General News of Wed, 12 Dec 201815
Be wary of Ghana's security before passing RTI - Ex-President Kufuor
Ex-president John Kufuor says the content of the Right to Information Bill (RTI) must be well scrutinised to ensure there are security safeguards for the country before passing it.
While he concedes the bill will improve the governance process and help richly in the fight against corruption, he was quick to add the country’s security must not be compromised.
“The bill must be passed to achieve better governance but not at the expense of security,” he said at the Annual Leadership Series programme organised by the University of Professional Studies.
The theme for the lecture was “Leadership in Ghana; meeting global standards.”
The ex-president who has been part of Ghana’s political system for well over 50 years led the New Patriotic Party into government in 2000 and ruled for two terms.
He has since occupied the most enviable statesman position offering counsel to current leaders and political players in the country.
A man not afraid of controversy, the ex-president touched on a crucial matter which has been a subject of controversy for over two decades- Right to Information Bill.
The bill which is expected to ensure transparency in the governance process has gathered dust on the shelves of cabinet and parliament for over two decades.
Several promises by governments, including that of the erstwhile Kufuor government to pass the RTI bill were broken with tales of excuses.
In the last few weeks, the RTI has been the reason for demonstrations, political banter, picketing, arrests and major news headlines.
The promise by the Akufo-Addo government to pass the bill in 2018 appears to be suffering the same old disease with just some few days to enter 2019.
The civil society groups including the RTI coalition have been vociferous in their quest to have the government pass the bill.
The ex-president Kufuor in contributing the current RTI debate said “the real challenge [of the RTI Bill] is not about government refusing to pass the bill” but rather in ensuring the text of the bill is free from any security breaches.
“Let’s be careful about security and integrity part of the bill,” he cautioned.
On the major theme of the lecture, the ex-president said “our country is on the right path in conforming to global standards but added there are few rough edges which the country must fix.