Editorial: Mills And Rule Of Law
Sometimes, we are compelled to wonder whether the political leadership of the country is oblivious to the fact that it was bestowed the responsibility of managing the affairs of the country by the people of this country in conformity with the tenets of the constitution and nothing else.
It is amazing, therefore, when vestiges of a military junta persistently rear their ugly and unwanted heads in state affairs.
This is not the first time that we have had cause to visit this subject. Certain developments, painful and worrying as they are, incessantly take prominent places in the affairs of the country.
These are threatening the spirit of the rule of law and therefore, the integrity of governance in this part of the world.
These, in addition to recent misconduct by personnel in uniform, fuel our fears that the leadership might have been carried away with the erroneous notion that there is a sort of a junta in charge of affairs here.
The fate of Ghana cannot be entrusted to the whims and caprices of a few people or cabal because there is a constitution in place, the breach of whose contents, as we are witnessing today, is a betrayal of the trust of the people.
We have said before and would continue to repeat it that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. If we lose our guard, we shall be toying with the freedoms which our forebears shed blood to win for us.
We have gone through lots of tribulations, ordeals and even bloodshed to reach where we are today and should not fold our arms as our hard-won freedoms are trampled upon with reckless abandon.
Worrying trends are pointing to the fact that a few people in military uniform and at the Seat of Government want to engage in arbitrariness in a manner not in agreement with the spirit of the constitution.
Fortunately for us, the country abounds in FM stations and some democracy and rule of law-supporting newspapers which would highlight all acts of aberrations as they unfold in the country.
We could cite many instances of aberrations but suffice it to mention the issue of the four soldiers being held for their alleged complicity in the murder of a bank’s deputy managing director.
Lawyer Debrah’s call that due process be fully exhausted has our backing, because the rule of law we profess to adhere to is based on this legal procedure.
Let the suspects stand trial according to the Criminal Code. We are alarmed that these soldiers have been held in custody for 15 days and all we hear are snippets of stories about developments.
Following the blowing of the story about one of such developments by a newspaper and the rushing of lawyers to the court to find out what was really happening, the suspects were quickly and secretly moved to another court to be remanded.
Why were they held for this long? Have the relevant authorities forgotten that we are in a democratic dispensation in which arbitrariness is anathema?
Families have been starved information about the whereabouts of their breadwinners in a manner which smacks of sadism, arrogance and impunity.
Was President John Evans Atta Mills’ pledge to uphold the Constitution a ruse?
What is happening in the country is a source of worry and it behooves the citizenry to be on its guard, lest the country slides back to the dark days of arbitrariness and junta-style dictatorship.
Let us not take things for granted because as we said earlier, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.