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Minority’s Irresponsibility Must Not Be Countenanced   
 
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24-Feb-2010  
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The irresponsible, bellicose, whimsical and capricious behaviour of the NPP minority in Parliament must be a cause for concern for all right thinking members of our society.

Last week, the NPP minority in Parliament decided that they are boycotting Parliament because laws of the land have been invoked to deal with an errant member of the NPP.

Holding a press conference to announce their decision to boycott Parliament, the NPP Parliamentarians expressed the view that the fact that Nana Darkwah, the errant NPP member, has been charged with a criminal offence flowing from comments he made on an Accra-based radio station means that democracy is dead in Ghana.

The NPP minority went on to demand that Nana Darkwa must be released unconditionally and an end brought to his prosecution for breaching aspects of the criminal code. The argument of the NPP minority is that the freedom of speech guaranteed under the 1992 constitution of Ghana is so limitless that nobody can be prosecuted for any criminal offence that flows from any comment he/she makes.

For these reasons, the NPP minority, with the tacit endorsement of the mother party, boycotted Parliament last Friday and, from all indications, especially since there is no indication that Nana Darkwah’s prosecution would be dropped (which is one of their key demands), they would be staying out of Parliament this week as well.

The Ghanaian Lens does not begrudge the NPP minority their right to use boycott as a means to achieve whatever democratic objectives they set for themselves, in so far as those objectives are in the interest of furthering the course of our nation’s democracy.

But we most strenuously object to the irresponsible, bellicose, whimsical and capricious use of this democratic tool in any manner that threatens to put our democracy in danger.

First of all, the NPP’s argument that criminal prosecution cannot flow from a citizen’s exercise of his right to free speech has been exposed as nothing but an opportunistic postulations of a bunch of desperate politicians who find themselves drowning in their own misdeeds that they want to clutch at the appearance of a straw, however elusive, in their desperate attempt to rescue themselves.

In their desperate haste, the NPP conveniently forgot that in the year 2007, while the NPP (the party that today wants everybody to see them as champions of free speech) was in power, a citizen of this country known as Chris Ackumey, was charged with the criminal offence of Acts Tending To Breach of the Peace under section 207 of the Criminal Code.

The particulars of the offence, which does not only betray the NPP’s hypocrisy and double standards, but also evinces their desperation, has it that the authorities considered certain comments made by Chris Ackumey on Keta-based Jubilee Fm to be in breach of the said section of the Criminal code because it was likely to have led to occurrence of a breach of the peace if certain people had not exercised restraint!!

Is the NPP today saying that Chris Ackumey is any less a Ghanaian than Nana Darkwa? Is the NPP today saying that when, under its Attorney General, Joe Ghartey, the said prosecution was initiated and sustained to the extent that that case is still in court even today, they did not then realise that exercising the law in such a manner is tantamount to killing free speech and therefore killing democracy?!!!

Somebody should tell Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and his irresponsible lot to give the people of Ghana a break with their unsustainable sanctimonious vituperations! We are sick and tired of these self seeking vainglorious petulant!

But even more shocking to us is the fact that just days before the Nana Darkwa incident, an activist of the New Patriotic Party, known as Opoku, was set upon and beaten to pulp by militant bodyguards of the failed NPP flagbearer for supposedly speaking out of turn about the failed NPP flagbearer, but not a whimper was heard from these NPP parliamentarians who are preening and presenting themselves as apostles of free speech!!!

Indeed, such was the severity of the assault on Opoku that he was rushed to hospital in a state of coma!!! Are these vainglorious NPP Parliamentarians telling us that they find nothing wrong with a person being battered for exercising his right to free speech, but they find everything wrong with a person being taken through due processes of the law (with full access to legal counsel)?

Are these irresponsible, vainglorious, bellicose, whimsical and capricious NPP Parliamentarians telling us that they would have been more comfortable had Nana Darkwa been beaten into coma like Opoku instead of being taken through due process?

What irresponsible behaviour is this; and we as a nation must countenance this? To date, the militant bodyguards of the failed NPP flagbearer who beat Opoku to pulp are being shield from the law, yet Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and his irresponsible lot have not found their voices to speak out against such a tyrannical behaviour that clearly threatens the right to free speech more than any act of taking a citizen through due process could ever do!!!

These vainglorious and petulant NPP people must be told in no uncertain terms that they do not own this country and they cannot continue to behave as if they are the lords of everything that they survey.

Perhaps they have been misled into misconstruing the civilized and humble leadership of President Atta Mills to mean that this government is a push over and that they can get away with just about anything. If such is the case then they are even much more bigger fools than we have credited them for.

We dare them to continue to stay out of parliament because the prosecution of Nana Darkwa would not be dropped today or tomorrow. The prosecution will travel the full hog, even if the heavens come tumbling down!!!
 
 
Source: The Ghanaian Lens
 
 

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