President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been commended for giving Presidential assent to the Right to Information law, which was recently passed by Parliament under his tenure of office.
Reverend Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, a former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, and a Lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, on Friday said the President deserved “congratulations for having this long journey coming to an end under his leadership”.
He has however cautioned that the zeal and enthusiasm that brought the RTI bill into law must not die with the giving of Presidential assent to the bill, adding that the law must become a household concept through intensified public education.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Rev Opuni-Frimpong said the passing of the RTI law “is indeed a victory for Democracy in Ghana. The law is a clear demonstration of what a determined and purposeful people can achieve in the midst of delays, frustrations and attacks”.
He expressed his happiness that the Right to Information Bill (RTI) that was drafted in 1999, after going through several reviews over the years was finally given Presidential assent by the President.
The RTI law, which would be operationlized in 2020, would enable citizens to hold governments accountable, to ensure that there was a high level of transparency in the governance of the country through having access to relevant information.
Rev Opuni-Frimpong acknowledged the many Civil Society Organisations, Media Houses, Members of Parliament, Donor Organisations, Faith Based Leaders and many more who identified themselves with the process of getting the Bill passed into law and signed by the President.
He said such entities and people, whether “dead or alive, truly ‘defended forever the cause of freedom and of right, and must be celebrated as dedicated sons and daughters of Ghana”.
He said by that law, Ghana now joined other African countries like South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Liberia, and Guinea that had already adopted such law.
He urged churches, mosques, academic institutions and the media to provide “oxygen to the new law for it to offer us transparency, accountability, and good governance”.
The campaign for the effective implementation of the RTI law must start now, Rev Opuni-Frimpong stated.