Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has issued a sharp response to pressure group Occupy Ghana which has condemned the action of government appointees to sign a petition that seeks to call on President John Dramani Mahama to pardon what has become known as the ‘Montie 3′ jailed for contempt of the Supreme Court.
In a facebook post, he accused the pressure group of “portraying themselves as apostles of the doctrine of separation of powers”, yet have the temerity “to stampede one arm of Government” (the Executive) from performing its duty.
“It is unfortunate that OccupyGhana seeks to portray our actions as amounting to interference in the work of the judiciary. The Supreme Court has handed down its verdict. Which verdict has been swiftly enforced by the State”, Mr. Ablakwa stated.
He indicated that the three gentlemen are languishing in jail and he had been there to visit them and questioned how anybody cognizant of those circumstances accuse them of interfering with the decision of the judiciary.
Mr. Ablakwa pointed out that the irony however is that while OccupyGhana sermonises on non-interference, they have no hesitation in not only interfering with the President’s right to exercise his prerogative under Article 72, they are in addition busily issuing threats about how the President’s exercise of his discretionary powers could be the subject of judicial review if he does go ahead to exercise it.
He said they also resort to pressing the fear button by alluding to an imaginary constitutional crisis, perhaps oblivious that the fear card is but an antiquated trick in the books that doesn’t really work these days.
“It’s even more disconcerting that while portraying themselves as apostles of the doctrine of separation of powers they are in the same breath seeking to stampede one arm of Government – the executive from exercising its powers. Amazing!” he said.
The deputy minister who expressed no regrets in endorsing the “Free Montie 3″ campaign, rather urged OccupyGhana to respect the rights of other Ghanaians.
“I, like all my senior colleagues have no regret in endorsing this campaign. Freedom and justice has never been presented to mankind as a sweet-smelling bouquet of flowers without controversy.
“All the freedoms we enjoy today have been bequeathed to us by men and women who stood up to be counted, from Yaa Asantewaa to Nkrumah, Lincoln to Luther King Jnr, and Biko to Mandela. No matter what, let history count me on the side of the oppressed than on the side of the oppressor,” Mr. Ablakwa said.