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General News Tue, 1 Jun 2010

Editorial: Ndebugri Must Excise Right To Free Speech Responsibly

Democracy is certainly one of the best things if not the very best of things that ever happen to any given society. It allows for free expression, movement and association.

These values help people to have the necessary peace and stability to carry on their duties and or responsibilities to be able to develop.

Even though there are legal arguments about a specific Act in the country’s law books that enables or authorizes the prosecution of those who ‘insult’ the number-one citizen of the republic – the president, common sense would teach any open-minded homo sapien that a person who has won a majority vote to mount the presidency is certainly popular and for that matter, acts or words of ridicule, which in actual sense are of no merit, against him could infuriate the intolerant part of his constituency and if nothing proactive is done there could be fatal disaster in the end.

As Ghanaians, we must be grateful for having a gentleman for president who would not preside over acts of bullying and retaliation against his detractors. But for President Mills’ maturity, people like Hon. Ndebugri would have been arrested and taught a bitter lesson comparable to what happened to the young mechanic in Kumasi who received the worst beating of his life when he just stated a common factual truth about former President Kufuor’s unnecessary travels which cost the taxpayer fortunes.

The only ‘crime’ that poor young mechanic had committed was pointing out the truth that was obvious to all even our kindergarten kids.

We at The Catalyst are aptly humbled by the president’s demonstration of maturity, a conduct akin to the excellent position he occupies, and would want to commend him for leading the country on the path of peace, tranquillity and progress.

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Like the good book says in capturing the Messiah, Jesus the Christ: “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Of course by the fruits of the likes of Ndebugri their true nature shall be known.

We do not wish to engage in the futile act of comparing the attitude and track record of “Akosaa aba saa” Lawyer Ndebugri to that of the well accomplished and internationally revered professor - we have better employment for our time. As a legal practitioner, we expect Ndebugri to know better and stop misbehaving in the full glare of the public before he becomes an insult to the respected law profession. As a former Member of Parliament, we at The Catalyst do not expect him to wait for us to teach him to show courtesy to one who deserves to be shown courtesy.

The fundamental idea behind the principle of free speech is that it should lead to progress and development and not anarchy. We hope Mr. Ndebugri will learn to exercise his right to free speech responsibly and appropriately.

A word to the wise is in The Catalyst.

Source: The Catalyst
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