Opinions Wed, 4 Jun 2008

Osahene Boakye Djan, June 4 and the Political Free Market

If Ghanaians resolve to promote a free political economic market environment as a constitutional duty Boakye Djan's book draws their attention to a number of anti-competitive trends, counter trends and tendencies capable of either promoting or demoting free competition by political parties in the political market for the power to govern.

The commemoration of June 4th 2008 as the 29th anniversary of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) is with us again in our rightful pursuance to work for self, unite self and acquire wealth for self in a political free market devoid of the violent usurpation of power. We are determined to be masters of our own continent however long it takes.

Ghana should be marking the distinctive achievement of June 4 and its AFRC administration as the only successful response to the national call to duty to enforce the restoration of our constitution with all our rights and liberties under it when foreign and local interests working together unlawfully overthrew constitutions from 1966-1979.

The Rigged Political Market

The political market in Ghana today is not substantively free. It is a rigged PNDC-created Duopolistic market dominated by the National Democratic Party (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). With unfair market power nurtured from 1981-2000 they continue to market their political merchandise using the strategies of personalities, ethnicity, money and religion with potentially disastrous consequences for the unity of Ghana.

The Ghanaian media supposed to champion the pluralistic political free market rather consciously undermines political competition by failing to distinguish “a defence of the constitutional order...with the defence of the government of the day”, Boakye Djan notes in his book. They have intensified the market power of the duopoly. The near creation of a monopolistic political party by destroying others are even the strategic aim of some economic agents. Information and political education necessary for the proper operation of the political free market is damaging it.

On the anniversary of June 4 we must remind Ghanaians of the AFRC's strategic aim of the restoration of competitive political parties in a political free market which is not rigged in the favour of any particular party by all means including politically-motivated violence.

The Enforced Restoration of the Constitution in 1979

We remember on this anniversary all the members of all ranks and positions of the Ghana Armed Forces who launched June 4 in order to enforce the restoration of the constitution of Ghana.

Any and all usurpation of power through politically-motivated violence is treason and those who commit such acts are liable under the laws of Ghana.

We commemorate the successful enforced liberation of the political free market in the 1979 elections and the enforced restoration of the laws that govern that political market. We however regret that, by decree, the de facto AFRC government did not unban the political party that remained banned at the time in order to create more freedom in the political market.

We also remember some of the many who are still crying for justice: General Barwah, Lt. Sam Arthur, Lt. Moses Yeboah, Cpl Baffoe, the Kulungugu bouquet School Girl, Major Ocran, Capl Sarkodie Addo and the humiliated Ghanaian Women amongst others. We call for the publication of The National Reconciliation Commission report in furtherance of justice.

We note from Boakye Djan's book that Ghana is yet to put up a National Constitution Square and set aside a day as a National Constitution Day to both commemorate and teach constitutionality and constitutional duty.

Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC)

On the anniversary of June 4 we note that those Ghanaians who created, managed and profited from the anti-constitution government of the PNDC and its offshoots the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are yet to arrested, tried and, if convicted, punished according to the law.

In order to execute the ends of justice against these Ghanaians the future 2009 Parliament may consider, according to Boakye Djan, converting itself into a constituent assembly to promulgate a new constitution preceded by purging the 1992 Constitution of all unwholesome and restrictive parts such as the Transitional Provisions.

Ghana's Parliament must therefore be transformed to enforce free competition in the political market. Their promulgation of a new constitution must provide for a national political coalition rule in which the Convention Peoples' Party (CPP) and other Nkrumaist parties also partake in order to help create a more level playing free field for all political parties by unrigging it.

This is preferable to the proposed anti-competitive state-supported programme championed by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and opposed by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD).

It will resolve the anomaly of promoting free market economics for private sector businesses but creating state-supported anti-competitive political market in favour of an already entrenched duopoly.

