Is Ghana’s BNI Acting as a Backup Plan for The NDC?

Is BNI an NDC Surrogate?


I have never been in doubt about the pathologically political orientation of the key operatives of the Kojo Tsikata-created Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

For most of its existence, the former Special Branch (SB) of the Ghana Police Service has operated as a coercive and torture tool of the Rawlings-led erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), and presently the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), which also lists Chairman Jerry John Rawlings as its founding father. While, as was to be expected, the re-creators of the BNI have transitioned out of active politics into the mainstream of Ghanaian society, with some of them having become a perennial nuisance to our national political culture, the character of the BNI, as an institutional apparatus, has yet to undergo any significant change. The BNI continues to function as a primary tool of intimidation by the government of the day.

In this column, our focus is on three pro-NDC political agitators who were recently widely reported to have publicly threatened to summarily execute the members of the Wood Supreme Court, because the latter had dared to constitutionally order the cleanup of the current National Voters’ Register (NVR), which is heavily contaminated with the names of non-Ghanaian citizens. The two agitators – some media sources erroneously describe them as “activists” – are Messrs. Alistair Tairo Nelson, 41, and Godwin Ako Gunn, 39. In the wake of the issuance of their death threats against the members of the Supreme Court, exactly 34 years to the day of the Rawlings- and Tsikata-sanctioned savage abduction and brutal assassination of the three Akan-descended Accra High Court judges, namely, Justices Fred Poku-Sarkodie, Cecilia Koranteng-Addow and Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong, there was a national outcry for the arrest of the two agitators by the BNI.

Well, the arrests, we are told, were fairly promptly effected as had been expected. What followed next from the BNI operatives is what ought to give all peace-loving Ghanaians great cause for concern. We are told that shortly after being questioned for a couple of hours, or perhaps even less, Messrs. Nelson and Gunn were set free by the BNI personnel, on the curious grounds that other than their murderous remarks calling for the summary liquidation of the justices of the Supreme Court, Messrs. Nelson and Gunn were ascertained to be practically incapable of carrying out their threats.

What makes this particular incident very different from others like it is the fact that, as already adumbrated, the issuance of such threat came exactly on the 34th anniversary commemoration of the government-sanctioned assassination of the three Akan judges. This is no sheer coincidence; the would-be judicial butchers meant to palpably intimidate members of the highest court of the land, thereby effectively ensuring the breakdown of the rule of law and order. We need to also highlight the significant fact that even if Messrs. Nelson and Gunn had been objectively found to be physically incapable of carrying out their intended or threatened execution of the Supreme Court judges themselves, at least the duo may very well have succeeded in inciting more capable and like-minded citizens to carry out their threats.

This is exactly what happened in the now globally infamous Dallas Sniper Massacre, in which 25-year-old Mr. Micah Xavier Johnson, an active-service U.S. Army Reserve soldier, used an AR-15 assault rifle and a shotgun to literally execute five Dallas, Texas, police officers and wound some 15, or so, others. In his reportedly abortive negotiations with the Dallas City authorities, Mr. Johnson, an African-American Afghan war veteran, noted that he had been motivated to go on the rampage by nationwide protest demonstrations calling for justice for the families of two African-American men shot to death, at point-blank range, by some white police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

In other words, an NDC partisan made livid by the recent Supreme Court order for the Electoral Commission (EC) to expunge the names of voters who registered to vote by the use of the recently delegitimized National Health Insurance (NHIS) Cards, could well have taken a cue from the hate speech of Messrs. Nelson and Gunn. Now, we also learn that there is a third party to this patently criminal issuance of death threats by the name of Mr. Oti Bless. We have also been informed that these inciters of violence have expanded their list of targets to include Christian clerics like Pastor Mensa Otabil, the renowned evangelist and educator, Prof. Emmanuel Martey, the outspoken Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, and Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, the General-Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana (See “NDC Boys Threaten Otabil, Rev. Martey” / 7/9/16).

We must also strongly warn these so-called pro-NDC agitators and inciters of violence that the ability to create mayhem in our society is not the especial preserve of the operatives and/or hirelings of any one particular political party or organization in the country. We expect some form of reasonable disciplinary measures to be exacted against these three men and their Montie Radio program host, Mr. Salifu Maase, aka Mugabe, or we may have no other recourse than admonish our side of the ideological divide to arm themselves for the possibility of a full-scale national civil strife.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
July 9, 2016

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