The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) is commemorating this month as “Black October.”
As part of the month-long commemoration, the party has outlined a number of activities for party members, supporters and sympathisers as well as the general public.
On October 6, 2017, the party intends to mark Eva Lokko's Candle Night Vigil at Asylum Down Party Headquarters in Accra, while October 10, 2017 will mark the day the Electoral Commission (EC) disqualified the party from participating in the 2016 Presidential Election.
Throwing more light on the ‘Black October event,’ the party’s National Secretary, Mr Murtala Mohammed, said the PPP had described ‘Black October’ as a scar on Ghana’s democracy.
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Accordingly, he said all PPP offices across the country should hoist a black flag on their premises whilst party officials should be clad in black.
He also indicated that on October 12, 2017, the party would organise a Dialogue Day and on October 13, 2017 and hold an encounter with the media.
Party communicators, according to the National Secretary, must also use the day’s activities to remind Ghanaians of the discrimination and treachery of the EC to the party’s well- being.
He further pointed out that on October 14, 2017, the party would organise a “Court Day or Ayi Kwei Otoo's Day” and on October 28, 2017, a High Court Victory Day, where party executives and members would be in their white and red attires.
Finally, Mr Murtala said that the party had billed October 31, 2017 as Judas's Day to mark an Act of Betrayal and bad faith by the EC and on November 4, 2017 mark the Supreme Court Ruling - Final Victory Day. Attire for the day will be ‘’All White’’.
According to Mr Murtala, the belligerent posture of Ghana's EC in the run-up to the 2016 general election invoked a warning signal on the practice of democracy in Ghana going forward.
He said the events that took place in October 2016 would remain a black spot in the history of Ghana's democracy; as the constitutionally mandated neutral arbiter - the EC - unilaterally disqualified eight political parties on various counts of unproven offences and without recourse to the natural law of justice, from contesting the 2016 presidential election.
“This singular action by the EC went contrary to all the values Ghana had stood for as a nation since independence - Freedom and Justice, “he argued.
He said it was the deepest cut on the country’s young democracy after it had successfully changed political power in 2000 to the admiration of the world and become the beacon of hope in Africa.
“We cannot, therefore, sit aloof and watch the constitutionally mandated institution flaunt its own rules and regulation with impunity again to discredit our highly earned international reputation,” he stated.
Rule of law
In the view of the PPP, everybody including judges and the EC must submit to the institutional rule of law.
“We call on all political parties and Ghanaians in general to commemorate this month "Black October" as it reminds us of the ill intent of the Electoral Commission of Ghana and warrants saying to ourselves "Never again" should we allow the Commission to decide for the entire country outside of the rule of law, what to do,” he stated.
Eva Lokko vigil
The party also recalled with agony the loss of the first Ghanaian female engineer - Madam Eva Lokko - at the dawn of October 2016. It prayed for the repose of her soul and urged all Ghanaians to join the party commemorate this October month by speaking up against injustice as it has the potential to stop the future abuse of office by independent office holders such as the EC, the law enforcement institutions and others who played diverse roles to perpetuate such an injustice on the conscience of Ghana. It will also deter political leaders from interfering in the work of such institutions of state to allow fairness and equity to prevail.
The PPP also thanked the Judicial Service for upholding the law and the expedient manner with which they dealt with the matter. It thanked all concerned Ghanaians who also supported this noble cause and assured them that it would remain resolute in its quest to deepen the democratic credentials of Ghana and would not shy away from any action that would ensure its success.