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Arthur Kennedy writes: Tolerance and our democracy

Arthur KennedyArthur Kennedy

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 Source: Arthur Kennedy

Fellow citizens, our democracy is not as secure as we think.

I have come to this realization because of the KOKU ANYIDOHO affair-- his arrest on charges of treason.

Before I get into the substance, let me state the following for the avoidance of doubt.

First, I condemn his remarks and he should not mistake the sympathy he is getting for agreement with his language.

Second, KOKU is a difficult person to sympathize with-- he has made quite a number of reckless statements, dating to when the NDC was in power.

Third, I know there is a lot of hypocrisy at play here. Many of those condemning ANYIDOHO's treatment would be cheering the NDC on if they were in power and did the same thing to an NPP member. And the NPP members defending the government would be outraged if the shoe was on the other foot. This is exactly what happened during the NDC regime when Hon. Kennedy Agyapong was arrested.

Fourth, I am confused by the President's silence on this. He is a human rights activist who has made decisive interventions to deepen our democracy. I cannot believe that he is untroubled by this arrest.

Now, to get to the issue, democracy requires tolerance, the equal application of laws regardless of partisanship and consistency.

Our security forces have become opportunistic, chameleonic partisans playing our politicians like a fiddle for their selfish interests. Based on who is in power, they harass the opposition to curry favour.

Thus they chase the likes of Ken Agyapong when we are in opposition and the likes of KOKU when the NDC is out of power.

If Koku's words would trigger arrest, why did President Rawlings' call for a revolution at the last 31st December revolution anniversary not alarm the security forces?

Any security capo who is troubled by KOKU but not Rawlings would be considered off his game except in Ghana.

Our history is very much alive. It is not only Nkrumah who never dies. UGCC, CPP, UP, our revolutions --true and false, Kolungugu, Nsawam, Teshie--they are all alive for better or for worse.

As Nobel Laureate William Faulkner said, "The past is never dead. It is not even past.". We must kill the bad past, with love, tolerance and generosity.

America's Second President, John Adams had the Seditions Act passed by his supporters without his knowledge to suppress his enemies in 1798. He realized its harmful effects too late and it led to the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800.

Wise, patriotic leaders must be wary of bad political advice, even from those who mean well.

Let's not make KOKU ANYIDOHO a martyr. He does NOT deserve it and we are better than that.

Long live our democracy.

Long live Ghana.

Columnist: Arthur Kennedy
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