The recent disruption of proceedings in a Kumasi High Court by some members of the Delta Force has been condemned by many Ghanaians and rightly so. The action taking place within the reign of an NPP Government is very embarrassing simply because the NPP and the President believe in the rule of law. For the NPP to disown the Force because it has misbehaved amounts to “throwing the bath water away with the baby” or“to discontinue the use of cars and vehicles because they cause accidents and death”.The action of the Delta Force was unacceptable because the foundation of any democracy is the rule of law and the rule of law is exercised through the Courts and therefore an assault on the Court is an assault on the rule of law. However, the Delta Force being a human institution can be prevented from committing such blunders in future through a lot of corrective measures.Those calling for their disbandment are very naïve and ignorant about the role these “condemned elements” played in achieving the freedom we now enjoy.
The NDC during its reign planned to entrench themselves in power through intimidation, bullying and terrorising Ghanaians of other political divide and all that the Police could do was to watch the events unfolding and in some cases refused to acknowledge that some events had taken place. The stoning of the President’s residence just opposite the NIMA Police Station readily comes to mind. The claims by Hon. Collins Dauda’s brother that he has killed so many people and threatened to kill more did not attract the Police action until the NDC was removed from office. In Talensi, when members of the NPP were brutalised in the presence of the Police, the Minister of Interior’s justification of the incident was simply“violence begat violence”.In ATIWA, Miss Anita Desouza ran her Landcruiser through a crowd of NPP supporters inflicting serious injuries on many innocent citizens and roamed and still roams a free person without any prosecution. The Volta Region has always been a “Republic”on its own during elections and all kinds of unwarranted intimidation, harassment takes place against the NPP during elections in the full view of the Police but as usual no arrests are made. The current disturbance at Agbogbloshie is the continuation of unresolved problems that led to the slaughtering of some NPP members when the NDC took over power in 2008.
The list is inexhaustible and I don’t have enough space to recount them all but I can conclude that the lawlessness which was allowed to permeate all political activities in the country demanded an appropriate response. Members of the NPP were demoralised and apathy had reared its ugly head in the Party. Our President at the time sought to encourage members of the Party to remain strong and steadfast and refuse to be intimidated and in the process remarked in pidgin language “all die be die”. The NDC and its communicators pounced on this statement and painted NPP and the President as being violent. Many Ghanaians including the Clergy and members of the Council of State condemned the President and demanded an apology from him. Ghanaians knew that these terror acts were being orchestrated to win political power at all cost and to maintain NDC dominance in all internal political activities but as usual many couldn’t be bothered.
The sad thing about these happenings was that apart from inaction of the Security Services, they in some cases condoned and did not hide their open support for the NDC which also encouraged them to abuse their official positions with impunity. The leadership of the Military, Police and National Security was badly compromised to the extent that the leaders on serious security issues threatened the NPP rather than the suspected trouble makers. In fact, no political party felt safe with our security institutions except the NDC. The former CDS’s statement and threat “to deal ruthlessly with anyone who fomented trouble during the 2016 elections”, was all meant for the NPP. I was among a high power delegation of the NPP that met the former IGP where the major concerns of the party were put to him and some of his senior officers but the unfolding events prior to the 2016 elections suggested that NPP could not rely on the state security institutions for its safety. The conduct of the Electoral Commission ably supported by its “Public Relations Office (NDC)”, made the situation completely hopeless. It was the opinion of many Ghanaians that if the NPP lose the elections there was no way any political party could remove the NDC from power and the rot and destruction that had been nursed would continue unabated. In 2008 and 2012, Ghanaians voted for the NPP but the ballot was stolen and therefore to win 2016 elections, security was of paramount importance and the NPP had no choice but to set up its own security structures to meet the anticipated challenges.
So the emergence of the so called “vigilante groups” in the Ghanaian politics did not come as a matter of mischief but a necessity and act of self- defence and until the Security Services especially the Police demonstrate fairness in the conduct of its operations these forces will remain for a long time. The Force was needed to combat the threat and evil that had been created, defend the interest of the NPP, protect the ballot and votes of the electorate, restore confidence to the numerous supporters of the NPP who had been terrorised by NDC hoodlums and finally to restore democracy. The membership was voluntary and opened to all Ghanaians who love democracy, the rule of law, and more interestingly, the removal of the corrupt regime. So strong was the motivation that in all regions, the NPP did not find it difficult organising a force in each region to provide security for its activities. In Ashanti, emerged the Delta Forces, Brong Ahafo- Terminator, Central – Crocodile and 007, Eastern – Akanfo – Kwaebibirem, Greater Accra – Invincible, Northern – Kandaha, Upper East – Cyborg, Upper West – Terminator 2, Volta – Babies and Western – Mission Impossible. These are no secret organisations, no organograms exist and individual groups created their own names and identity.They are not armed, amorphous and the numbers fluctuate depending on the enthusiasm created within the region, the number of volunteers that make themselves available and the threat posed by the NDC.
Like all security organisations, whether formal or informal, discipline, determination and commitment are the benchmarks of their existence and conduct of operations. This article explains the circumstances and the formation of the groups but it must be EMPHASISED that the creation had no evil intentions and solely created to defend the interest of NPP and supporters since state security had been ineffective.The personnel have not undergone any formal training, but psyched themselves to deal with threats to the NPP and greatly helped in changing the course of Ghana’s history. Even those with formal training in the Military and the Police are occasionally caught involved in some dastardly acts and I hope Ghanaians will forgive them notwithstanding the gravity of their conduct.
The NDC’s major press conferences on the Delta Force are very myopic and clearly demonstrate that the Party is hallucinating and suffering from their electoral defeat in the 2016 elections. The Party should allow Prof. Kwesi Botchway and team to complete its work and establish why NDC was demolished in 2016 before it can dream of coming to power in 2020. My unsolicited advice is that finding the causes of NDC’s defeat in 2016 alone will not be enough but also how they won 2008 and 2012 elections. If this is done, the great Professor will realise that NDC does not win elections but rigged them through gargantuan fraud which includes organising foreign nationals especially Togolese, Ivorians, and Burkinabes to vote for them. They also colluded with some members in the Electoral Commission to massage figures for undeserving candidates to win. Their claim of popularity at the grassroots levels is false and their rigging mentality should give way to some fair competition in our elections. NDC lost 2016 elections because they could not rig due to NPP’s tight security and collation mechanisms.
Members of the force are true members of the NPP who volunteered to resist the intimidation and harassment of NDC’s AZORKA boys and others and therefore disbanding them alone is out of the question. Truly they have justified their existence by protecting the ballot in all the regions and thus making it possible for the NPP to come to power. In Akan, it is said that “when your child defecates on your lap, you do not chop it off but clean it”. Whatever frustrations that triggered the misconduct would surely be addressed by the Party.
“The world suffers a lot not because of the VIOLENCE of bad people but because of the SILENCE of good people” (Napoleon).
By Brig-Gen (Rtd) J. Odei