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Opinions of Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Columnist: Kyei Baffour

Constitutionalising the unconstitutional 31st December Coup: Is there not a cause to rant?

It was not out of nothing that NPP exercised the modicum of faith in the Supreme Court and tested the legality of the celebration of the 31st December Revolution, NPP v. AG (1993-94). The court in its verdict agreed with NPP, that the intended celebration of 31st December would glorify coup d’état and could undermine the people's resolve to resist coup; its celebration was unconstitutional and contrary to the spirit of the 1992 Constitution.

Over the years, private citizens have taken it upon themselves to celebrate this under the pretext of instilling the principles behind the coup. If it was needful and was in tandem with the aspirations and visions of the people of Ghana; the apex court would have given a green light on it. The Supreme Court held "...would glorify coup d’état and could undermine the people's resolve to resist coups" and this has been manifested after the ruling. We had a Minister of State who declared "violence begets violence" for which nothing was done about it. Again, a member of a Political Party issued a warning to a sitting President that "History shall repeat itself "and this was used in a reference to a coup. This and many other scenario shows that continuous celebration of 31st December anniversary has a potential threat on the peace of Ghana and that of its future generation. Such celebration has outlived its usefulness and has no value to add to our political governance anymore.

The very core principle that Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings claim necessitated for the coup can no longer be traced in his very party that he used as a tool in the revolution. What value is left again for Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and his allies to demonstrate to cause public attention for such celebration?

One will posit that, if it's unconstitutional to use public funds to celebrate anniversary of coup d’état, then won’t it be unconstitutional as well to use public facilities for such anniversary? NPP claimed that "PUBLIC CELEBRATION" of the coup detat of 31st December was inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution. One must not be oblivious of the general Constitutional principles, philosophies and aspirations underpining the Constitution when one quickly asserts that the judgement didn't oust the celebration of the coup.

Adade JSC reasoned on the premised supra by quoting Mohammed Mumuni to the effect that "when we reject a principle, we should reject it entirely". It wasn’t farfetched when both Adade and Francois JJSC foresaw a time like this, that some private citizens especially NDC and its allies shall engage in this subtle act of subverting the will of the people of Ghana by nicodemusly coming under the guise of private citizens.

To this end, I believe there is much cause to rant for an abrupt end of constitutionalising this unconstitutional 31st December celebration and I call on all and sundry to exercise this constitutional mandate of defending the constitution.

Kyei Baffour McPee

Mcbrainpee@gmail.com