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Ghana@65: Akufo-Addo assures of preserving Ghana’s democracy; condemns recent coup talks

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President Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians of his willingness to preserve the country’s democratic values, in the wake of recent coup mongering comments in the country.

Speaking at the 65th Independence Anniversary Parade on Sunday, he stated that, his outfit will deploy all available means to safeguard the country, from anything that is capable of disrupting the smooth governance of the country.

In this regard, the President condemned certain recent comments in the public space, which have triggered conversations about the possibility of a coup in Ghana.

“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, ” he said.

“It is 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 shortcut of military intervention;” the President noted.

He added that, “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 President further affirmed his commitment to the principles of the rule of law and accountability.

In recent times, there have been discussions on coups in the country. Speaking at a public lecture on a review of the 1992 Constitution, the Dean of the University of Ghana’s Law Faculty, Professor Raymond Atuguba, warned that the economy is heading for some difficult period if something radical is not done immediately to rescue it.

He noted that studies have confirmed that an ailing economy facilitates all successful coup d’états in the sub-region.

“A big part of why certain coups succeed and others fail, is the economy. What is the state of Ghana’s economy today? At the level of the most irreducible idiomaticity, Ghana is broke. Your nation is radically broke. So broke, the Speaker of Parliament has publicly warned, gavel in hand, that we may not be able to pay the salaries of public sector workers in the next three months”, the academic said.

For him, passing the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) Bill is one of the concrete steps to prevent a coup and the economy’s collapse. According to him, the sorry state of Ghana’s economy coupled with the public sentiments is one of the reasons why Ghana may be ripe for a coup.

Reacting to this, the Adansi Asokwa MP, K.T. Hammond asked the Police to invite the Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law, for suggesting that Ghana is ripe for a coup d’etat.

Meanwhile, an Associate Professor at the University of Ghana School of Law, Professor Appiagyei-Atua has disagreed with the suggestions by the legislator.

He indicated that Prof Atuguba in his speech did not instigate or call for a coup but rather highlighted possible reasons Ghana may fall victim as Mali and others.

“I think merely using the word coup or making some analysis and concluding that there is a possibility of a coup should not fall into the realm of instigating an overthrow of the government. It should certainly go beyond that. If you look at Professor Atuguba’s comment and the speech he gave, I don’t think it falls to that level where you can say he is preparing to cause a coup d’etat. He is expressing his view on a subject matter”, he stated.

This year’s Independence Day Parade, was held at the Cape Coast stadium in the Central Region, and was witnessed by hundreds of Ghanaians who thronged the venue to witness the event.

Clad in colours that reflect the country’s national flag of red, gold and green, the excited attendants sat throughout the ceremony, while others stood and watched in admiration; as personnel from the security services and selected schools marched to beautiful tunes from the band.

The event was also graced with intermittent traditional performances, to reflect the country’s deep cultural heritage. This year’s Parade was under the theme, “Working Together, Bouncing Back Together”.