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Human Rights, Individual Freedoms and Democracy in Ghana- The Preventive Detention Act and After - Conclusion


The preceding discussions show that Baffuor Osei Akoto who suffered imprisonment without trial did not suffer in vain. Neither did Dr. J. B. Danquah who had championed their cause and the cause of freedom for all in court. History will remember the contributions they have made so that democracy, freedom and justice may survive in Ghana. Those who take for granted the present freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and all the other fundamental human rights, must be reminded that they have been attained as a result of the sufferings of many defenders of truth and justice.

To understand this, we must again and again recall for public information and pertinent reminder, the horrendous days of Nkrumah. The public must understand and appreciate, and so make an informed appraisal, of what it would mean to impose Nkrumaism again on Ghana. This is relevant because there are still loud voices advocating the re-introduction of Nkrumaism. Our schools must teach the true history of the repression of the years past, so that the younger generation of Ghanaians may be fully knowledgeable of what our country had been through. If we do not do this, charlatans will mislead the people again.

Time was when our children were indoctrinated that “Nkrumah never dies.” We now know that he has died. More importantly for the future of our nation, Nkrumah’s ideological pretensions have also died with him. When we note in Article 3(1) and other parts of our Constitution that Parliament cannot make any law to establish a one-party state, we know that Nkrumah has died. When we read the guarantees of personal freedoms, including the freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, enshrined in our Constitution, we know that Nkrumah has died. When we observe the free speech and the freedom of our press, we know that Nkrumah is dead. He is dead and buried, and his corrupting ideas of repression are lying buried securely with his bones in his grave, never to rise again.

Nobody has ever pretended to blaspheme that Baffuor Osei Akoto never dies. Baffuor Osei Akoto is dead, and that is why we are commemorating the 10th anniversary of his return to his Maker. And may his soul rest in perfect peace.

Although Baffuor Osei Akoto is dead, the case of Re Akoto is not dead and can never die. When we read in our Constitution the guarantees of freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of speech and of association, we know that Re Akoto is alive. It is to the endurance and the suffering of Baffuor Osei Akoto and others that we owe our freedoms of today.

Source: http://baffuorakoto.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51:lecture-by-prof-justice-a-k-p-kludze&catid=36:lectures&Itemid=54, date accessed, 09 February 2015



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