General News Fri, 20 Apr 2001

Military alone should not be blamed for coups

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) of Ghana on Thursday stated that the military alone should not be blamed for coups if the civilian public failed to condemn such upheavals.

"The support and jubilation that coup makers receive from the general public immediately after the announcement tend to serve as a catalyst and motivation for the survival and entrenchment of the take over," the NCCE noted.

Mr Larry Bimi, Chairman of NCCE, said this at a press briefing on the National Constitutional Week Celebration, which will be held from April 28 to May 4. The celebration will offer the public the opportunity to participate in discussions, debates, theatre performances and other activities on the constitution "to ensure that it becomes a living document embedded in the mind and heart for the attainment of democracy and good governance".

Mr Bimi said experience has shown that the general public jubilate after military take-overs when they should rather defend the constitution.

"If the civilian population know their constitutional rights they will be bold and willing to defend those rights any time there is an infringement either by ordinary persons, the government or the military."

He said NCCE's annual interactions with the military have revealed that behind every military take-over there are some politicians who support and initiate the action. Mr Bimi stressed that the 1992 constitution enjoins Ghanaians to defend it, which makes it different from the 1960, 1969 and 1979 constitutions.


He said there is an urgent demand for knowledge and information for Ghanaians to accelerate the growth and sustenance of democracy and constitutionalism.

He said April 28 has been adopted as the commencement date for the activities of the constitutional week to commemorate the national referendum for the endorsement of the 1992 constitution.

As part of the briefing, Mr. Bimi out-doored 69 slogan slips called "Know Your Constitution", portraying various provisions of the constitution.

Topics to be discussed during the celebration include the constitution and the youth - steps into the future, strengthening women's participation in decision making through cultural and traditional values, systems and practices and the dynamics of democratic consolidation in shaping state institutions.

The NCCE chairman said the role of the security services in consolidating democracy would be given a boost with their involvement in the celebration through durbars.

Source: GNA