Journalist, human rights activist and politicians from the minority NDC has organized a Press Freedom Demonstration in Accra to press home their demand for freedom of the press under the ruling NPP government.
The Free Media Vanguard’s protest against was necessitated by several actions by individuals and government institutions against the journalist, and radio stations such as the threats received by journalist for exposing corrupt government officials, the closure of some radio stations by the National Communications Authority (NCA).
Free Media Vanguard led the demonstration in Accra on Tuesday 21st May to protest against two critical actions that it feels undermines the freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
They include what it described as
- NCA’s abuse of its powers as a public institution charged with regulating the operation of media houses
2. The suppression of press freedom through threats, corruption and attempts of
persons to cover up stories.
The demonstrators were clad in red and black attire on the day, and held placards with inscriptions such as ‘Enough is Enough’, ‘Stop Adding Tyranny to Hardship’ ‘Akufo-Addo You Are a Threat to Free Speech’, and ‘Leave Adeti. Others include “Enough of the repression and Tranny: “Bring Back Our Voices”.
Some members of parliament such as NDC’s Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa was part of the demonstrators. It looks as though the NDC’s presence at the demonstration was to tell the government that, it will not accept tyranny and dictatorship within the operations government.
Freedom of the press is a fundamental human right necessary for democracy but if journalist begins to feel threatened and their freedom to express themselves and keep the government on it toes is circumvented, then the nation is faced with serious challenges going forward.
Before the demonstration, two NDC pro radio stations Radio Gold and Radio XYZ were closed down for breaching Electronic Communications Regulations of the Republic of Ghana. The NDC holds the view that this was politically motivated as the 2020 Elections draw nearer.
In a related development, John Mahama former president of Ghana has said: “there were political reasons behind the closure of those stations and so it is unfortunate.”
The Media Foundation for West Africa and other press freedom organisations fighters from 14 other West Africa countries have the president of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo to intervene and guarantee the safety and security journalist, such as Manasseh Azure Awuni and others who have been threatened by persons believed to be pro NPP to desist from the act.