Ghana: NDC denounces Police over swift arrest and detention of radio panelist

Posted: February 22, 2010 in Politics
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THE RULING National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed grave concern over the swift manner the police arrested a New Patriotic Party (NPP) radio panelist, Nana Darkwa Baafi, and the subsequent two weeks remand handed down to him by the Cocoa Affairs Court in Accra.

Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle, the National Organiser of the NDC, Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan, observed that though the comment by the radio panelist was condemnable, the decision by the police to process him for court, and got him remanded on the same day, raises a lot of questions, which NDC is not happy with.

Gyan however condemned the NPP for failing to chastise the Nana Darkwa for the comment he made, which he admitted could not be proved.

He is equally unhappy that the Minority decided to boycott Parliament as a result of this case.

“How can you do that? It was unfortunate that the NPP, as a political party, did not see anything wrong with the irresponsible statement of Nana Darkwa, but continues to hail him, as a hero.

Is that what they want to instil among the youth? It is clear that the NPP is encouraging some sort of irresponsibility, and allowing the youth to go on air and insult our elders, and go scot free,” he said.

According to him, scripturally, the Bible states that parents need to teach their children what is good, so that when they grow, they would not depart from it, arguing that the NPP was doing the contrary.

Mr. Yaw Gyan called on all the clergy, chiefs, and traditional leaders, to appeal to the NPP Minority to rescind its decision to boycott Parliament.

He urged the rank and file of the NPP to send good signals to other countries that are praising Ghana for its true democratic credentials, asking, “why have they decided to pamper and condone irresponsible behavior?”

To him, what Nana Darkwa Baafi said after he was released, that he was going to say worse things, should give an indication that he had not repented from his loose talk, and urged the NPP to condemn it, rather than hailing and praising him.

Meanwhile, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Minority in Parliament insists their boycott from parliamentary proceedings still holds until charges against Nana Darkwa, who was arrested, detained, and released on Friday, are dropped.

“There should be discontinuance of this case, because the law under which he has been charged, is an obnoxious one,” Minority Leader Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu told The Chronicle in an interview yesterday.

He added that for 35 years, that law had never been applied, as such they do not know whether it was the best of legislation in our statute books, hence the call for its repeal.

“With the repeal of the criminal libel law, criminalising free speech should not be entertained.”

According to him, the Minority’s decision to boycott Parliamentary proceedings was taken long before Nana Darkwa was released, so they would continue to monitor events between the time of his release from jail, and Tuesday morning, to determine their position on the issue, since they were not sure of what would happen in the days ahead.

“We took the decision to withdraw before he was released on bail. We will continue to monitor unfolding events between the time of his release from bail and Tuesday morning, and depending on what registers on the radar, we will review our position, and take the appropriate action,” he noted.

The Minority NPP walked out of Parliament last Friday, as a sign of protest against the detention of Nana Darkwa, who was whisked away by the police during a radio discussion on a local-based radio station, Top Radio, on Thursday morning.

Police sources say their action was timely to save Nana Darkwa from an angry mob that had besieged the premises of the radio station to demand for his (Nana Darkwa) head.

The police had attributed the mob gathering to the derogatory comments by Nana Darkwa against former president Rawlings, claiming he (Rawlings) allegedly burnt his own house.

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