General News of Thursday, 1 November 2018
The Right to Information (RTI) Coalition has harshly criticized the governing New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa over his recent comments about the bill that is before parliament.
K.T. Hammond told Starr News’ Parliamentary correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan that passage of the bill into law will lead to anarchy.
Citing former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who he says admitted regret over the passage of a freedom to information law in the UK, the Adansi Asokwa lawmaker said: “It is a recipe for disaster. It is a recipe for bad governance.
He added: “Ministers can’t operate, governments cannot proceed effectively, and governance cannot take place meaningfully.”
Speaking to Starr Midday News’ Regina Borley Bortey, Thursday the Chairman of the RTI Coalition Seth Abloso slammed the lawmaker’s comments as reckless.
“This comment of his make him an apology of a Member of Parliament because he is completely either ignorant or being mischievous. Now, I will advise him to get to read, not only read but study the memorandum that accompanied the bill to parliament.
“That’ll let him appreciate if he doesn’t know at this point the rationale behind an RTI bill and the need for an RTI law for this democracy,” said Mr Abloso.
Contrary to the lawmaker’s comment, Mr Abloso explained that right to information is a constitutional requirement and that it was foolhardy for anyone to suggest that it will make the country ungovernable.
“It promotes confidence in government because it promotes openness. Unless somebody is in government who has something to hide, that person will be uncomfortable with an RTI Law and I think it is good that this time around KT Hammond was not deserving of a ministerial appointment,” he stated.
The RTI bill which was laid before Parliament by the Deputy Attorney General Joseph Kpemka Dindiok in March this year was drafted some two decades earlier under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA ) and it has been 16 years since the Executive arm of government in 2002 drafted the first RTI bill.
The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010.