Gbagbo’s Diplomat: Some NPP Bigwigs Are Solidly Behind Laurent Gbagbo
Though the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has criticized Ghana’s hypocritical stance on the political stalemate in Cote d’Ivoire, some members of the NPP are said to be solidly behind Laurent Gbagbo. A former Ivorian diplomat in Accra, Ambassador Koffi Charles, has told the Africawatch magazine that some members of former President John Kufuor’s government are sympathizers of Laurent Gbagbo and support his retention in power. Ambassador Koffi Charles made these revelations when he and Laurent Gbagbo’s legal advisor, Augustin Douoguih, granted Africawatch executive editor, Steve Mallory, an exclusive interview on a wide range of issues on the Ivorian crises. Ambassador Koffi Charles, praised President Mills saying, “Ghana’s President Mills is an honest and bold leader. He knows that Ivoirians and Ghanaians are brothers, we share some ethnic groups, so he cannot in good conscience allow the French to come and make us fight each other for their own interest.” When asked what he thought about Ghana’s opposition New Patriotic Party’s seeming support for ECOWAS military action and Alhassane Ouattara, Ambassador Koffi Charles said it “can’t be wholly true” that the NPP is behind Ouattara. “You know I served twice as a diplomat in Accra,” he said. “I have a lot of friends in the government of former President John Kufuor and they always call me here to express their sympathy and support for President Gbagbo.” President John Evans Atta-Mills first publicly stated Ghana’s stance on the post- election crisis in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire when some selected editors and senior journalists interacted with him at the Castle early this month. He stated, among other things, that Ghana did not think the military action suggested by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was the best way to deal with the crisis and said Ghana would not send troops to Cote d’Ivoire if the need for military action arose. The position of Ghana was later contradicted when Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga visited President Mills and later announced that Ghana fully supports ECOWAS. Various confusing interpretations of the President’s earlier pronouncement have not helped matters, compelling the opposition NPP to hold a press conference and criticize the president over the double standards. “The NPP position is consistent with the ECOWAS position, which the Ghana government is a signatory to, and consistent with the AU and UN position. We believe Gbagbo’s removal is non-negotiable. What is negotiable is how that should be achieved,” NPP stated in a press release. The current revelations that some members of former President Kufuor’s NPP government “always call to express their sympathy and support for President Gbagbo” leaves one wondering where the NDC and NPP really stand on the Ivorian impasse.
Source: Manasseh Azure Awuni