6th March 2019 marked the 62nd Anniversary of the independence of Ghana. The Economic Fighters League dedicated its monthly Fighters Forum to this anniversary. Instead of celebrating, Fighters were engaged in an intellectual discourse on the 1992 Constitution. Fighter-General who opened the forum made it clear that it was important to question the very foundation of the State in order to find solutions to the problems facing Ghanaians.
The Forum concluded that the 1992 Constitution of Ghana was the biggest threat to the economic freedom of Ghanaians.
The discussion started with a thought-provoking presentation by the Commander-in-Chief of the Fighters, Ernesto Yeboah. He made the point that the 1992 Constitution has taken power away from the people and that representatives have been made more important than the represented.
Touching on the economy, fighters at the Forum expressed frustration at how the system created by the 1992 Constitution is not working for all Ghanaians. For example, public sector pay system is skewed towards a certain class of people designated as Article 71 office holders who are given huge sums of money at the end of every four years, something that other public sector workers are not entitled to. They also indicated that a neo-colonialist economy has been created whereby the economic decisions of the country are dictated by the IMF/World Bank, the consequence of which has been massive unemployment and wanton privatization of State assets.
The Constitution, which the Fighters called a Sakawa Constitution, has also handed over ownership and control of Ghana’s natural resources to foreigners, denying Ghanaians their economic freedom. Citing the example of the gold production in Ghana, they noted that a few foreign companies control much of the production and export including Newmont Ghana, an American company, Goldfields Ghana, Anglo-Swiss company, Chirano Mines and Golden Star resources both from Canada.
The ability of any nation worthy of the name, to own its natural resources, control the means of production as well as its distribution, to benefit all within the nation is a measure of a progressive nation, and any constitution that ceases this power and consolidates it in a single individual or in just a tiny minority, must be revolted by the people and remain akin till its liquidated. Article 257(6) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana dictates wholesale usurpation of the people’s power.
“Every mineral in its natural state in, under or upon any land in Ghana, rivers, streams, water courses throughout Ghana, the exclusive economic zone and any area covered by the territorial sea or continental shelf is the property of the Republic of Ghana and shall be vested in the President on behalf of, and in trust for the people of Ghana.”
According to them, this has become more deadly given the domination by thieves and chronic liars. In Ghana today, political crooks have since the adoption of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana leveraged to become the sole beneficiaries. It came as no surprise when the erstwhile President John Mahama, few days to his exit from office, handed Bauxite concession at Nyinahin in the Ashanti Region, without any consent of the people of Nyinahin or Ghana at large. That same concession has now been given to Chinese by President Akufo-Addo in flagrant disregard for the opinion of the people.
“The 1992 Constitution is indeed a sakawa constitution and it is the very cause of all the problems we are facing as a country. And it is what has given the politicians the mandate to do what they are doing to us”, said fighter Bright-Bruce
Again, the 1992 Constitution was seen as putting some people above the law, which is anti-democratic. For example, it is provided in the transitional provisions thus,
“(1) No member of the Provisional National Defence Council, Provisional National Defence Council Secretary, or other appointees of the Provisional National Defence Council shall be held liable either jointly or severally, for any act or omission during the administration of the Provisional National Defence Council.
(2) It is not lawful for any court or tribunal to entertain any action or take any decision or make any order or grant any remedy or relief in any proceedings instituted against the Government of Ghana or any person acting under the authority of the Government of Ghana whether before or after the coming into force of this Constitution or against any person or persons acting in concert or individually to assist or bring about the change in Government which took place on the twenty-fourth day of February 1966…”
This amounts to absolute contradiction of article 17(1) of the same constitution and in complete defiance of basic principles of democracy meaning we are all not equal before the law. Fighter Wusama, commenting on this said, “any constitution that does not respect equality before the law is a fraud”
Every generation has had its struggle. The Kwame Nkrumah generation revolted till the death of colonialism to attain Political freedom for Ghana. With independence, they were able to guarantee free education at all levels for the youth of those days. Those youth are now in charge of the country who are fast entrenching her in neocolonialism, which Kwame Nkrumah says it is the last and most dangerous stage of imperialism.
“The youth of today are the most cheated” said CiC Ernesto Yeboah
At the end of the Forum, fighters present declared their readiness to see to the liquidation of the 1992 Sakawa Constitution in order to clear the way for the achievement of economic freedom for all Ghanaians in their lifetime.