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Mahama must condemn attacks on judges – Group

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A group calling itself ‘Concerned Ghanaians’ has challenged President John Mahama to publicly condemn the attacks on judges by some panelists who appeared on Accra-based Montie FM.

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) picked up Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn on Sunday over the matter. The BNI, according to sources, is likely to invite the management of Montie FM over the matter.

The threats have been condemned by the Media Foundation for West Africa and the Ghana Bar Association.

In a statement, the group said: “Mahama has not condemned the radio station or its panelists because he is hamstrung by the loyalty he has to its owner. By not condemning the incitement to violence by the radio station’s panelists, Mahama is tacitly condoning it. For one cannot sit on the fence in this matter, it is a black and white binary issue. Mahama in effect condones Nelson’s and Ako’s dangerous remarks. He is allowing a climate to develop in which political debate is not governed by reason, logic, facts and rationale, but by threats, intimidation, violence, discord and anarchy. That is not democracy; it is the law of the jungle. Perhaps Mahama benefits from the status quo for reasons of political expediency”.

Below is the full statement:

PRESS RELEASE: CONCERNED GHANAIANS – The Voice of the President
July 4th 2016

The Supreme Court, a creation of our 4th Republican Constitution, has a duty, and a right, to carry out its deliberations on the register of voters without any encumbrances, let or hindrance, fear or favor and certainly without threats of violence.

The vitriolic attack on the Supreme Court justices (and judges in general) that polluted the airwaves from NDC mouthpiece, Montie FM, on the morning of June 29th, was an incitement to violence that should have no place in a civilized society such as ours. Not only were these vituperations irresponsible, they were highly dangerous. It is a brazen attack on the rule of law and it ought to be condemned and punished outright.

In a febrile political environment, it is very alarming that panelists from the comfort of a radio studio, can, in effect, threaten violent revolution if the Supreme Court rules against the Electoral Commission. Trenchant listeners would not have failed to notice the echoes of history resonating when, in the aftermath of violent political upheaval, three high court judges were murdered in 1982 – a very dark point in our national history which stands to repeat itself if not dealt with alacrity.

It is no coincidence that Montie FM is owned by one Harry Zakour, an NDC stalwart and crony of President Mahama who doubles as the 2nd National Vice Chairman of the party. It is a radio station that has made no attempt to hide its bias. It has frequently given a platform to hot heads and rabble-rousers who churn out distasteful views without challenge and which station presenters make no attempt to moderate. The incitement to violence by the panelists, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako, marks an all new low.

Self-aggrandizing individuals venting on radio stations is nothing new. It is easy for the likes of Nelson and Ako to sit in studios and froth and foam at the mouth, castigating caustically those they see as worthy of their wrath. However, they, and their NDC backers, ought to note that they are stoking the fires of future anarchy. If one thinks that this is overly alarmist, one only has to look at the example of Rwanda, where propaganda spewed forth from irresponsible radio stations was the fuel that helped spread mass-murder like wildfire.

The vitriol from the studios of Montie FM did not come from President Mahama himself, admitted. However, Mahama is guilty by association. Beyond the fact that Montie FM is an NDC mouthpiece, is the fact that its owner, Harry Zakour, has inextricable links with the President. Radio stations and newspapers reflect the views of their proprietors. By giving a platform to inciters of violence, Mr Zakour evidently has no issue with those that are prepared to use violence to subvert democratic institutions. Mahama has not condemned the radio station or its panelists because he is hamstrung by the loyalty he has to its owner.

By not condemning the incitement to violence by the radio station’s panelists, Mahama is tacitly condoning it. For one cannot sit on the fence in this matter, it is a black and white binary issue. Mahama in effect condones Nelson’s and Ako’s dangerous remarks. He is allowing a climate to develop in which political debate is not governed by reason, logic, facts and rationale, but by threats, intimidation, violence, discord and anarchy. That is not democracy; it is the law of the jungle. Perhaps Mahama benefits from the status quo for reasons of political expediency.

As President, John Mahama is under an oath to defend the Constitution. The incendiary statements by Nelson and Oko are indubitably an attack on the rule of law and by extension the Constitution. We call on the President to stay true to his oath by taking swift action against the two ”spokesmen”. They have gained notoriety as the ”Voice of the President”
God bless you and God bless Ghana.

 

Source: Starrfmonline.com

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