Coup should never be an option – High Court Judge

Source The Ghana Report

A Tema High Court judge has urged the public to desist from removing constitutionally elected governments through illegal means.

Justice Daniel Mensah is convinced that staging a coup against an incumbent government is not the way.

He said this during a bail application hearing of #FixTheCountry Movement Convener Oliver Barker-Vormawor on Wednesday, 16 March.

“Let me say this before I bring out the bail conditions without any prejudice to the outcome of the main case. Something in me says I should say it, and I will say it. Coup is not a good thing.

“Although I support activism, no matter how we build our regime, coup is not an option. We’ve gone through it once, and I don’t think we should go through it again,” the trial judge said after granting bail to Mr Barker-Vormawor.

The youth activist has been charged for treason felony after he made comments that suggested he intended staging a coup himself if the controversial electronic levy is passed.

The trial judge is not the only one who appears to be worried about recent threats of coup by citizens.

Early March, President Nana Akufo-Addo, at a meeting with the newly elected leadership of the Pan African Youth Union (PYU), said democracy is always the best.

He believes no matter the challenges confronting any country or the continent of Africa, coup is not the solution.

“We have seen what the eras of coups and military interventions did to our continent and in our various nations; it did not bring us (the African continent) the progress that we should have had.”

He thus urged the leadership of the PYU “to preach the lessons, the virtues of democrat engagement, preach the virtues of Africa being responsible and capable of promoting and defending its interests.

The president, again, reiterated this call at the opening of the African Union (AU) Reflections Forum on Constitutional Changes of Governance in Africa in Accra on March 15, 2022.

President Akufo-Addo stressed unity among African countries as a weapon to check the activities of coup plotters.

“Our unity and resolve should send a clear message to coup plotters that coups have never been and will never be durable solutions to Africa’s political, economic and security challenges,” he stated.

A former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, in a feature published on March 10, reiterated that military intervention is not an alternative to civilian regime performance, no matter how abysmal.

He believes the democratic determination of political preference after a political mandate has been given to a political party is by one mechanism only – the ballot.

According to him, a nation is either democratic and abides by this practice, or it is unfit to be counted among the comity of civilised nations.

“You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot have a constitution adopted by the people, and yet any time a section of the populace disagrees with policies being pursued, a coup or military take-over occurs,” he said in his article.

He maintained that the only legitimate yardstick for determining the tenure of governors is the ballot.

Coups in Ghana

The economy of Ghana has faced stagnation over the period, from independence till recent times.

There have been continuous military presence and intervention in Ghanaian political

The period from 1969 to 1985 was characterised by several military regimes who blamed global economic injustices as the reason for the failure of the Ghanaian economy.

They assumed power illegally to liberate the economy from foreign influence and unfair economic policies, which has always gone to the detriment of the Ghanaian economy.

For this reason, diverse economic policies were enacted by several military regimes and governments who came to power through the gun or military coup.

Below is a trajectory of coups as they happened in Ghana.

On 24 February 1966, Joseph Arthur Ankrah overthrew Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah.

On 13 January 1972, Ignatius Kutu Acheampong overthrew Kofi Abrefa Busia.

Then on 5 July 1978, Fred Akuffo overthrew Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.

Late former President Jerry John Rawlings came to the scene on 4 June 1979 and overthrew Fred Akuffo.

On 31 December 1981, Jerry John Rawlings overthrew Hilla Limann.

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