The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has cautioned the Ghanaian media to disengage themselves from any activity of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to him, the NDC had no respect and was not media-friendly when they were in power.
“I was amazed when the General Secretary of the NDC tried to lure you the media to let you believe that they are the friends of the media. We have been in this country, they have even gone ahead and shit bombed most media houses that were against them. They criminalized your speeches a lot, some of you went to jail for a very long time, don’t be deceived by lions in sheep clothing at all”, he said.
He gave this advice on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at a press conference at the Party’s headquarters, Accra.
The presser was in response to the NDC’s Press Conference that sought to downplay President Akufo-Addo and his government’s efforts in the fight against corruption.
Mr Boadu labeled Akufo-Addo as “fearless” for “courageously” forn passing the Right to Information (RTI) Bill after NDC failed to do so.
“17 years in the making and this law has now been signed by the fearless and courageous Nana Akufo-Addo. I remember as far back as 2008 the now Minority leader was at the neck of the NPP, forcing the government to pass the law, they were in power for 8years we came to meet the law as it is” he said.
The Bill was passed in March 2019 following the completion of its consideration stage after several policy changes, amendments and months of rigorous debates on the floor of the House.
The RTI is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution and recognized as a right under International Conventions on Human rights.
The bill as it has been drafted is to give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution which states that “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society.”
The back and forth
The RTI Bill was first drafted in 1999 under former President, Jerry John Rawlings.
Various advocacy groups emerged to press for the immediate passing of the bill into law in 2002 and reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in its 2008 and 2012 election manifestos promised to ensure the Bill was passed. In 2010, it was presented to Parliament for consideration.
In 2011, the government signed unto the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Initiative with a commitment to pass the law. In November 2013, the Bill was formally laid before Parliament.
Former Attorney General, Deputy Dominic Ayine in 2015, moved the Bill for second reading in Parliament. In October 2016, the Bill was withdrawn and replaced with a new one which was immediately laid.
Following the dissolution of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic and the swearing-in of new Parliament in January 2017, the Bill had to be re-laid by the new government before work commences on it. That was done and the bill has been receiving attention by the house but not without pressure from CSOs to expedite action on it.