A civil society activist who is the chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil Gas, Dr. Steve Manteaw, has said 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.
He was reacting to a comment made by the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, Professor Raymond Atuguba that conditions are rife for coups in Ghana.
Professor 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 coups 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.
But 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 an irresponsible call for 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 the 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 offense 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 an 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 judgment, 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.”