President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has served notice to protect the peace and stability of the country at all times.
Speaking at the 65th Independence day celebration in Cape Coast on Sunday March 6, he said “Let us guard jealously the peace and stability we are enjoying. There are some restless spirits amongst us who, seeking to exploit the current difficulties confronting the nation, claim to have lost confidence in our democratic system.
“Either the absence of faith in the prospect of democratic alternative to the current government or their impatience to wield executive authority are the factors driving their appetite for the short cut of military intervention.
“Whatever be the case, they seem ready to jeopardise the hard won reputation of our country as beacon of democracy and stability in Africa and indeed, in the world, in order to gratify their personal ambition, ambitions which show little or no respect for the capacity of the Ghanaian people to change when necessary their government peacefully through the ballot box, something we have done on three separate occasions in the 29 year life of the fourth republic.
“The great majority of us who are committed to democratic values and institutions will continue to resist the claims of these adventurers and deploy all legitimate means in our democracy to maintain our free open system of governance which has respect for human rights, the rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability.”
His comments come after the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana , Professor Raymond Atuguba who was Executive Secretary to Former President John Dramani Mahama, said that Ghana is currently a fertile place for coup due to the bad economic situation.
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.
Prof Atuguba received flak for this comment from a section of the Ghanaian public.
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 Key Point on TV3 Saturday March 5 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 also took 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.”