The man internationally recognized as the winner of the disputed electoral results in La Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, has voiced out his unflinching support for the use of legitimate force if need be in removing Laurent Gbagbo from power.

Patrick Achi, Spokesperson for the Government of Alassane Ouattara, stated this position on Thursday morning. He was speaking in an exclusive interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning show.

According to him, the political impasse in La Cote D’Ivoire has risen to this level because embattled President Laurent Gbagbo has been given too much liberty to operate.

Asked whether he felt that “legitimate force” will eventually be used, Mr. Patrick Achi replied, “We hope so, because now, people are been killed every single day. We have already almost 250 dead…,” he said.

Mr. Achi who expressly voice out support for military action if mediation fails despite its likely potential consequences, pointed out that even now innocent lives are being lost whiles Gbagbo still remains President.

“People are already dying every single day. You want them to keep on dying all the time?... You Ghanaians, you cannot say that because you know what I’m talking about. You went through that and thanks to God you are out of that now because of democracy…Everything has to be done to bring democracy since that’s the lasting way for peace…If people were not being killed every single day, maybe we could wait. But even that, when the country is in such a deep depression like that, poverty has reached a level where it is; you do not have education, you do not have health any more people are dying every day in the hospital without medication?...People are being killed every day, that’s what we want to stop…Is this the way of living? Would you accept that?” he asked.

Answering questions on a wide range of issues, Mr. Achi who is also the Minister for Economic Infrastructure, had this to say when asked about the arrest of some five Ghanaian nationals by forces said to be loyal to Alassana Ouattara on suspicion of being mercenaries.

“I have to check up on that. First of all, this is not our people, when you say our people it’s assumed that Alassane Ouattara has an army and this army is arresting people. No, We are not! We have a civilian troops…What just might have happened, I don’t know but I have to check is that a lot of Liberians mercenaries killed people in Abidjan…Maybe when they grap people and they are speaking English, only English, they think that these people are Liberians. Maybe they don’t have papers with them and they are confused between Liberians and Ghanaians. So we have to check it out, but I don’t think that they will arrest Ghanaians because these Ghanaians living here, they are our brothers, we are friends and there’s no need for us to arrest them. We want this country to be back to peace…so we’re going to check this matter and if it’s true, these people must be freed. You cannot arrest them,” he stated.

The five, accused of acting as mercenaries for embattled self-acclaimed president, Laurent Gbagbo include Johnson Agbeko, Atsu Agbeko, Kobina Agbeko, Awana and Abdulai. They are reportedly being held in custody in the Ivorian town of Boake.

In answer to whether Cote D’ivoire will see peace once Laurent Gbagbo is not in the picture, Mr. Ouattara’s spokesperson said, “there will be peace forever.”

“This is the only thing we’re waiting for, because what has brought the hatred and divisions here are the things he’s done. Now if you were listening or somebody is living here, you could ask him to look at what’s on T.V that he has monopolized. You will see that he’s threatening Ghanaians, Nigerians, Burkinabe’s living here saying that if your country does that we will kill you…This is not a peaceful way of running the country…He is the threat not only for Cote D’ivoire but for whole sub-region…This election was supposed to be held five years ago in 2005, we postponed this election 6 times because Gbagbo was not ready. Now we held this election, he lost and says I don’t wanna leave, now what do you want to do with that? Can we keep on going like that?” he asked rather angrily.

Source: Kwadwo Asante/