A member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who is also a private legal practitioner, Gordon Edudzi Tameklo, has raised issues against the trend where people are arrested and questioned for utterances they make in relation to governance.
He said everybody has the right under the laws of Ghana to make decent comments hence, persons should not be harassed for their views expressed.
Speaking on the New Day show on TV3 with Johnnie Hughes on Wednesday, March 2, he said “In fact, Akufo-Addo himself went abroad, Germany and addressed the Ghanaian community and said the prevailing unemployment condition in Ghana made the possibility of the Arab spring in this country but nobody touched him because we believed that every Ghanaian has the right to decently express himself. You have a country today, where academics cannot even express themselves on civil society platforms.”
He was commenting on unfolding events after the Dean of the University of Ghana Law School Professor Raymond Atuguba has said during a public lecture that conditions are rife for coup in Ghana.
Solidare Governance Forum, organizers of the forum where Professor Atuguba spoke expressed shock at the fallout from the event.
They said they have learnt with sadness, a few unfortunate comments emanating from some elements currently within and close to the corridors of power regarding the event.
“Following the in-depth analysis on the state of the Ghanaian economy and its effects on constitutional processes, words of caution were offered by Professor Raymond Atuguba, asking government and Ghanaians to make sacrifices that will lead to rescuing the broken Ghanaian economy, so as to avoid over-exposing the country to danger and rendering it vulnerable to adventurism. We have learnt with sadness, few
unfortunate comments emanating from some elements currently within and close to power in this country.
“Our Honorary Fellow, Prof. Raymond Atuguba who is also the Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law, yesterday spoke at a Public Lecture and Panel Discussion we organised in Accra. The Professor indeed made a harmless call to nationalism and sacrifice to save the broken Ghanaian economy. As part of his speech, he called on Government to make sacrifices that will encourage Ghanaians to sacrifice and accept the obnoxious E-Levy.
According to him, the rescuing of the economy is so critical that failure to do so may embolden some adventurous elements who may attempt an overthrow of the current constitutional order, using the state of the broken economy as justification.
“It is therefore unfortunate that persons who are known to wield so much power around the President will use various mediums in a brazen attempt to sully the reputation of this legal luminary and thereby inspire their notorious party members to twist the import of Prof. Atuguba’s message and go further to make false claims against him.
“We hope that the twisted mental processes that have misled people within the corridors of power to call for the arrest of the Professor will be silenced quickly, by the men and women in government who appreciate the importance of intellectualism as an element of discourse within our democratic ecosystem.”
Prof Atuguba during the event said Ghana is currently going through bad economic conditions.
He said the government must be compelled to acknowledge the economic mess and try to deal with it.
“We do not want coup in this country but if we do not act quickly we may have one in our hands. There is one thing to do now, prevent coups in Ghana since the climate and the environment, national and immediate international, are conducive for one. We must compel the government to acknowledge the current economic mess, they mostly, and previous governments, to a larger extent.
“Ghana’s economic problems started before Covid-19. On balance, Covid-19 was a good thing for Africa and Ghana,” he said at a forum held by Solidare Ghana Monday, February 28.
He further noted that as wicked as it is, the E-levy is the only way to save Ghana’s economy from the collapse in the short term.
“The first step is to pass the E-levy immediately and implement it effectively. To prevent the collapse of the economy and a return to the stronghold of the IMF, we have no choice but to pass it…. As horrible and wicked as it is, it is the only way to save our economy from collapse in the short term.”
“The starting point for passing the E-levy is for government to stop lying to the citizenry, come clean and confess that they thought the job of managing the economy was simple, but now they know better, plead with the people of Ghana that we have limited options now,” the former executive secretary to former President Mahama added.
In a response to him, a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere Darko, said in a tweet that “If you’re a senior member of an opposition party that can be described as an ‘alternative government’ & yet you say that your country is ripe for a coup, what you’re really saying is that your party is no better & cannot be expected to fix whatever you see wrong even if elected!”