Threats of non-development of Aflao, Gov't must come clean
The New Patriotic Party is very disturbed by the import of the statement issued by the Senior Divisional Chiefs, Council of Elders and the Youth Association of Aflao on 30 th May 2012. That statement expressed their fears that the decision of the Founder of the National Democratic Congress and his loyalists to hold the 33 rd Anniversary of June 4 in Aflao may result in the area being penalised by the government in the area of development.
This signal, a very dangerous departure from constitutional rule, pitches the free exercise of constitutional rights, such as freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, on one hand, against the constitutional duty of the state to develop every community o the country without discrimination.
The NPP cannot accept this dangerous departure onto the slippery road of arbitrary rule or the threat of arbitrary rule. It is our view that government should quickly issue a statement to assure the Chiefs and people of Aflao that they have no reason to entertain any such fears. To ignore this is to add credence to the worrying allegation that prior threats from government to the Chiefs and People of Aflao, at least, influenced the issuance of the said statement from Aflao.
The import of the statement from Aflao is the implied threatening message it sends not only to the people of Aflao in the Volta Region but also to the rest of the country that allowing certain opposing views from certain opposing personalities or groups to be freely expressed in any geographical space in Ghana may lead to severe sanctions from the State.
Article 35 clause (6) sub-section (d) states the State shall ensure “undertaking even and balanced development of all regions and every part of each region of Ghana, and, in particular, improving the conditions of life in the rural areas, and generally, redressing any imbalance in development between the rural and the urban areas.”
We call on the President of the Republic of Ghana to show leadership and take immediate responsible steps to assure the Chiefs and people of Aflao, and by extension all the people of Ghana that it would not be that vindictive to deny a whole area its share of the national development cake because that area ends up to be the venue of choice by any person or group that is likely to make statements opposing the ruling party or its current leadership.
For government to remain quiet on this issue is to advance the impression it wants certain areas to become no-go zones for opposing voices.
The NPP believes its mantra of Development in Freedom, which is endorsed by the Constitution of the 4 th Republic, should be allowed to serve as the means to national development and that freedom should not an option that can be suspended for the sake of development.
We will continue in our agitation to build a free and fair society of opportunities for every Ghanaian everywhere in Ghana.
Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie
NPP General Secretary