The Enforced Restoration of Ghana's Constitution in the Future

As political parties campaign and market themselves for the power to govern Ghana on behalf of Sovereign Ghanaians, all citizens of Ghana have the duty to enforce the restoration of Ghana's constitution should it be overthrown or abrogated or suspended.

There are Ghanaians who in our political free market dispensation in law rather than practice still praise coup-makers as immortal heroes in the constitutional and democratic development of Ghana. Some openly love coups or say coups are good.

Ghanaians cannot therefore assume that coups are a thing of the past and must not assume that a Paa Kwesi Ndoum or an Akufo-Addo or a Mills Government is safe from person(s) determined to commit the offence of high treason against them.

The 1992 Constitution too makes no such assumption and thus enjoins all citizens 'to do all in their power to restore this Constitution after it has been suspended, overthrown, or abrogated'.

However, despite the contribution of June 4 and the AFRC to our laws, there are still no clear legal procedures set out in Parliamentary Regulations or otherwise to be followed by those enjoined to restore an overthrown, suspended or abrogated constitution.

It is this void that allows notable sons of Africa like Busumuru Kofi Annan to ask us to merely 'isolate and ostracise those who seize power through military coups against elected governments'. This is less than what the 1992 Constitution says we should do in the event of a coup.

The new 2009 Parliament should consider rectifying this legal omission as a matter of urgency.

Free Market Violence

The political market failure, of economic agents in Ghana, namely, consumers, producers, importers, exporters and the public sector including government, to obey the rules of the political market for the power to govern is at the root of human rights abuses and violations in Ghana. These agents in various combinations went ahead to usurp the power to govern by force and violence. This is essentially the argument of Boakye Djan in his book.

As long as there is a minority of Ghanaians for whom treason is an acceptable method for violently and forcefully usurping the power to govern Ghana, the work of the 2002 National Reconciliation Commission will never be enough.

Ghana must in the future set up instead a Peace and Settlement Commission to promote peace and settlement and provide for related matters among the competitors for political power. This alternative commission proposed by Boakye Djan to Parliament was rejected. The new 2009 Parliament should consider setting up a Peace and Settlement Commission to complement the coalition rule.

Background: “Call to Duty”

(1) The book's full title is Call to Duty: The Enforced Restoration of the Constitution of Ghana. It was published by NewGuide Books, Tema, in 2007. It was written in honour of the elected former first citizens and principal victims of anti-constitution coups.

(2) The call to duty which concretely manifested itself on June 4th according to Osahene Boakye Djan went through five phases of operations. These were the preparatory phase (24th February to 15th May 1979) , the fire-fight phase (June 4th 1979-June 5th 1979), the administration phase and the disengagement phase (5th June 1979-24th September 1979) and the post-handover phase. Its preparatory phase (24th September 1979-31st December 1981). The AFRC was the product of Free Africa Movement with stated aims (see pages 47-48). There were five layers of the June 4th Uprising and AFRC (see page206/7).

(3) Professor Florence Abena Dolphyne of the NRC in the NRC cross examination (see 113-117) spoke for all women and my mother too when she raised the matter of the suffering of women. My mother, Madam Victoria Awo Yakah from Mafi Aklamador in Central Tongu, was a victim of the AFRC's authorisation of the destruction of the Makola Market and later died from psychological trauma and capital destruction.

(4) Uborr Dalafu Labal II of the NRC in the NRC cross examination (see 118-121) also spoke for us all when he said “what we know is that a coup brings hardships where some people take the law into their own hands. In fact they take over the whole law, they make their own laws. They implement them. They interpret them. They reject them the way they think fit, and push all other laws aside. And they brutalise and kill us. They maim us, they rob us.” Kwame Nkrumah's Dark Days in Ghana documents these things which the British and American supported coup of 1966 did to us.

Note on Writer: Kwami is the former CPP UK & Ireland Regional Secretary, Ablekuma Central CPP Constituency Chairman and The Greater Accra Regional Education Secretary.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

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