Ghanaian News

We’ll resist attempts to hide information under ‘national security’ – Bentil

A leading member of the Right to Information Coalition Kofi Bentil says the coalition will fight any attempt by politicians to conceal information to the public under the guise of National Security following the passage of the Right to Information Law (RTI).

Despite the passage of the RTI, there are fears among some Ghanaians that politicians and government officials may seek to hide key information by simply flagging it national security document.

Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Wednesday, the legal practitioner and Vice Chair of IMANI Africa said the implementation of the law will be keenly monitored.

“We are happy the RTI bill has been considered but that is not to say it is perfect. We are ready to work at it and make it better. Going forward, no one has the right to say they do not have information on an issue or another. We know there will be times where information will be kept from the public in the name of national security but that will have to be clearly defined,” he said.

Meanwhile, Communications consultant and dean of communication studies at the Wisconsin University College Professor Kwame Karikari has urged Ghanaians and the media to be cautious with their jubilation over the passage of the Right to Information Law by Parliament.

He says until the content of the new law is studied and accepted to be responsive to the challenges with information gathering in the country, there is the need for caution among stakeholders.

“The RTI bill may either enhance the access to information or rubbish the whole process and that is why we are interested in the content of the bill. Until we see, read and study what the act contains, we cannot jubilate and have a party.

“If the document does not meet our expectations and give us the necessary provisions, we will fight against it in court but we are hoping for the best. The media should not put too much premium on the RTI Bill because the bill will not necessarily help journalists meet deadlines and achieve quality daily news production,” he said.

Source: Starrfmonline

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