Exercise right to criticise govt – Aaron Oquaye

Professor Aaron Oquaye, the former Speaker of Parliament, has cautioned the citizenry to exercise their rights to criticise the government rather than touting coups d’états.

He asked such persons to also reserve their coup comments and vote against the government in the next elections.

“Categorically speaking, military intervention is not an alternative to civilian regime performance, no matter how abysmal and democratic determination of political preference after political mandate has been given to a political party is by mechanism of the ballot,” Prof Oquaye advised.

His caution comes in the wake of comment by Professor Raymond Atuguba, Dean of University of Ghana Law School, at recent public lecture in Accra, the country’s current financial state is threat to democratic governance.

According to Prof. Atuguba, studies had confirmed an ailing economy facilitated all successful coup d’états in the sub-region.

But Prof Oquaye disagreed with stance of Prof. Atuguba and admonished citizens not to return into ‘darkness’ because no person, no matter how learned or otherwise, should responsibly utter words to effect “if his/ her views are not taken, a coup may occur since a nation is either democratic and abides by practice among comity of civilised nations”.

He called on persons who were currently against policy of the government to stop touting coups d’états and exercise their right to criticise the government and also vote against ruling party as constitutionally provided for, in 2024.

Prof Oquaye postulated that those who had exposure to principles of good governance, legality and constitutionalism should mind their words and never make utterances which might mislead people in underdeveloped society and economy; nor give misplaced rationalisation to puerile military adventurers of any kind.

“You cannot have a Constitution adopted by people and yet any time section of populace disagrees with policies being pursued, military take-over occurs, the only legitimate yardstick for determining tenure of governors is the ballot, where principle of limitation of tenure is duly applied and prevails in a nation.

“At any given time, a number of our people may feel strongly against policy being introduced by those elected to rule, they have the right to free speech, demonstrate and all measures guaranteed under the 1992Constitution which cannot include military overthrow,” Prof Oquaye asserted. –

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