Samuel Obeng

The Right to Information Bill (RTI) has since February 5, 2010, suffered series of gimmicks to be passed. Successive governments have deliberately taken Ghanaians for a ride and refused to pass it to empower the citizenry to demand accountability on compulsion of law.

In actual fact, the RTI bill should have been passed into law even before the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act. In its absence, the fight against corruption will be very had to accomplish.

Speaking at a consortium organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in partnership with Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), SEND-Ghana and the Right to Information (RTI) Coalition, Samuel Obeng, the Executive Director of Parliamentary News Africa, called on the media to exhibit their important role as media practitioners in the fight against corruption in Ghana, by asking the right questions and most importantly, holding our duty bearers accountable.

According to him, the supply of public information to citizens and the media, should not remain with these fanciful office holders who are employed and paid with our taxes.

Mr. Obeng explained that, from the 5th, 6th through to this 7th Parliaments have failed to pass the RTI Bill into Law amid preposterous excuses.

According to him, among successive governments, the NPP government has done really well with respect to passing bills into law, saying of about the 20 bills laid before Parliament, 19 have been pass remaining only one waiting to be passed.

However, every indication seems to prove that the NPP was just interested in winning election, and thus used the passage of the RTI Bill into Law for the electoral victory.

No bill in this country has ever been tossed back and forth than this RTI Bill, yet it has never warranted any urgency in Parliament, let alone to be passed swiftly as that of many bills. This is because our politicians sees the law as a threat to all their desires in politics, and as well as making every information on all their actions readily available to the public.

Mr. Samuel Obeng therefore changed Ghanaians, most especially media practitioners to join the RIACG to rather channel all the pressure onto the majority leader in Parliament, who is also the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, since he has already given his assurance to see to the passage of the RTI Bill into law.

Meanwhile, acknowledging the importance of the RTI legislation to the fight against corruption and following all coordinated advocacy efforts since February 2018 that culminate in the laying of the RTI Bill in Parliament on March 23, 2018, the RTI Action Campaign is embarking on regional public sensitization programmes on the RTI Bill to educate the public on the Bill and also to mobilize public support for the passage of the Bill before the end of 2018.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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