UK High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, has downplayed the possibility of a coup d’état in the country amid an economic crunch.
In an interview on Accra-based Joy News on Sunday, August 28, she said she will be surprised if a military takeover should happen, adding that Ghana like other countries the world over were experiencing hard times as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia – Ukraine war.
Stating reasons for her position, she touted Ghana’s democratic credentials stating that it allowed for freedom of expression – a feature she says is very important for citizens to express their frustration on matters affecting them.
“It’s very challenging for many people in Ghana as it is for many people across the world. After the pandemic, then we have Russia’s invasion of Ukraine creating another layer of really difficult economic challenges for the whole world. It has been a lot for a lot of countries to bear.
“Here in Ghana, talking with members of my team, talking with friends, I know how much the cost-of-living increases. It is really affecting people. I have heard from people that they are worried about civil unrest.
“For me, Ghana is a country with a proud democratic tradition and freedom of expression, has always been and continues to be an important part of Ghana’s political, social life. And as we see people being angry, being dissatisfied perhaps with how various organizations are dealing with their economic situation.
“It’s important that they are able to express that. I don’t think…when I hear about people saying maybe there’ll be a huge uprising, a revolution, a coup…no. I can’t see that in Ghana. Ghana’s democracy is too strong,” she said.
Madam Harriet Thompson added that it was very important for citizens to express their discontent about prevailing economic challenges.
She indicated that she will be surprised to see something akin to the Arab Spring where the was a series of anti-government protests in the Arab world also happen in Ghana.
“I believe so [in spite of the economic challenges]. I think that it is important that people are able to express themselves, they are able to express their discontent but I don’t see that translating into the kind of uprisings you see in other countries in the world.
“I will be surprised [to see anything similar to the Arab Spring]. That’s not to say it’s not going to happen. Of course, I can’t judge that but I will be surprised,” the UK High Commissioner remarked
Some members of the public have been sounding caution to the government over the possibility of a coup over economic crunch and corruption.
Former Chief of Defense Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier-General (Rtd.) Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, suggested that the worsening economic situation in the country will lead to an uprising as citizens of West African nations including Ghana are boiling with anger.
According to him, the leaders of nations are siphoning the state funds into their private pockets and living extravagant lifestyles in the full glare of the citizenry.
In an interview granted to Accra-based Joy News, Nunoo-Mensah opined that if this trajectory continues there will be a ‘big explosion.’