An International Relations Expert, Mr Abeiku Newton, has observed that the comments made by businessman Sam Jonah regarding whether or not there is culture of silence in Ghana, has been misconstrued by some people criticizing him for those expressions.
Mr Newton told Dzifa Bamoh on the First Take on 3FM Monday April 26 that persons critiquing the comments of Sir Sam Jonah have completed misinterpreted the comments he made at a Rotary Club function titled “Down the up escalator – Reflections on Ghana’s future by a senior citizen” where he bemoaned the prevailing “culture of silence” in the country.
He said “I don’t think that this fear which seeks to be self-imposed, Sir Jonah actually said that. What we are describing as culture of silence presently is not being imposed by the system. That is the cardinal point Sam Jonah raised which seemed to be completely lost on those that are critiquing whatever he said.”
He added “We haven’t gotten to the standard of the CNN and the BBC where there is complete freedom on the hands of the media practitioners to actually decide their editorial policies. In our space when an individual has a media empire or a media station and the person is politically active or he is a political person definitely they do have influence on the content.”
Sir Sam Jonah said among other things that “What is baffling is that those who used to have voices on these things seem to have lost their voices. People speak on issues based on who is in power. Is our deafening silence suggesting that we are no longer concerned about issues that we complained about not too long ago, particularly when those issues persist….. The molestation of and in some cases assassination of journalists, murder of MPs, corruption, the harassment of anti-corruption agents.
“We have just finished another election, the 8th in the series since the beginning of our fourth Republican democratic experiment. As usual, the accolades came in from all corners of the world, and we took them with pride. What we failed to tell the world is that some people lost their lives in the course of the election.
“No election is as important as to warrant the loss of even one life. And the silence over it is numbing as it gives the impression that it is okay, and it is to be expected. No it is not to be expected. One of the saddest moments for me was after the State of the Nation address when an MP was asked why there had not been serious outpouring of grief about the death of the innocent people in Techiman , his response was that as far as he was concerned, they were undeserving of any sympathy because he saw them as armed robbers.
“For me, that was a new low for the country. We also witnessed arguably the biggest assault on our democracy since the beginning of the Fourth Republic when on the eve of the swearing-in of the President at a time when there were no ministers, and crucially there was no minister of defence, armed soldiers that is to say, officers from an institution that works by command, invaded our Parliament and up till date, no serious answers have been provided.
“This could have had grave consequences and for the future of our country, the least the country deserves is a public enquiry. Have we become so numb to these things?”
Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, commenting on this development said all journalists who live in fear in Ghana under the Akufo-Addo administration have a good reason to do so.
According to him, members of the inky fraternity in Ghana are not safe following the failure of the government to thoroughly investigate the killing of some journalists in the country and bringing the culprits to book.
He told Komla Adom on the Mid Day news on 3FM Monday April 26 that “People are living in fear and they have a reason to live in fear because they don’t know who [murder] will happen to next.
“A colleague of ours was put on television and then somebody said if you meet him attack him, later this person was shot and killed and up till now we don’t know the one who was or is behind the murder of Ahmed Suale.
“So the average journalists living in this environment has every good reason to be afraid for their lives. “
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana