Civil Society Organisations, including the Media Foundation for West Africa, and Media Coalition on Right to Information (RTI) in Ghana have declared every Friday from now till Christmas (December 25, 2018) as #RTIRedFriday.
The exercise is to impress on the Parliament of Ghana to pass the Right to Information (RTI) Bill. In a joint release, the group has indicated there will be street advocacies to educate the public on the significance of the passing of the RTI Bill. They will as well visit the parliament house to further press home their request.
The group has therefore called on all Ghanaians to wear red on the Fridays and post pictures of themselves on social media with the #RTIRedFriday as a demonstration of their collective resolve on getting the bill passed.
The RTI Bill was first laid before Parliament on February 5, 2010 and has since then fallen victim to foot-dragging by the political establishment in Ghana. Successive governments have paid lip service to the bill making concerned citizens doubt government’s commitment to promoting transparency and fighting corruption.
Read the full release below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
26th November, 2018.
CIVIL SOCIETY AND MEDIA DECLARE #RTIREDFRIDAY AGAINST DELAY IN THE PASSAGE OF RIGHT TO INFORMATION BILL
The Media Coalition on Right to Information, the Coalition on Right to Information, Ghana and Occupy Ghana wish to announce Friday November 30, 2018 and every other Friday before Christmas as #RTIRedFriday against the delay by Parliament in passing the Right to Information (RTI) Bill.
There will also be street advocacies and visits to Parliament on selected days within this period to press home our demands.
The first street advocacy which involves distribution of RTI educational materials in Accra will take place on Friday November 30, 2018 between 7am-10am at the following locations: Obetsebi Lamptey Roundabout, Tudu-Accra Central, Tema Station, Accra Mall, Emmanuel Eye Clinic Traffic Lights, Ridge Roundabout, and Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
After 10am, leaders of the civil society groups will proceed to Parliament to observe Consideration of the RTI Bill.
We call on all Ghanaians across the country to wear anything RED on all these Fridays and post pictures in the RED attire on social media with the #RTIRedFriday to demonstrate to our elected Members of Parliament our collective resolve to get them to work in our interest as their employers, and not in their personal or political party interests as has been the case over the years so far as the passage of the RTI Bill is concerned.
Additionally, the start of the #RTIRedFriday action begins a countdown to the Rt. Hon. Speaker’s recent promise that the Bill would be passed before Parliament rises this year.
This action is jointly implemented with OccupyGhana®, the Media Coalition on RTI and all member organizations of the Coalition on the Right to Information, Ghana.
They include Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Africa Office, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Anti-Corruption
Coalition (GACC), PenPlusBytes, SEND-Ghana, Civil Society Platform on SDGs, Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA) and Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC).
Others include Human Rights Advocacy Center (HRAC), POS Foundation, Center for Employment of Persons with Disabilities (CEPD), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Coalition of NGOs in Health, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Legal Resources Center, Media Foundation for West Africa and Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) among others.
It is disconcerting to note that our right to information, which is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Constitution of Ghana and recognized as a right by International Conventions on Human Rights, has not received the needed attention by our elected representatives who have failed to legislate on the matter since 5th February, 2010, when the RTI Bill was first laid in Parliament.
As Ghana’s choice of democratic governance requires an active participation by all in the governance process, thereby making the right to information particularly relevant, it behooves on us as citizens to join hands to demand the passage of a credible Bill.
It is only when those who are to participate in governance are well informed that they can contribute meaningfully.