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01.08.2019 Feature Article

Mr President, Why Order The Shut Down?

Mr President, Why Order The Shut Down?
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“If that is so, shut them down.” An order President Akufo Addo is alleged to have given.

President Nana Akufo Addo I gathered was in the company of a group of persons, when one of them complained about how the voices of dissent - Radio Gold and Radio XYZ are tormenting his administration, to which he is said to have responded with such an order.

The rest they say is history.

Persons who know Nana Akufo Addo aka Cee One will tell you he detests criticism. He can't take it. That his off-camera reaction to same is just as an angry elephant would to its environment.

Having heard all these and with no cause to doubt, I opted to grant the President the benefit of the doubt for the shutdown of the 2 opposition stations and their affiliates in the regions.

Even at that juncture where the President engaged in the most insincere act; for months kept the RTI bill which Parliament passed but had to hurriedly arrange to have the signing into law coincide with the date for FM stations shutdown demo, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and anticipated that the human right lawyer and defender of civil liberties as he wants to be known, he was going to use the occasion to reaffirm it.

That didn't happen. He never commented on such a critical national matter and has since not done so. It begins to dawn on me that it is a gestapo operation.

Infact, what later struck me and took away the benefit of the doubt was Dr Charles Wereko Brobbey aka Tarzan's own revelation about a week ago that he wrote to the President on the matter, followed it up with a meeting to explain how under him, the physical, other attacks on the media and its practitioners and the deafening silence betrays a course he, President in the past as a lawyer championed for Radio Eye against the State.

Ghana has laws and there is a position that the President can take to engender confidence on this matter. What we are currently seeing only sadly endanger confidence.

One thing I am sure would have happened were it under President John Mahama, he would have erred on the side of the affected media houses. He won't order a clamp down of the media houses and or pretend not to know what has happened.

Only under a despotic tyrant will a shutdown occur and we would refuse to avert our minds to other consequential effects such as job and business losses among others to the economy.

It is months since Tarzan met with the President, the latter has not spoken, let alone condemn the attacks, leaving Tarzan with no other option than to pass a grave verdict on government, describing it as the worse in the 4th republic in terms of safeguarding media freedom.

“The free speech suppression that we are witnessing under President Akufo Addo is just like a golden age of culture of silence.” That is how bluntly Newspaper owner and Ghana's former Ambassador to Namibia, Ambassador Alhaji Haruna Attah puts it.

The voices of Tarzan, Alhaji Haruna Attah, Kwesi Pratt and other key persons are in support of a campaign #DefendMediaFreedom being championed by Multimedia Ltd.

To around this time start a campaign #DefendMediaFreedom, speaks to the level of the threat that faces free speech and democracy as a whole under President Akufo Addo.

Nana Kofi Coomson, owner and publisher of the Chronicle Newspaper has long warned that he cannot sleep with his eyes closed under an Akufo Addo government.

Also, NPP's Dr Nyahoe Tamakloe ahead of the 2016 elections had stated that “I don't believe Akufo Addo has that trick to pull. I will say Ghanaians will learn a bitter lesson of leadership if he wins.”

Now, juxtapose the retrogressive acts such as the raid of the offices of Modern Ghana and abduction of its Editors by National Security operatives for torture, the unresolved murder of investigative journalist, Ahmed Suale, threat of harm to other Journalists - forcing some into exile - as others cannot sleep in their homes, targeted shut down of opposition radio stations and many others under the watch of President Akufo Addo as against the warnings, verdicts and accounts of Nana Kofi Coomson, Dr Nyahoe Tamakloe, Tarzan and others.

I maintain that Mobotu Sese Seko, Iddi Amin, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Gnassingbe Eyadema and others who we tagged as despots never were because theirs were not democracies.

Ladies and gentlemen, help me welcome the despotic tyrant of the century; Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo aka Cee One!

Writer: Koku Mawuli Nanegbe
NB: I am solely responsible for this article. Stop the intimidation and clamp down of the media!!