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Opinions Sat, 9 Jan 2021

Soldiers entering Ghana Parliament to restore peace and order is not a treasonable offence

On Friday, 8 January 2021, at around 07:00 to 07:30 hours, I could hear an NDC member or parliamentarian grant a phone call interview to one Mark Jerry, a programme presenter in Ghana.

He claimed the military personnel that stormed parliament had in effect committed a treasonable offence since their action amounted to staging a coup d'état. Therefore, they must be found, investigated, prosecuted and punished accordingly and in line with the relevant statutes in the 1992 Constitution by which the nation is governed.

The said NDC interviewee cited how the American Congress is treating the storming of the Capitol Building, thus, the Congress building, by the Republican protesters supportive of the American outgoing President Donald Trump to buttress his contention.

He said, the American Houses of Representative and Senate see the forceful entry by the protesters as sedition, subversion or coup d'état hence the action by the military personnel entering Ghana parliament uninvited or without the collective consent of the Members of Parliament amount equally to the actions by the American protesters and the charges being preferred against the trespassers and their master(s).

Without beating about the bush but hitting the nail right in the head, I will ask the said MP (interviewee) to get his facts and comparisons right without appearing to be naive about the circumstances of both incidents.

In America, President Donald Trump in refusing to concede defeat to his rival President-elect Joe Biden, has since 3 November 2020 been churning out multitude of unsubstantiated allegations of election riggings in favour of his rival, and subsequently instituting an equally number of failed electoral lawsuits in that regard. He, Donald Trump, had incited his supporters to storm the Capitol to prevent the Senators from certifying Joe Biden's presidential win.

The Senators had met to count the Electoral College votes as had been submitted by each American State to ceremonially confirm Joe Biden as the President-elect of America who is to be sworn in as the 47th American President come 20 January 2021.

What they had congregated to do is in fulfilment of the American Constitution. Therefore, to use brute force, destructive violence amid fatalities to stop the process from happening so as to give credence to the wild electoral fraud allegations by Donald Trump, to his benefit, surely amounts to subversion, sedition or coup d'état as one may choose to see it or call it.

However, in Ghana's case, the soldiers had entered the House of Parliament to restore peace and order because the parliamentarians were behaving far stupidly childishly. They were fighting themselves, incapable of casting simple ballots to elect a new Speaker of Parliament for the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic.

I understand Muntaka Mubarak (Hon), alias Muntaka hampers or pampers from the NDC camp threw a blow at a colleague MP with Carlos Kingsley Ahenkora (Hon) making a runner with the ballot box.

There was a total melee in the house all because the NDC had as usual embarked on a diabolic agenda to have one of their kind elected the Speaker of Parliament, taking over the seating place of the majority caucus in parliament, although the NDC are numerically obviously the minority.

The fighting among the supposed men and women of honour but actually dishonourable and misfits, demanded that security forces intervened to stop them from hurting or killing themselves. The soldiers intervened without molesting or arresting anyone. As soon as they entered parliament, order and peace prevailed, therefore, paving way for the blows-throwing shameful MPs to cast their ballots in calmness to elect the Speaker of Parliament of their dodgy choice.

Finally, it will be ignorant on the part of the NDC MP (interviewee) to compare the situation in America to that of Ghana. They are totally two different scenarios or incidents without resemblance. He had tried his hardest to compare apples to oranges in similarities but he has failed.

It is shocking and sad that the Ghanaian programme presenters do not always have the decency to correct their interviewees or guests when they are seen to be erring but leave them to throw dust into the people's eyes.
Columnist: Rockson Adofo