NPP condemns govt's 'dictatorial' attacks on press freedom
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described government's decision to ban reporters of the Multimedia Group Limited from covering national events as 'dictatorial' and an attack on press freedom.
A statement issued by the Director of Communications of the NPP, Nana Akomea, called on the National Media Commission (NMC) to rise against the stance because it contravenes Article 162 of the Constitution of Ghana.
'This blatant bare faced and dictatorial attack must be condemned by all Ghanaians,' the statement read in part.
Below is the full statement:
The NPP condemns the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government's attack on press freedom by their latest action against the Multimedia Broadcasting Group.
The Mills/Mahama government has banned reporters of Multimedia from covering official events and also banned public institutions from placing adverts on the group's networks.
These actions are a direct attack on freedom of the press and against free speech; the constitution mandates the media to uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people of Ghana.
Article 162 of the Constitution of Ghana, guarantees freedom and independence of the media, provides that the mass media shall not be subject to control or interference by government, nor shall they be penalised or harassed for their editorial opinions, views, or the contents of their publications provided that the work of the media does not injure national security, public order, morality and reputation, rights and freedoms of other persons.
The action of the Mills/Mahama government in banning Multimedia and decreeing the non-placement of advertisement totally breaches Article 162 of the 1992 Constitution.
This blatant bare faced and dictatorial attack must be condemned by all Ghanaians.
We call on the National Media Commission to live up to its constitutional responsibility (Article 167) to promote and ensure the freedom and independence of the media.
We also call on the Ghanaian media to resist these attacks on their mandate, freedom and independence, so as to discourage governments from even more despicable actions against press freedom.
The Mills/Mahama Administration is failing and has become increasingly desperate in their actions especially in dealing with press freedom and free speech and the examples of such arbitrary use of power especially in recent times abound.
We have come a long way as a nation in building on the pillars of our democracy but unfortunately the Mills/Mahama administration is on a path to eroding the gains we have made over the years.