The Executive Director of Danquah Institute, Dr. Kingsley Nyarko, has said freedom of speech is an inalienable right of every citizen, especially under democratic dispensations.

He said, freedom of speech is the anchor that holds countries on the path of progress and development.

The executive director of Danquah institute said this when delivery a speech at TESCON branch of the Kwame Nkrumah university of Science and Technology at Kumasi under the theme: Freedom of Speech in Ghana, the role of the NPP tradition.’’

Dr.Kingsley Nyarko stressed that as a nation, ’we cannot make any meaningful progress towards development if we do not allow the citizenry to partake in the governance of the country,’’ adding that the ideas and suggestions, as well as critical commentaries by citizenry, are supposed to be encouraged by governments to benefit the country.

He noted that for a country to establishment an effective governance, the input by the minority should be considered because in the absence of free speech, democracy ceases to exit.

Touching on 1992 constitution of Ghana, he indicated that the 1992 Fourth republican constitution has captured it in article 21(1a) that ‘’All persons shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media.’’ Article 2 of the NPP constitution Dr.Kingsley Nyarko said also endorses and encourages free speech and expression; the 19th aims and objectives of the constitution seeks, ’to foster and maintain freedom of the media, and open dissemination and interchange of ideas, subject only to the laws of libel and the legitimate claims for national security.

However, the executive director said, the constitution guarantee freedom of speech but must be exercise within the civility, mutual respect, decorum, and with the mind-set of creating intellectual ferment, producing ideas to promote progress and development.

Dr. Kingsley Nyarko explained that freedom of speech demands responsibility which put burden on us as citizenry. Thus, when we hide behind freedom of speech to speak irresponsibly, we should be made to respond to such irresponsibility within the corridors of the law as it required.

The NPP, he said believes in, and always promotes freedom of speech. In fact, it is a fundamental principle of our tradition, and that the NPP dearly promotes free speech with boundaries.

Touching on the promoting of unity in the NPP,the executive director of Danquah Institute was of the view that as a party, it is important to ensure that their discourses brings unity among themselves and not to divide them.’’ We need to discourage our members from unprintable languages, engaging in hate speeches, denigrating comments, especially about our leaders that have the tendency of creating division in the country at large.’’

He gave an advice to the TESCON branch of KNUST to focus more on their books and ensure they rally behind the NPP government to grow than to fall.

Story by Martin Osei Tutu

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