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Focus of RTI campaign wrong; take heat to gov’t –  Suhuyini

At the launch the Media Coalition on RTI

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale North, Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini, has advised crusaders for the passage of the Right to Information Bill to reroute the campaign to have the bill passed towards government rather than parliament.

Some Ghanaian journalists and persons in the media fraternity came together to form a coalition to demand for the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill which they say has been long overdue.

At the launch of the coalition, known as the Media Coalition on RTI, in Accra Monday, the members said they were determined to embark on a series of action, including demonstrations, to force the passage of the bill into law.

For a start, members of the coalition will on Tuesday storm the public gallery of Parliament House in T-Shirts with messages demanding action on the passage of RTI.

But commenting on the development on TV3’s New Day, Mr. Suhuyini advised the campaigners rethink their approach.

“I think the focus of the campaign is wrong, the focus of the campaign should be government and not parliament. I hear there will be demonstration and picketing in parliament today, I think that should be done at the Flagstaff House”, he stated.

He explains that the power to pass the bill into law resides in the government,  “because you see we have a government nominee in parliament who represents government business and so whatever government wants done in parliament it’s done.”

The Tamale North observed the government had passed bills which matter to it quicker and he believes it will do same if the RTI actually matters to it. He claimed the RTI is not government’s priority.

“And we have situations where bills come to parliament, agreements come to parliament and we don’t have even two, three hours to study it before we pass it, so if the RTI bill is delaying in parliament, it is because it is not the priority of government”, he claimed.

The journalist turned politician has thus urged his former colleagues to push the government into making the RTI a priority to see its speedy passage.

“So if campaigners take the heat and pressure to government to make it a priority, they will instruct their leader of government business in parliament to make it a priority and parliamentarians will have no option to pass it just like we have passed other agreements even when we have no business”, he advised.

By P.D Wedam||Ghana

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