Celebrated author, Professor Ama Ata-Aidoo has described as unfortunate a petition urging President John Dramani Mahama to grant a pardon to the jailed Montie FM contemnors.
The trio; host Salifu Maase and his panelists Godwin Ako Gunn and Alistair Nelson were sentenced to four months in jail and fined GHC 10,000 each after the Supreme Court found them guilty of contempt.
Pro-NDC group Research Advocacy Platform (RAP) opened a petition book at Radio Gold in Accra and since then some government appointees have added their signatures to the pleas.
However, Prof Ata-Aidoo has described those who have signed the petition including the Ministers of Education, and of Gender, Children and Social Protection, as people who do not care about Ghana.
Below is her full statement in response to the petition
About the Petition to President John Mahama to pardon Montie FM presenter, 2 panelists – Salifu Maase aka Mugabe, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn
It’s unfortunate that the petition was initiated at all, and even more unfortunate that it’s being signed by the likes of the Ministers of Education, and of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
No one who is interested in Ghana as a wholesome space for all human beings, and especially for its young growing population, would want to sign this particular petition to the President of the Republic.
1. Our understanding as ordinary citizens is that issuing any kind of death threats on any kind of individuals in Ghana or anywhere else in the world is a crime. If that’s the case, then we would want any persons, young or old, whose well-being and general behavior we care about who issue any such threats to face the consequences, however unpleasant. After all, that is the only way we would learn from our mistakes and negotiate the future properly.
2. We would want the NDC and any other Ghanaian political party to hold itself and its members accountable, and ready to face up to any errors and address them as meaningfully as possible. Again, that would be the only way we think political parties can continue to be effective and useful to this nation.
3. Asking the President to pardon the Montie 3 is not only embarrassing, but it also puts the President of this country in a most awkward position. On one hand, he would not know how not to issue the pardon: in case his rank and file accuse him of not listening to them. On the other hand, pardoning the 3 clearly would send a very wrong message to the entire country. That he does not care for the security of this country.
That he does not respect the third estate of the land which is the Judiciary, and he is not interested in the youth of this country ever learning from their mistakes, or the need for any adult Ghanaian to do the proper thing when the occasion demands that.
4. In fact, and this is my petition to the President. He should join the whole of Ghana to take the opportunity of this rather unfortunate affair as a wake-up call. That threatening anybody with harm, rape, death or causing them injury in anyway including slander is just wrong. Threatening members of the Supreme Court with such violence is certainly not a crime that should be in anyway overlooked or pardoned.