The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) calls on Presidential aspirants, political parties, religious leaders, youth groups, community groups, civil society organisations and all peace loving Ghanaians to join us in condemning in the strongest terms, attempts by some citizens of our nation to prevent President John Dramani Mahama from campaigning in Kyebi in the Eastern region.?
This display of intolerance and disrespect for the constitution of the Republic of Ghana occurred on Friday November 23, 2012. It is most unfortunate for anyone to attempt to prevent another citizen from exercising his/her constitutional right of freedom of movement.
For those who may not know, we wish to state that all citizens have the right to move to and about freely in any part of Ghana as per article 21 clause (1)g, which states that: All persons shall have the right to freedom of movement which means the right to move freely in Ghana, the right to leave and to enter Ghana and immunity from expulsion from Ghana.
Let us also note clearly that as citizens we are enjoined by our constitution to display a spirit of friendship and PEACE with all the peoples of the world; and to at all times work towards the protection and preservation of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, UNITY and STABILITY for our Nation.
While it is true that democracy depends on citizen participation, we must all agree that participation must be peaceful, respectful of the law, and tolerant of the different views of other groups and individuals. Thus, we call on our fellow citizens to respect the law and reject violence as well as leaders who propose violence as the solution to disagreements; nothing ever justifies using violence against political opponents.
As history shows, intolerant behaviour is the greatest threat to peace, unity and stability, and of cause, democracy itself as a form of governance. Thus, the type of unacceptable behaviour directed at the President and his campaign team in Kyebi is not only most worrying, but has potentially dire consequences if copied by citizens in others parts of the county.
It is for the above reasons that we believe the condemnation must be swift and must come from all identifiable groups in our society. Peace loving and tolerant Ghanaians must condemn this shameful display of intolerance outright.
Dr Clement A. Apaak
Convener, Forum for Governance and Justice – Ghana