The Minority says its members made “strenuous efforts” to have the Right To Information (RTI) Bill passed into law in the Sixth Parliament.
That Parliament with Edward Doe Adjaho as Speaker had the current Minority as Majority and vice versa. In a statement to mark the 2017 International Press Freedom Day, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators are blaming their opposite numbers in the immediate past House for the inability to pass the RTI bill.
“Regrettably, it was the uncooperative and obstructionist attitude of the opposition NPP then which scuttled the passage of the Bill which in our estimation can contribute significantly to enhanced media practice.” It says “we would continue to push and lend the requisite support for the passage of this Bill to further widen and deepen the frontiers of free expression”.
The International Press Freedom Day was marked in Ghana on May 3, 2017 on the theme: ‘Ghana still in search of Right to Information Law and the Broadcasting Law: is parliament in a dilemma?’
The Minority in the statement signed by its leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who is also Member of Parliament for Tamale South Constituency, said it will not only push for the passage of the RTI bill in the Seventh Parliament but also ensure “the passage of the broadcasting bill and for the acceleration and entrenchment of the freedom of the media as enshrined in Article 121 of the constitution”.
The Minority also reassured the media of its readiness to partner the Fourth Estate of the Realm to put “fire” on government. “On this auspicious occasion, we wish to reiterate our steadfast commitment to the core governance principles of probity, transparency, truth and accountability and to accordingly urge our media partners to join hands with us to hold the feet of government to the fire of accountability.
“This is not only enjoined on us by the constitution of our dear republic, but also a bounder and sacred duty to the millions of our hardworking and diligent people.”
It commended the media in its efforts in throwing light “on shady or murky transactions such as the recent multimillion dollar bonds issued by the government of the New Patriotic Party which uncharacteristically was open for only few hours with a prohibitive interest rate of 19.75% over a 15 year period”.