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Monday, February 22, 2010

Kwesi Pratt: Darkwa's arrest is an affront to free speech

The Editor-In-Chief of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. has described the recent incarceration of Nana Darkwah Baafi, the NPP activist who is alleged to have accused ex-President Jerry Rawlings of burning his own house as a disgrace to the nation.

He chided the police for exhibiting the unprofessional conduct in the matter.

Mr. Pratt believes that the state institutions involved in Nana Darkwa's arrest should be questioned for the amateurish manner in which they handled the incident.

"If i sit in a studio and pass disparaging remarks which angers some people causing a mob to try and force their way through and beat me up, does the police have to arrest me or the mob...and if panelists or journalists make unsubstantiated allegations on-air, are they sent to prison custody on remand?...Then they better get ready to effect the arrest of a whole lot of people," he stated.

Speaking on Peace FM’s flagship programme “Kokrokoo”, the outspoken member of the Socialist Forum of Ghana also hit hard at some elements in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), who he said need to be schooled on tolerance.

According to him, last Saturday, a few hours after condemning the actions of Ex-president Rawlings in the "Who Born Dog" saga on Radio Gold, he began receiving calls from four unidentified ladies with Northern intonations who threatened him for passing those comments.

“There are some people in the NDC who think that Ghana belongs to them, so if you say something that does not suit them, they flare up. Those people should understand that there are no cowards in Ghana. They can do their worst; the people of this country would not allow the return of the dark days of madness….4 women with Northern intonations …every 5 minutes they call to heap insults on me…this is total invasion of privacy, intimidation…is this tolerance?” he demanded.

A clearly livid Kwesi Pratt stressed there was no demi-god in the country whose demands and utterances had to be acquiescence without questioning.

“What is this stupidity and nonsense….Is there a god in Ghana, who when he speaks nobody dares challenges? .What nonsense…We didn't fight for democracy to come and entrench this kind of rubbish in our country...Granted that what the boy said was wrong....is this how he should be treated?" he asked.

Mr. Pratt averred that though the gentleman "clearly acted in an irresponsible and reckless manner", his swift arrest and confinement was a "major affront to democratic practice in Ghana."

"So no superior officer could step in and call them to order?...Never should this be encouraged," he added.

Source: Peacefmonline.com

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