Opinions of Tue, 26 Sep 20173

The vestiges of coup d’état: NDC’s perspective

Quite uncharacteristically, the supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a party that born out of a series of coup d’états, have been pathetically holding on to the Nkrumaists tradition.

Such behaviour is shameful and ignoble because as far as Ghanaians are concerned, the NDC Party was founded on the ideals of their coup making founder J. J. Rawlings (detailed in Article 6 of their party constitution), who had no defined ideology back then.

It would, however, appear that the NDC Party loyalists are not content with their coup making past, hence seeking refuge in the Nkrumaists tradition. Somehow, the NDC Party apparatchiks have over the years been hoodwinking and proselytising unsuspecting Ghanaians to believe that the NDC Party is a subsidiary of the Nkrumaists tradition.

The fact of the matter is that the NDC Party was founded on the ideals of coup making enthusiast J. J. Rawlings, who was a novice in the political terrain and did not share in the ideology of CPP and its founder, Dr Nkrumah.

It is also worthy of mention that the founders of the NDC Party, who gleefully staged a series of coup d’états, rather chose communist approach to ensuring sanity to the system, hence torturing and annihilating innocent people without any provocation whatsoever.

Take, for example, in their desperate, albeit callous attempt to get rid of the alleged sleazes and corruption back then, the NDC founders unjustifiably tortured and exterminated many innocent Ghanaians for apparent minimal offences.

Regrettably, when the communist enthusiast founders of the NDC Party burst onto the scene, they exhibited their propagandistic gimmicks and barbarically murdered people with more than two cars.

Sadly, however, the last time I checked, the vast majority of the supposedly exponents of the communist ideals are in possession of more than one vehicle.

Moreover, through propaganda, the NDC founders shamefully exhibited their communist ideals by going to war with businessmen and women in the country. Indeed, some genuine business men and women were needlessly harassed, imprisoned and forced to abandon their businesses.

Ironically, the founders of the NDC Party resorted to propaganda and replaced our educational system with that of a communist model. And after messing up our educational system, they hypocritically turned around and sent their children abroad to study in what they saw as a superior educational system.

Dearest reader, why must it then be surprising to see the NDC apparatchiks vehemently opposing the poverty intervention free SHS? As a matter of fact, the NDC loyalists have a penchant for resorting to disinformation metastasising, or to put it euphemistically, systematic propagation of propaganda.

All the same, it should never be a surprise to see a party whose founders have an inborn predilection for communist ideals to seek to establish school of communism with a view to producing more trained propagandists to proselytise and hoodwink unsuspecting electorates.

The crucial question then is: can Ghana afford more propagandists? I do not think so.

In any case, we must not lose sight of the fact that most wars, crimes and genocides which were perpetrated against humanity were expedited through the use of propaganda aimed at securing popular support for illegal and violent action.

Apparently, this can be witnessed continued in the past and in the modern era. For we can sadly point to the Nazi hate speech which preceded the Holocaust, the Radio and Television hate speech which preceded the Rwandan Genocide and al-Qaeda hate speech which preceded the attacks on ‘World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001.

In hindsight, we can infer that uncontrolled propaganda could spell doom for a nation, so, it is necessary and proper for the government to do everything in its power to restrict any “ideological” institute that can promote vile propaganda.

Strictly speaking, freedom of opinion and expression is not an absolute right in national and international jurisprudence. In fact, this right, like others, may be restricted to protect and balance other rights and interests.

However, it is the complexion and the degree of these restrictions that is often contended in extant human rights and security jurisprudence.

Take, for example, Article 20(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) requires states to prohibit propaganda: “Any advocacy of national, tribe, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law”.

Even though some experts contend that restrictions on hate speech can be justified, Article 20(2) has proven highly controversial and is variously criticised as being overly restrictive of free speech or as not going far enough in the categories of hatred it covers.

In so far as Article 20(2) does not obligate states to prohibit all negative statements towards national groups, tribes, races or religions, if a statement “constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,” it must be condemned in no uncertain terms”.

Actually, the two known restrictions on the right to freedom of expression are: The prohibition of advocacy of any national, racial or religious hatred and the prohibition of propaganda.

Nevertheless, the prohibition of propaganda is not innately contradictory to the right to freedom of expression.

The right holder, however, has to be cognisant of the duty and obligations which are encapsulated in the international human rights instruments.

Interestingly, however, while propaganda for genocide is codified as an international crime, the propaganda for the incitement to aggressive war is not.

Nevertheless, incitement to commit an illegal act is in itself illegal under international law.

Furthermore, incitement, instigation, abetment and solicitation are all common to various criminal codes world-wide. These are generally considered "inchoate offense[s]" or "a step toward[s] the commission of another crime, the step itself being serious enough to merit punishment”.

In the English common law for instance, there are three general inchoate offenses: 1) attempt; 2) conspiracy; and 3) incitement.

“Incitement conveys a "general label to cover any use of words or other device by which a person is requested, urged, advised, and counselled, tempted, commanded, or otherwise enticed to commit a crime."

In concluding, let us all come together and say no to the NDC’s institute of “propagandism”.

Columnist: K. Badu

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