He acquits himself like a General THE INFORMATION Minister Designate, Mr. Dan Kweku Botwe, yesterday passed through the mill at the sitting of the Appointment Vetting Committee with ease as he gallantly displayed his capacity for delivering as a true general. Mr. Botwe answered hard-hitting questions ranging from his role during his schooling days, what forced him into exile and what he would be doing when given the nod as the Minister.
Sounding more confident in delivering, the nominee pledged to ensure that all the citizens of the nation would be well-informed about government policies and programmes.
“My basic belief is that if you go by the definition of democracy by Abraham Lincoln, government of the people, by the people for the people, government has to let the people know what the government is doing. This is because their mandate is from the people.
It is important that people understand government, appreciate government. People should be very well-informed. We should aim at having a free, united, well-informed public. I will certainly add to what is being done to make sure that the citizens of Ghana are well informed about the government policies and programmes.”
On the assertions that there were a lot of injustices perpetrated against sections of Ghanaians to the extent that Ghanaians always cry foul, Mr. Botwe, who claimed that the NPP is the pacesetter for democracy indicated that once the public is well informed about the constitution of Ghana, the electorate would be careful in assessing whatever is put into the public domain.
The Minister who believed on the rule of law was grilled through the role he played in the dismissal of Mr. Kakra Asamoah following his pronouncement in favour of the then candidate of the NDC, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills. He stated that the dismissal of Mr. Asamoah was in line with the NPP's constitution.
Mr. Botwe, who stated that he will resign from his recent position as the general secretary of the NPP, told the vetting committee how he went into exile. “In 1982, there were supposed to be a revolution in Ghana as the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) at its congress at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi in 1983 resolved that, the students union should collaborate with all the democratic forces to make sure that the PNDC handed over to the Chief Justice and proceed to organize democratic elections and its subsequent handing over to the civilian regime. We were supposed to prosecute that agenda based on the mandate of the highest decision making body of the NUGS which was the congress.”
“While we were at this conference of KNUST, we were attacked by miners from Obuasi and other revolutionary forces which led to the closure of the university in the country; we were at home for sometime. But because we were given the mandate to see to it that the PNDC handed over to the chief justice, we were prosecuting that agenda. In the course of that, there was a coup attempt in 19th June, following that it became necessary that we leave the country,” he explained.
According to him, after the failure of the coup attempt on 19th June led by Cpl. Halidu Gyiwah and others, they were involved in a way to the effect that some forces came to Kumasi where they were operating and where it was announced that they should report. He said since the forces embarked upon operation search and destroy where there was no time for justice coupled with the notions that they were being sought for, they took a decision and left the country.
Mr. Dan Botwe explained the roles played by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who he described as somebody who fought for independence and other cases but was quick to add that with the greatest respect, Nkrumah's values were purely adherence to the core values of the leaders of the Danquah Busiah tradition, where Paa Grant, he claimed was rich and used his wealth to help in setting up the pace for democracy which eventually brought the property owning Democracy.
“The Danquah Busia tradition of which the NPP takes it routes had fought for a free society, a society which respects the individual rights. We believe in the fact that when the individual is free then the whole society is free and when the individual is prosperous, the whole society is also prosperous.
Our tradition, right from 1950s by our fore bearers talked about having a free society, people having elections regularly and through a constitutional rule of law, we have believed in it, our fore bearers died for it,” he gloated.
The Information Minister designate pledged to help in ensuring that the state media gives free and fair coverage to all the parties.