By Edmond Tetteh
There’s been much rhetoric and loose talk lately about the need for a forced change of government or coups by persons who may probably be young or not born when Ghana experienced some of the “annus horribilis” when it comes to coup d’etats. Regrettably, the reason for these coup mongers is the reason that the country’s economy is not in the best of shape or, as political pundits say, finds itself in the last chance saloon. If that is the only reason why these doomsday mongers keep increasing the volume for a coup, then the calls fly in the face of proper thinking and sanity.
One cannot by any stretch of imagination think that in this day and age, right thinking persons will call for a forced change of government. The question is, is it the first time the country’s economy is undergoing difficulties? And when did coups succeed in repairing a damaged economy? There is a school of thought that if people who sit in economics classrooms and lecture theatres to study economics are struggling to keep up with the financial pace of the world, then the least said about soldiers to better handle an economy, the better.
It must therefore be forcefully drummed home to the coup mongers that a forced change of government has never been the sine-qua-non to any Country’s economic malaise. Unfortunately, people who should know better have also joined the bandwagon, with some aficionado’s beside themselves with rage, advocating the unthinkable, forgetting about the ramifications of their scandalous statements. The temptation is to dismiss these cacophonous noises, but for the need to let the naysayers know and appreciate their wrong judgments in their dangerous advocacy.
These callers are failing to appreciate the dire economic straits in most countries. And truth be told, Ghana is not an island to happenings around the world. Just across neighbouring Nigeria, petrol price is not even an issue. Getting the commodity is like ‘looking for a needle in a haystack.’ But ordinary Nigerians are not advocating coup d’etats. Kenyans are reeling under high food prices, calling on their government to do something. But Kenyans are not talking about coups. Even South Africa is experiencing intermittent power supply but these have not elicited coup talks. It is therefore a shame that in Ghana, some people think the solution to our economic quagmire lies in forced change of government. What kind of backward thinking is that? The naked truth is that coups are antiquated, despite its resurgence on the subcontinent. They are indeed unacceptable relics and those advocating it should be lampooned in all seriousness.
Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dr. Obed Asamoah put the issue at hand succinctly when he recently stated that, we have elected to go the democratic way and change governments after every four years, so we should let the status quo remain. Dr. Obed Asamoah couldn’t have put it in any better way. He described the confusion and pain in times of coups and suffering by all, irrespective of whichever party one belongs to, asking the coup noise maker to be measured in their pronouncements.
Having extricated ourselves from some of the serious problems of the past to get to this stage, the time to think about a coup and encourage others to engage in it, is very fickle. Institutionalizing a constitution for close to 30 years has come with a lot of sacrifice and sweat and it is safe to say that those who want to reverse democratic clock of progress may have their own selfish and parochial interest to foster forgetting about the interest of the 30 million Ghanaians. Chapter one of the 1992 constitution talks about where sovereignty lies.
And it makes it explicitly clear that it lies in the people. The government may be struggling to keep its head above board on some economic matters but the rhetoric by some political assassins must be stopped before long. These persons, in all honesty, must spare us their pontifical and rancid calls. We have sworn to stick by a document called the “Constitution” and so shall it be. The bigger democracies did not get to where they are today by chance. It took some 500 years and beyond to establish a democratic culture fit for purpose. For now, the modus vivendi is to cut the loose talk and give peace a chance!!!!