TO: Speaker of Parliament of Ghana and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings
CC: General Secretary, NDC, Chairman, National House of Chiefs CHAIRMAN, National Council on Persons with Disability and the president, Ghana Federation of the Disable
FROM: PROMOAFRICA and GHANA Blind Union Youth and Students Wing. (GBUYSW)
SUBJECT: DEMAND FOR THE REMOVAL OF HON. MICHAEL TEYE NYAUNU
DATE: 31st May 2011
The Network of Journalists for the Promotion of the Rights of persons with Disabilities in Africa and the Ghana Blind Union Youth and Students Wing wishes to respectfully submit this petition in respect of the derogatory remarks made by Hon. Michael Teye Nyaunu concerning the sight of the president Mills which suggest and connote that blind persons can not work effectively and therefore should not become president. We, [PROMOAFRICA and GBUYSW] however demand his removal as the Coordinator of the Nana Konadu Campaign team or an apology from the said Hon. without any further delay.
The Campaign Coordinator of the Nana Konadu for 2012 team, Michael Teye Nyaunu, has been captured on tape telling NDC Party delegates that President Mills’s failing sight has allowed the people surrounding him such as Ato Ahwoi to take control and act like the ones truly running the country.
The MP for Lower Manya constituency is heard explicitly telling delegates that President Mills is virtually blind and incapable of running his Government.
The existence of the tape was first published by the Enquirer newspaper. The Enquirer reported that the former first lady and Mr Nyaunu were addressing delegates of Ablekuma North, South and Central at Extima Hotel at Mataheko in Accra on Monday May 23, 2011 when he made the comments.
According to Mr Nyaunu, his claims are from an ‘insider’s report’ which he feels hesitant to expose to the public because he wants to protect the NDC’s image towards the 2012 elections.
Mr Nyaunu also asserted that President Mills can’t read any document brought to him for scrutiny at the Castle.
“He (President Mills) can’t read any letter from anybody; that is the situation, he can’t read anything. He has an eye problem. Why is he not reading speeches? He speaks extempore.”
"We are telling you how serious the thing is. Let me tell you, a lot of the people surrounding him have taken control. Every Minister is a President in his regard (sic), nobody is controlling them. They are all on their own.”
“The only thing you will hear is that Ato Ahwoi and P.V would say that they are sacking somebody. Ato Ahwoi is the President. This is the extent to which we are going but we can’t say this in public”.
In an interview with Citi News on Thursday May 26, 2011 Mr Nyaunu confirmed his damaging remarks on President Mills, maintaining though that the remarks were a campaign message to NDC delegates and not meant for the general public.
He denied preaching vindictiveness against the Presidency but added that he was only telling the delegates the truth in order to help them make the right decision at the NDC congress to elect a flagbearer slated for July 8-10, 2011 at the Brong Ahafo regional capital, Sunyani.
What this mean to us is that Mr Nyaunu is preaching discrimination. Thus, when one is blind, that person cannot perform his or her duties effectively.
It also mean that blind person cannot become president and that any president that become blind during his or her tenure of office needs to be removed from office.
It further suggests that Blind persons are always controlled by the people around them and are incapable of taking decisions themselves except the people around them. .
It is also against the Disability Act [Act 715] section 33:
1. (1) A person shall not call a person with disability derogatory names because of the disability of the person.
29) A person who contravenes Subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both.
We are therefore demanding his removal by Nana Konadu as her campaign Coordinator or apologise for his discriminatory statements.
We also call on Parliament to drag the said MP to the privileges Committee of Parliament to render an unqualified apology to Blind and Partially Sighted Persons that were affected by his unfortunate statement
If these two things fail within 72 hours after the above concerns have received the petition, the members of Ghana Blind Union Youth and Students Wing shall advise themselves accordingly.
It is the expectation of the Ghana Blind Union Youth and Students Wing that our request will be favourably considered in order to remove or minimize the derogatory statements and discrimination against Persons with Disabilities.
Joseph Dwomo Ababio [General Secretary, GBUYSW]
Seth Addi [President, Promoafrica]