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Yaw Buabeng Asamoah Reacts After 53 FMCs Threaten To Vote Against  Akufo-Addo | Banking/Finance |
Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, the NPP’s Communications Director.

That lawlessness reigns supreme in Ghana under the current administration is not surprising. The ruling party is an off-shoot of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) which violated laws with impunity. It exploded bombs across the country, killed innocent school children, employed all kinds of terrorist methods and advocated national division in the name of federalism.

Significantly, only last week, George Ayisi, a leading communicator of the party confirmed that members of its vigilante groups have been absorbed into the national security apparatus in spite of the fact that Parliament has passed legislation banning such unconstitutional groups from operating.

His strange justification for the recruitment of members of NPP vigilante groups into the national security apparatus is that ‘they are Ghanaians!!!’

What utter rubbish! Are the members of NPP vigilante groups the only Ghanaians in town? Are members of NDC vigilante groups from outer space?

The latest confirmation of general lawlessness in the country has come from Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, the NPP’s Communications Director. In a press statement, he stated categorically that “the key argument is that extraordinary measures overriding current legal rights are permissible if the intent and action is in the line of duty and will preserve larger public interests.”

He went on to state that “even though there will be innocent victims in the government’s actions, the likelihood of innocent victims ought not to stop the state from exerting its authority in the interests of preserving our common heritage, be it in the cleaning of Accra or battling galamsey.”

Interestingly, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah is a lawyer and should have known better. First, the state cannot have any responsibility or authority beyond or behind the law. All the principles which spring out of all the concepts of the rule of law insist that everything and anything in civilized societies must be provided for by the law.

The acceptance of the reality that the unlawful acts of the Akufo-Addo government will affect what he calls innocent victims is more than grim. Who will these innocent victims be? And what is the extent of damage they may suffer?

In the context of the current fight against galamsey, some of the victims will be ruined for life. Their life savings will be whittled away and the psychological impact of the lawlessness of government could destroy the quality of their lives.

It is indeed strange that the Akufo-Addo government is refusing to listen to the advice of some of the so-called Civil Society Organisations which campaigned for it to win power in 2016. The likes of Occupy Ghana have pointed out that the burning of excavators allegedly being used for illegal mining operations is illegal.

Who can disagree with Occupy Ghana? The fact is that under Ghanaian law, vigilante groups absorbed into national security, the police and the armed forces have no powers to punish those who break the law. The power to punish is reserved for the courts.

So if we see the burning of the excavators as a punishment then it becomes clear who can or cannot order the burning of excavators.

The invocation of the national interest is also neither here nor there, given the fact that the national interest itself cannot be defined outside the framework of law.

There is also the commonsensical side to the issue. We are told that some excavators can cost up to US$500,000 (five hundred thousand US dollars). Why destroy any useful thing worth US$500,000 in a country which pays some of its workers as low as GHC200.00 (two hundred Ghana Cedis) a month? Why destroy excavators which are needed for all kinds of development projects throughout the country?

The law insists that all accused persons should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a competent court. The burning of excavators clearly presumes the guilt rather that the innocence of its owners.

Yes, all reasonable Ghanaians can be assumed to be opposed to galamsey because of its destructive impact on the environment, social organisation and the economy of the country. However, the important question is, should we destroy the legal foundations of our society in our unguarded haste to destroy galamsey? How different can we be from the guy who in the haste to kill the fly ends up opening up his wound?

Yaw Buabeng Asamoah’s confirmation of the lawlessness of his own government is not shocking. It confirms what we have always known.