Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, has described the state of media freedom in Ghana as terrible.
He has therefore blamed Nana Akufo-Addo for the unfortunate development.
According to him, the leadership of Nana Addo has contributed heavily to Ghana’s drop in the status as Africa’s best-ranked country in the World Press Freedom Index.
Ghana’s ranking on press freedom in Africa reduced to 3rd this year, from 1st last year.
The country was also ranked 27th in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index report, as against 23rd last year.
The report which was prepared by Reporters Without Borders cited the murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale as a major blow to the country’s press freedom.
Suale, a journalist with the Tiger Eye P.I, was shot dead earlier this year at Madina while on his way home. Prior to his gruesome murder, Suale was threatened by New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP Kennedy Agyapong.
Using this report to support his point, Dr. Apaak said the president should be blamed for the recent attacks on journalists.
“Our President, Nana Akufo-Addo, is being extolled for repealing the criminal libel law [in 2001], but today he’s not been able to protect journalists. Journalists are being abused but he’s kept quiet,” said Dr Apaak, a former media practitioner.
Describing how press freedom has been under siege in the past few years under this government, Dr Apaak recounted how President Akufo-Addo’s ‘spiritual father’, Prophet Owusu- Bempah, angrily stormed the premises of Radio XYZ with ‘macho men’ few months ago ostensibly to attack Mugabe Maase, a broadcaster of the East Legon-based radio station over some comments he [Owusu-Bempah] claimed were made to ridicule him.
“This man of God [Owusu-Bempah] is walking freely after taking the laws into his hands but a journalist (Mugabe Maase) is in court and being frustrated for doing his work…these are some of the issues that are wiping away the press freedom our journalists used to enjoy some years back,” the former presidential staffer told host Kwame Minkah in Akan.
Ghana’s worst performance on press freedom was in 2013 when it ranked 30.The country’s best ranking was in 2015 when placed 22.
In 2014 Ghana had 27 and made it to the 26 spot in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
MP had criticised the silence of the President, his Vice and the NPP regarding the attacks on Anas and his Tiger Eye, and the refusal to condemn Kennedy Agyapong for using his media to persecute Anas and the Ahmed Hussein Suale.
He had also highlighted “the very strange position of government regarding the Manasseh exposure of the De-Eye and the refusal to act on the evidence against Bissue and other appointees caught on video taking bribe.”
He insisted that based on all these instances government, its appointees, and party apprachiks have attacked journalists who did thier work as required yet the President saw no need to call his bulldogs to order!”
” So clearly, the President and his government have sanctioned the attacks on media freedom! he added.