The Ghana Disability Forum (GDF) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to Franklin Jantuah, the last surviving cabinet member of the Kwame Nkrumah administration, to apologise to persons with disability over his comment that they are unfit to lead a country.
Jantuah, in an interview with Accra-based GhOne TV, said newly elected flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Greenstreet, is unfit to lead the party because he is a “cripple.”
“I don’t think a cripple can lead a political party… If you have a CPP with a leader who is a cripple…I wonder how he is going to rule,” Jantuah stated.
Members of the GDF are enraged over his statement and have threatened a legal action against him if he fails to render an apology within two weeks.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, the convener of the Disability Forum, Alex Tetteh, said the 90-year-old’s pronouncement smacks of insult.
“We, members of the Disability Forum, have noted with utter disdain the most unfortunate comment made by Mr. F A Jantuah,” a livid Tetteh told the media.
“What he said is not only shameful and disrespectful to all persons with disabilities, but also makes mockery of the efforts to include PWDs into mainstream society after several grueling years of discrimination, marginalization and prejudice.”
He added: “Mr. Jantuah by his reckless statement reduced Section 37 (1) and (2) of the persons with disability Act 715, 2006 to a mere words of no consequence. While the disability community is hesitant to descend on him with the full force at our disposal, in view of his status as an elderly statesman, we wish to indicate our disgust and absolute disappointment at his reprehensible, derogatory, and backward comment.
“The Disability Forum is therefore calling on the leadership of the CPP to call Mr. Franklin A. Jantuah to order. In the same voice, we urge civil society organizations and all well-meaning Ghanaians to join us to condemn these utterances in no uncertain terms and demand a retraction and an unqualified apology from Mr. Jantuah to Mr. Greenstreet as well as to all persons with disabilities who feel very scandalized by the said statement. We humbly suggest to him additionally, that it will be in his singular interest to do this within 14 working days of the issuance of this statement, otherwise we will consider other options that the law accords us.”