126 total views, 2 views today
A foreign policy and security analyst, Mr Adib Saani has described remarks by Assin North Member of Parliament Kennedy Agyapong, allegedly made on a political platform in Kumasi, “as dangerous and tantamount to terrorism”.
Mr Agyapong was quoted as telling New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters at a rally in Kumasi, that the party would not allow the Electoral Commission (EC) to declare President John Mahama winner of the polls, if there is evidence that Nana Akufo – Addo is the actual winner in the ballot, expected to be held on November 7.
He allegedly called on people to stay indoors because there would be chaos similar to Liberia and Sierra Leone if the EC cheats in favour of incumbent John Mahama.
A statement issued in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Saani said terrorism should not be constricted to long bearded men in turbines and masks wielding guns in Iraq or Syria.
He said terrorism could be described as the calculated use of, or the threat of violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature.
This is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear into people.
Mr Saani cited another example of terror inspired speech that involved Former Transport Minister Dzifa Attivor saying that the NPP is a tribal party bent on prosecuting only Ewes if it wins the general election in November.
“Utterances like this has far reaching security implications to the country and the West African sub region in general especially in an election year.
“Lessons can be learnt from Kenya, Ivory Coast and Central African Republic, amongst other countries that have had their share of violent conflicts sparked by tribally and communally divisive statements by politicians,” he said.
Mr Saani noted that, Section 207 of the 1960 criminal code (Act 29) criminalises the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in any public place or at any public meeting with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or where-by a breach of the peace is likely to be occasioned, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
“Under international law, Article III (c) of the Genocide Convention declares that “direct and public incitement to commit genocide is a crime.
“Thus public incitement to genocide can be prosecuted even if genocide is never perpetrated. Therefore, lawyers classify the infraction an inchoate crime: and that proof of result is not necessary for the crime to have been committed, only that it had the potential to spur genocidal violence.
“Thus it is the intent of the speaker that matters, not the effectiveness of the speech in causing criminal action,” he said.