Remove Indemnity Clauses To Make Politicians, Citizens Equal—Rawlings

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Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has raised concern over what he termed, “problematic clauses” such as the transitional provisions and the indemnity clauses in the 1992 constitution.

According to him, there was the need for the clause to be reviewed to ensure that everyone Ghanaians is equal before the law to encourage transparency, accountability and responsible governance.

Former President Rawlings made the call when he delivered keynote address at a parade, wreath-laying and durbar to climax commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the June 4 uprising at Nungua on Tuesday.

In his view, the indemnity clause which is a constitutional entrenched clauses is protecting some high public office holders and encouraging others to abuse their public office and criminally profit from same without question, stressing that,”over the years the indemnity clauses have emboldened certain characters to abuse their offices and profit themselves”

The constitution of the Fourth Republic, he said, “was created by us, for us and to serve us, and in light of the 25 years, there is an unqualified need to reform or rewrite our current constitution. An urgent constituent assembly ought to be established with the necessary powers to rewrite the constitution.”

The former President noted that the transitional provisions and the indemnity clauses remained problematic and called for a constitutional review to ensure that everyone is equal before the law to encourage transparency, accountability and responsible governance.

Addressing cadres and members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Rawlings who was Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), and subsequent first President of the Fourth Republic pointed out that “Ghana’s developmental problems arise from lack self-discipline.

The former President said our cities are engulfed with filth because “Citizens do not feel responsible enough to keep their homes and communities clean. Many of us who lament about flooding during the rainy season are very guilty of the indiscretions that lead to the deadly floods. We dump refuse indiscriminately and wonder why drains choke. Some actually see the rains as an opportunity to dump refuse, believing the rainwater will sweep them away. If we continue this level of lawlessness, we are bound to face more serious flood disasters.

He however urged Ghanaians to do thorough introspection on themselves and identify where they fall short or not, for we all do fall short one way or the other.

Touching on the circumstances that brought June 4 Uprising in 1979, the AFRC Chairman said the explosion of June 4 could have taken place on May 15 of the same year had the charge in the atmosphere been ignited anywhere before midnight that day.

He intimated that If those political actors who took over after June 4 had learned a lesson from the Uprising, the 31st December 1981 Revolution could have been avoided.

The former President recounted that, soon after the PNP government took office, some of his appointees devalue the importance of the uprising and smartly lured some of AFRC members out of the country, but what they forgot was that most of the genuine, unrewarded and unrecognized leaders were still on the ground.

He added that the intention was to intimidate, harass, arrest and persecute some of them, stressing that, it was to re-terrorize people back into subordination and submissiveness, in order to re-govern the people with the fear factor.

Before the keynote address, Mr Rawlings reviewed parade formed by a contingent of young cadres and also lighted the perpetual flame in memory of the fallen heroes.

He used the occasion to advise Ghanaians to remember the discipline that characterized June 4th and replicate that everywhere.

Some of the key members of NDC present at the durbar were Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Koku Anyodoho and among others including NSC Deputy Youth Organizer, Edem Agbana.

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