FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF GHANA STUDENTS (NUGS)
ON WEDNESDAY, 28TH SEPTEMBER, 2011 –INTERNATIONAL RIGHT TO KNOW DAY
INFORMATION FOR DEVELOPMENT: GHANA'S FORWARD MARCH
We the students' of Ghana are clear on the importance of information which is key to our nation's development.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression which includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”.
Also, Ghana's constitution Article 21 under the General Fundamental Freedoms section, states that,
(1)All persons shall have the right to –
(a) Freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media.
With today being the ninth celebration of the International Right to Know Day, the National Union of Ghana Students' (NUGS) wants to appeal to the Members of Ghana's Parliament to help facilitate the passage of the Right to Information Bill which has been in the House for sometime now.
Historically, Ghana's right to information bill was drafted in 2002 by the then Attorney-General and this bill has since gone through a lot of changes. However, the inability on the part of our Parliamentarians in passing the bill infringes on human rights of Ghanaians as well as the rights enshrined in the Universal
Declaration on Human Rights as quoted above.
With the above legal backing at the backdrop and other moral underpinnings, NUGS believes that, the passage of the Right to Information Bill in Ghana will achieve for our nation;
(a)Transparency and accountability with regards to how elected officials spend tax-payers money which are key ingredients of good governance.
(b)Create satisfaction in Ghanaians most especially when the people of the country get access to government-held informations.
(c)Ensure an absolute freedom in the operations of the Ghanaian Press which is the fourth estate of the realm and win for our nation an informed populace.
As we all observe Wednesday, 28 September, 2011 as the International Right to Know Day, we the leadership and people of the National Union of Ghana Students' (NUGS) stand together with the citizens of the world to call on our governments across the world to respect the right of every citizen to information.
We are also calling on the government of Ghana, Parliamentarians, Political Parties, Civil Societies, Student leaders and the Ghanaian populace to help secure for ourselves the passage of the Right to Information Bill into an enabling act which is vital for our nation's development.
It's our solemn hope that we will use today to educate ourselves on the benefits our nation stands to bask in when its people have an easy and unfettered access to government-held informations be it publicly-held or privately-held informations.
AUSTIN BRAKO-POWERS OSMAN AYARIGA
NUGS PRESS & INFO SECRETARY NUGS PRESIDENT
+233 242 62 81 64 +233 243 84 62 52