Nobody is calling for coup in Ghana – NDC MP

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Tamale Central Member of Parliament, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed has said that a comment made by the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana , Professor Raymond Atuguba to the effect that Ghana is currently a fertile place for coup due to the bad economic situation, does not mean that he is calling for coup.

Prof Atuguba asked the government 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 coup 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.

He received flak from a section of the Ghanaian public for these pronouncements.

But speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday March 5, Murtala said “President Nana Addo in this country on Peace FM said that Ghana was ripe for Arab spring, and the only reason for which he made that statement was because of joblessness. Everybody knows that Arab spring was associated with toppling governments, it was associated with violence insurrection yet President Nana Addo said that and nobody had problem with it.

“As a matter of fact, at the time when he said that Ghana was ripe for Arab spring because of joblessness, unemployment rate in this country was 6.8 per cent . Today, by their own official documents presented to us in the form of policy statement by the Minister of Finance for and on behalf of the president, unemployment is 8.4 per cent and youth unemployment is 12.6 per cent.

“If we want to go by the logic of President Nana Addo when he made that statement, then we must have triple Arab spring in Ghana. In fact our constitution envisaged the possibility of a coup because if the constitution says that you must do everything possible to confront any attempt to truncate the democratic process or overthrow of the constitution, it means that the framers of the constitution also envisaged that it will be a possibility. In any case, this is an attempt to gaga academic freedom. Nobody is calling for coup.”

For his part, Senior Advisor at the Africa Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption, Professor David Abdulai said, contextually, the conditions that gave rise to the overthrow of constitutionally-elected governments in some West African countries recently are not the same as those in Ghana.

Professor Abdulai said on the same show that “I think if the inference is to to support what happened in Mali, in Guinea , Burkina Faso, I won’t think it is right because each country has its context and culture.

“So if you infer that in the case of Ghana I don’t think contextually it is right. One must also look at the fact that if you look at the developmental stages of coups of these countries, I can tell you Ghana is way beyond that.

“Nobody really wants a coup d’état because first of all, in the current digital and globalized environment we are, it is going to impact our economy heavily, it will take years to recover because once some of the businesses leave they are not going to come back. Also the brand Ghana is going to be damaged. But in a democracy such talks or the warnings should be listened to.”

A civil society activist who is the chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil Gas, Dr Steve Manteaw, had also said earlier that one of the causes of coups in most countries is the absence of an alternative to the governing party.

He explained that the people must have no other opportunity for changing the government before they will think of taking the law into their own hands.

But, he said, that is not the case in Ghana.

In a Facebook post, Dr Manteaw said “Professor Atuguba was candid and brutally frank. No malice. However, he omitted one precondition for coups i.e. the people must have no other opportunity for changing the gov’t, which is not the case in Ghana.”

Adansi Asokwa Member of Parliament Kobina Tahir (KT) Hammond has also taken a swipe at Professor Atuguba following the coup comment he made.

KT Hammond questioned why, in his view, all the time some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who he described as irresponsible call for the Military intervention in the administration of the country when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is governing.

Responding to him at a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday March 2, KT Hammond said “Why is it that in the course of NPP administration every opportunity that the NDC get, not all of them to be fair, but the irresponsible ones are calling for intervention of the military?

“What is it about the Military?

“Let me tell Professor Atuguba that he doesn’t have the liberty to take leave of his brain, he does not have the liberty to take even half of his brain.

“He owes it to his students and he owes it to the constitution that everybody including him has no reason to say the kind of things he has said. He is a Professor and of no other thing but of law, he understands the constitution.

“This is the constitution that has made it very clear, anybody who attempts to subvert it commits the offence that he knows, he goes to make a statement like this.”

He added “The Military knows what they are up to, they are a professional institution, their responsibility is to guide the territorial integrity of this country, period, they know it, they are not interested in dabbling in politics. The group before them had dabbled in politics and we are all witnesses to these happenings. They are not interested, the officers are professionals, the rank and file, they are professionals they know their duties. It is not the likes of Atuguba to invite them to hold the country to ransom.

“Clearly, he is NDC sympathizer and indeed, I do know that at a point in time he worked with the office of the president , he is an NDC sympathizer but no problem with that but the constitution allows for the people of Ghana to speak at periodic times.

“The last one was 2020, we had the election, four more years, we have spent almost one and a half years thereafter, we will go for election.

“If the people do not like the NPP administration because they feel that we messed up it is for the people of the country to pass their judgement, it is not for the person who thinks he knows the law and who thinks he has studied the law to go about and brandishing foolishness like that.

“I will be surprised if they have not already invited him. Clear foolishness.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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