The University of Ghana Chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UG-UTAG), has berated remarks made by the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, suggesting that some groups of people including persons in the academia, civil society, and the media are inciting a coup in Ghana.
In a statement released on Friday, October 2023 and signed by Prof. Ransford E.V. Gyampo, President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana, University of Ghana Chapter and General Secretary, Dr. Jerry Joe Harrison, the association disagreed with the comment of the National Security Minister.
The statement further asserted that the minister’s remarks appeared to threaten the fundamental human right of citizens and the right to express dissenting views on the conduct of government particularly in the discharge of its mandate the citizens reposed in it.
“The University of Ghana Branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UG-UTAG), has noted with concerns some comments purportedly made by the National Security Minister, Honorable Albert Kan-Dapaah. According to the Honorable Minister, some identified individuals in academia (we believe, including UG-UTAG Members), civil society, and the media, are leveraging their influence in society to incite a coup to destabilize the country through spreading of mis/dis-information without adducing any evidence to support the claims”.UG-UTAG
The University Teachers Association of Ghana at the University of Ghana further positioned that the National Security Minister, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah’s remarks amount to an attempt to gag the public from exercising their right to free speech, especially when he made the claim without providing any evidence.
UG-UTAG Distances Itself From Calls For Coup In Ghana
Again, the statement from the University of Ghana Chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana emphasized that the association does not in any way support individuals calling for coup in Ghana but will not hesitate to criticize government on its actions and inactions when the need be.
“We do not support any individual or groups calling for a coup in Ghana. But at the same time, we won’t be gagged from speaking our minds forcefully on all important national issues. We would fiercely resist any attempt, including political commentary, which has the potency to usher us into the dark days of culture of silence”.UG-UTAG
According to the University of Ghana Chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana the antidote to coups and military interventions in politics, are good governance, fight against corruption, proper management of the economy and the implementation of proactive pro-poor policies, that can help bridge the gap between the poor and the rich, as well as create a vibrant middle class in society.
It thus called on government to imbibe the antidotes listed above to secure the country’s peace and promote political stability.
Additionally, the University Teachers Association of Ghana at the University of Ghana also called on government to organize a national dialogue which should include professionals, academia and civil society groups to discuss how the country could guard against the threats of coups and safeguard its peace.
Albert Kan-Dapaah, the minister of national security, has voiced serious concerns about the growing number of people in academia, the media, and civil society organizations (CSOs) who are using their platforms to spread misleading information in favor of military rule and coups.
Kan-Dapaah stated during a conference on the Impact of Disinformation on Electoral Integrity, Peace, and Security in Africa that these people have amassed sizable social media followings, which they are using to spread false information that endangers the peace and stability of Ghana.