the importer to renew the authorization.
He said, “The NPP authorized the importation because assuming it was even done under the previous administration, it could only have had a lifeline of six months and the NPP has been in power for two and half years.”
“So if it indeed happened under the NDC government, it expired and they renewed it.”
Dr. Whyte lamented partisanship has been allowed to take discussion over the matter too far and argued arms might have been imported into the country since the NPP took power and stressed government itself may have imported arms for its national security strategies.
He noted that apparent the insecurity has put the country on edge and in such status; people are bound to be alarmed when they hear news of large consignment of guns coming into the country.
Nobody, he said, has suggested any law has been broken or the importer has done anything wrong but indicated the information coming on the back of rising phenomenon of vigilantism and the Ayawaso by-election, where alleged national security operatives wielded guns and brutalized people, have created a certain sense of extreme fear.
He argued that various attacks on state officials by NPP vigilantes since the party came to power is not a theory but reality and therefore the NDC has every right to ask questions.
However, Eric Twum, a member of the NPP Communication team argued that the opposition NDC is deliberately spreading fear for political expediency.
According to him, it was extremely irresponsible and disingenuous on the part of the NDC to issue a statement and hold a press conference on the matter because government eventually disclosed the previous administration granted permit for the importation of the weapons two days before it left power.
“In one breath they say they want this country to be peaceful devoid of chaos and insecurity and then for political expediency decide to create a state of panic and insecurity.”
“I’m still struggling to understand the idea and motivation behind the action of the party.”
“This also feeds into Chairman Ofoso Ampofo’s purported tape and allusions to what transpired at the Ayawaso by-election and the attempt to shift the ball to government to make it look as if it is creating the state of insecurity is essentially politics,” he stated.