Political pressure group, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), has lashed at the Majority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Cletus Avoka, for what it terms “cheap propaganda” by a man of his calibre to deliberately dump the Right to Information Bill (RTI) into the dust bin.
The group expressed shock at the position of Hon. Avoka that the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill is less important and – for that matter – not a priority among the 14 bills currently under consideration by the august house of Parliament for passage before the end of this Fifth Term of the House.
Expressing its grievance in a press statement jointly signed and issued by the leadership of the group in Accra yesterday, AFAG noted that those comments made by the Majority Leader of Parliament really exposed him and the NDC as a group of people who just made all sort of promises to Ghanaians in 2008 just to get their votes.
AFAG described Mr. Avoka as a “political novice” who does not deserve to be a Majority Leader, and argued that often NDC appointees, in their zeal to defend the indefensible, end up making statements that tend to place the whole country in a bad light.
The statement reminded the Hon. Avoka that, it was his own party, the NDC, which he leads in Parliament, that promised the good people of Ghana during campaign for the 2008 elections that once elected into national administration, they will see to the passage of the Right to Information Bill as soon as possible to demonstrate their commitment to the fight against corruption.

“Interestingly today, the leader of the [NDC] majority in Parliament has the effrontery to display such arrogance by stating categorically that, the RTI bill is not a priority. Is it the case that, the President has lost his moral commitment to the fight on corruption? Or the case is that the Ghanaian does not deserve enough to demand [that national administration live up its own] manifesto promise made during the 2008 elections?”

According to the statement, a search conducted by AFAG shows that, as part of its commitment to the fight against corruption, the NPP national administration of President Kufuor repealed the Criminal Libel Law, and passed the following laws, Internal Audit Act, the Financial Administration Act, the Public Procurement Law and Whistle Blowers Act.

AFAG affirmed that it cannot make mention any bill passed during this President Mills term that is aimed at tackling the menace of corruption in this country.

“We are however aware of a range of corruption scandals, rocking various sectors under the watch of His Excellency the President with little or no effort taken to reprimand such public officials and their allies,” AFAG pointed out and stated categorically: “Mr. President, we need to know your current position on the RTI bill [and its] passage.”

The statement called on the minority in Parliament to state their position on the Majority Leader’s comment, and to tell the good people of Ghana where it stands on the noble works of the Coalition on Right to Information (Coalition) in Ghana.
AFAG urged all political parties in the spirit of solidarity to renew per a statement their commitment to the Coalition’s call for the urgent passage of the RTI.

STORY: KORYEKPOR AWLESU FREEMAN

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