Renowned journalist and writer, Cameron Duodu, has recalled the negative impact Kwame Nkrumah’s Preventive Detention Act had on Ghana’s crop of legislators at the time.
Revisiting his time as a Parliament reporter on Citi TV’s Footprints, Mr. Duodu described the MPs at the time as “sharp and eloquent”.
He believes this is because they were the first MPs to be elected by universal adult suffrage.
“Once they got there, they wanted to appease their constituents that they are worthy of being returned [to Parliament]. It was very interesting, very exciting.”
But Mr. Duodu said he was “extremely hurt when, in 1958, Nkrumah passed the Preventive Detention Act because it then shut off all this brilliance.”
“When you are talking, you thought twice… almost the entire opposition front bench was put in preventive detention,” he noted.
The Preventive Detention Act (PDA) was passed into law in 1958 after years of unrest and acts of violence targeted at the Nkrumah administration of the time.
At the time, Nkrumah was convinced there was a plot to kill him, and the act allowed for detention or incarceration for up to five years without charge or trial.
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