Politics of Thursday, 1 November 2012
The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), a civil society organisation that examines causes of conflicts has condemned the strategies being employed by some political parties in their quest to win or hang onto political power in the upcoming general elections.
A statment issued by FOSDA and signed by Mr Abubarkar Siddique, Communications Officer on Wednessday said the creeping use of secret recordings in Ghana’s political landscape to score political points was worrying.
It said in as much as it endorses the rights of individuals to free expression, it behoves on the leadership of political parties “to tread on the path of caution and exhibit political maturity in their attempt to win the hearts and minds of Ghanaian electorates.”
While acknowledging the fact that secret recordings have sometimes made a huge and needed difference in both political and crime circumstances, it is essentially a free speech issue in an arena in which public figures would always need to be on guard about what they say and who they say it to.
"The contents of the messages and the intents of these secret recordings, which are alleged to have being made by such obviously big political shots with huge followers, have the potential of undermining our institutions of state" it said.
The introduction of secret recordings in our political scene, the statement added, also has the potential of suppressing individual’s right to speak openly on their thoughts on issues of national importance without the fear of being recorded.
"We at FOSDA believe that this strategy of secret recordings could sway the focus from real manifesto messages and decent campaigning.”
The country has in recent months witnessed many secret recordings of public figures mainly made of officials of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Some of those who have being alleged to have been caught on tape include Baba Jamal, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Yaw Boateng Gyan, National Organiser of NDC, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Member of Parliament for Asokwa and Mr Anthony Abayifa Karbo, immediate National Youth Organiser of NPP.
FOSDA therefore called on the security apparatus of the state to step up its already good works to investigate the veracity of all secret tapes to put these matters to rest.