Akufo-Addo has not demonstrated any commitment to press freedom – Braimah
Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Sulemana Braimah has taken a swipe at President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo following Ghana’s heavy drop in the latest World Press Freedom Index.
He says the current position of Ghana – from 30th in 2021 to 60th in 2022 – only affirms the concerns raised by his outfit under this government.
“For me, the President so far has not shown anything that demonstrates his commitment to press freedom and freedom of expression,” he told Johnnie Hughes on TV3‘s New Day in an interview on Wednesday, May 4.
“That is quite sad.”
President Akufo-Addo’s government has been perceived to be intolerant to dissenting views.
Many have even indicated that the culture of silence seems to be creeping back.
But at a congregation ceremony at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) held in his honour in May, 2021, President Akufo-Addo said: “When it comes to the press, I am certain I have nothing to apologise for with reference to anything I have ever done or said.
“I have been a part of and sometimes led the struggle for individual rights and freedom of the press in this country. I believe in it. it is part of my make-up.”
He further said: “It cannot be that everyone has a right of a reply except members of the government and officialdom, nor can it be that challenging an opinion expressed by a journalist constitutes an attack on press freedom.”
But Mr Braimah considers the comments much ado about nothing and only a political gimmick.
“It is one thing to say something but it is another thing to do that something. So, it is less of what he says and more of what he does. That is what for me is critical.”
He cited how late President John Evans Atta Mills personally picked a phone and called to apologise to abused journalists under his death-truncated tenure.
“Today, radio stations are being stormed because a journalist has put up false publication about the wife of the president. What happened?” the MFWA Executive Director wondered.
“We have had politically motivated shutdown of opposition radio stations. Was it not under the current president? So, I think as I said it’s one thing saying something and another thing doing that thing and so far I think it’s more about talk than action.”
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