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15.02.2007 General News

Resist Culture Of Impunity — Prof Awoonor

Professor Kofi Awoonor, a visiting scholar of the University of Ghana, has called on Ghanaians to resist the culture of impunity that is creeping into the body politic of the country.

He observed that politics derived its legitimacy and force from humanism and not from impunity and insensitivity to the suffering of people, which seemed to be the order of the day.

Professor Awoonor, who was speaking at the launch of his book, titled ''The African Predicament'', deplored the fact that the culture of silence, had been replaced by a culture of impunity in the body politic.

He therefore urged all well-meaning Ghanaians, who spoke against the culture of silence, to also speak against this canker.

He said the country held a magnificent promise and true writers ought not to allow this opportunity to elude Ghanaians.

He said he had therefore decided to compile his essays from 1972 to 2004 as his contribution of engendering a debate on the development of the country.

He said it was the belief that while the political elite in Latin America had seen the light and were fighting to preserve their natural resources for the benefit of the people, Africans were collaborating with global imperialism to loot their resources.

He said the picture of the African continent was that of despair and hopelessness with the majority of the people living in slums without any basic amenities .

Professor Awoonor said the book, which had 28 chapters and 424 pages, captured the serious, as well as the funny sides of Ghanaian characters, to make for lively reading.

Professor S. O Gyandoh, a Former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, who launched the book, said it was worth reading by Africans because the author had successfully related his studies to the needs of the ordinary African.

He said human rights and democracy were not limited to the freedom of expression but the provision of shelter, food and health and tranquillity of mind.

Professor Gyandoh said the Berlin Conference of 1884- 85 was a damaging outrage ever perpetuated on people and the African predicament ought to open the eyes and ears of the educated African to do away with the garbage of inferiority and replace it with cultural egalitarianism.

Present at the book launch were dignitaries like the flag bearer of National Democratic Congress, and former Vice President of Ghana, Professor Evans John Atta Mills.

Story by Abdul Aziz