A renowned law lecturer, Justice Srem-Sai, has lauded the former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, for joining the ongoing picketing at the Ministry of Finance over government’s debt exchange programme.
According to the private legal practitioner, the involvement of the retired Supreme Court Judge will go a long way to erase the erroneous public perceptions about demonstrations.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, he explained that as of now, a section of Ghanaians have some qualms about demonstrations and other forms of public protests; perceiving them as unlawful.
He however indicated that due to Sophia Akuffo’s understandiing of the law and her involvement in the recent protest by aggrieved pensioners, such misconceptions will be cleared.
“At the heart of the average Ghanaian is this unconscious sad morbid belief that a demonstration is an unlawful behaviour, and that demonstrators are hooligans.
The presence of a former Chief Justice at a demonstration would go some length to flush out that belief from many minds and hearts. A demonstration is a lawful thing”, portions of his post read.
He also added that even though he believes the former Chief Justice will not be affected by government’s decision to include the bonds of pensioners in its debt exchange programme, her solidarity with the victims is commendable.
“Personally, I do not believe that the government’s wicked haircut program on pensioners will affect CJ Akuffo’s lifestyle that much – I think she will live comfortably with or without it.
So, again, her presence highlights another point – you don’t have to be personally at risk to join a demonstration. It is enough if you believe in the principle. That is how democracy works – empathy”, Mr Sai said.
He further applauded her calls for government to cut down on its own expenditure before asking citizens to take a haircut on their investments.
Last Friday, the former Chief Justice was spotted picketing the Finance Ministry along with aggrieved pensioners demanding the exemption of retirees’ investments from the domestic debt exchange programme.
She hoisted a placard with the inscription ‘We depend on our bond yields to pay our rent, medical bills, electricity bills and water bills’.
Speaking to JoyNews, she said her ample retirement benefits by virtue of her position does not prevent her from solidarising with others in need.
The former Chief Justice then described the DDE programme as wicked and unlawful.
“I find it wicked, I find it disrespectful, I find it unlawful, I find it totally wrong, period! Because you don’t solve your problems by sacrificing your aged. That is the last thing you should do”, she said.
In reaction to these comments, NPP stalwart, Gabby Otchere-Darko, criticised her for speaking against the policy.
But the retired judge has indicated that she is unperturbed.
Meanwhile, the aggrieved pensioners are continuing with the protest at the premises of the Finance Ministry.
When JoyNews’ James Avedzi visited the scene this morning, the aggrieved retirees were seated singing solemn hymns and imploring government to heed their calls to be exempted.
They were joined by members of Arise Ghana, a civil advocacy group, who say they are inclined to express solidarity with the pensioners.
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