The economic and governance challenges confronting the country must not be an excuse for a coup d’etat.
The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Kathleen Addy, who stated this, said the country’s 66-year journey after independence was replete with evidence that military interventions had been counterproductive, and must, therefore, not be an option.
“We must never forget the years of instability we experienced for the entire post-colonial period before the onset of the Fourth Republic.
Nothing good came out of the multiple coups d’etat we experienced in the country.
“I want to state that a coup d’etat is not the solution to the numerous economic challenges of our country.
Ghana has been there before, and we know that coups d’etat have not helped us, so let no one think about it,” she stressed.
Ms Addy, who was speaking at the launch of the 30th anniversary of the NCCE in Accra yesterday, said although the economic hardships in the country had left many citizens, especially young people, “with a sense of despair about the future”, there was no need to use undemocratic means to register their displeasure.
She observed that the insecurity associated with military interventions in the West African sub-region was a wake-up call to Ghanaians to protect the Fourth Republic.
“I want to emphasise that coup d’etat is not the solution to our problems as a country.
We cannot afford to erode the hard won gains of our democracy,” she said.
Ms Addy underscored the need for people in authority to take steps to address the conditions that fueled coups d’etat and bad governance.
For instance, she said it was important for concrete action to be taken to curb monetisation of politics.
“Over time, we see stronger evidence of vote buying and vote selling during elections, and this is dangerous for our democracy,” she said.
The NCCE boss also said the advent of fake news and spreading of misinformation and disinformation were major threats to the country’s democracy and must be checked.
She said apart from dragging the reputation of other people in the mud, fake news and misinformation distorted the flow of relevant information for national development.
Touching on the 30-year journey of the NCCE, she said in the midst of numerous challenges, including poor funding, the Commission had largely fulfilled the constitutional mandate bestowed on it under Article 233.
The Director, Anti-Corruption at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Stephen Azantilow, said the NCCE’s role in the country’s democratic journey over the past 30 years was immeasurable.
Mr Azantilow said it was important for independent governance institutions, including the Electoral Commission, NCCE, CHRAJ, to work together to deepen the country’s democracy.
He said the strengthening of collaboration between the institutions would ensure optimum utilisation of resources and sharing of expertise for democratic governance.
The Deputy Chairman of the NCCE, Samuel Asare Akuamoah, called for the Electoral Commission to increase the number of registration centres for the limited voter registration exercise.
He said the limitation of the centres to district offices of the Commission would be a herculean task for some people who lived in areas that were far from the district capitals.
Mr Akuamoah also called on citizens to pay more attention to the district level elections to consolidate participatory governance at the grassroots.