Go to Court for redress - Papa Owusu-Ankomah
Published November 21st 2003 in GhanaWeb
Accra, Nov. 21, GNA - Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, on Thursday urged aggrieved persons to seek legal means for redress instead of resorting to instant justice.

He urged Ghanaians to avail themselves of lawful avenues of adjudication provided under the Constitution to seek redress.

"Any attempt to use means outside of the constitutionally mandated process to enforce what is right amounts to vigilantism and also a threat to the Constitution itself as it can lead to physical conflict".

Papa Owusu-Ankomah was speaking at the 44th Founder's Week celebrations of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science in Accra on the general theme "National Integration".

Fellows of the Academy, Journalists, the public and students from PRESEC Legon attended the symposium, which was chaired by Professor Emeritus Joseph Henry Kwabena Nketia, Fellow of the Academy.

The Attorney General said: "If we want to deepen democratic values in our country using the Constitution as a guide, then we must recognise that the only legitimate mode of enforcing a right available under the Constitution, particularly if that right is disputed by any person or authority is through the court".

Speaking on "The Constitution, Governance and Political Tolerance," Papa Owusu-Ankomah said good governance requires an understanding that the Constitution recognises and imposes on us a responsibility to tolerate divergent or contrary views.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah said to build a culture of constitutionalism, good governance and political tolerance, leaders must recognise that "in the shifting sands of democracy," opponents today on one issue can become bedfellows on other issues tomorrow.

"We must individually resolve to live and let live not only because it is the democratic constitutional governance to blossom and flourished."

Professor John Kaburise, Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), who spoke on "National Integration and Nation Building," said central to national integration is the uneven distribution of national cake.

He said "the first-past-the post system" of multi-party democracy does not promote national integration as a substantial proportion of the population is 'shut out' of the real processes of policy-formulation and revenue sharing for long periods.

During the period when people are 'shut out' the tendency is to be disengaged from meaningful inclusiveness and to be pre-occupied with efforts at securing exclusivity.

Prof. Kaburise suggested the adoption of one of the varieties of proportional representation in a government of National Unity, while the process of decentralization is accelerated with meaningful devolution of financial resources and responsibility. GNA