Don’t compromise our security because of RTI-Kufuor

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has underscored the need for the Right to Information (RTI) to well scrutinised before it is passed.

This he noted will help to safeguard the country’s security gains.

According to the former president, although the bill will improve governance, and help fight corruption, we do not have to compromise the country’s security.

Speaking at the Annual Leadership Series programme organised by the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) yesterday [Wednesday] December 12, 2018, he said: “The bill must be passed to achieve better governance but not at the expense of security.’’

He suggested “the real challenge [of the RTI Bill] is not about government refusing to pass the bill” but rather in ensuring the text of the bill is free from any security breaches.

“Let’s be careful about security and integrity part of the bill,” he cautioned.

The right to information  is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution and recognized as a right under International Conventions on Human rights.

The bill will give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution which states that “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society”.

It was first drafted 22 years ago under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA.

The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010.

Meanwhile, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has given the assurance that the RTI bill will be passed before the year-ends.

“There is absolute and unwavering commitment by Parliament and its leadership to ensure that the right to Information bill becomes law we will work more diligently and assiduously to get it passed.

“Let me assure you that we remain committed to passing a sunshine legislation that helps you the media to fight corruption to combat economic crime and to hold us responsible for our excess and abuse. I have cautioned against watering down the impact of an RTI in the name of exemption and that is where we are.

“We need to be diligent about this. Let’s have a good law passed and not a law that exempt groups of information. We should get it passed before the end of the year,” the Tamale South MP noted.

The assurance comes as the  Media Coalition on the Right to Information together with civil society groups including OccupyGhana begin a street advocacy against the delay by parliament in passing the RTI.

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