Communications Prof. Kwame Karikari is right on point to call President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo out vis-à-vis the erroneously perceived rising spate of violence against Ghanaian journalists (See “Press Freedom: Prof. Karikari Highlights ‘Frightening’ Incidents Under Akufo-Addo Gov’t” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/13/19). His judgment call may very well be smack on point because the founder and former Executive-Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) also critically underscores the fact that it was through the singular instrumentality of the President that the progressive and unprecedented crafting of the landmark Repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, a British colonial relic and instrument of media repression, that the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came to be widely perceived to be the most liberal and media-protective government in the postcolonial era.
But, of course, Prof, Karikari also has a bounden obligation to fully appreciate the fact that the apparent rise in incidents of violence in the country is not unique or restricted to Ghanaian journalists but, indeed, pervasive in the country at large. In recent months, for example, it has also being brought to light that, in fact, some prominent members of the main opposition National Democratic Congress, including the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, have either been directly involved in stoking the flames of violence, including the felonious staging of kidnappings against both foreign nationals resident in the country and bona fide Ghanaian citizens as well. Indeed, even as I write, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the former Minister for Local Government and Rural Development and the NDC’s National Chairman in question, is known to be either already standing trial or is about to be trialed for his alleged participation in the cold-calculated attempt to destabilize the otherwise generally peaceful sociopolitical climate in the country.
In other words, while it cannot be gainsaid that the President needs to boost up the present level of our national security, it also bears pointing out the incontrovertible fact that a woefully underperformed John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress’ political machine, desperate to return to power by hook-or-crook, come January 2021, has viciously resorted to the systematic destabilization of the country’s security as its main electioneering campaign agenda. It is also crystal clear that the very sterling leadership credentials of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that Prof. Karikari deems to be worth highlighting are being deviously used, jujitsu style, by the political and ideological opponents of Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, to strategically and tactically hamstring the President, who has fiercely fought and continues to fiercely fight both internal party detractors and inveterate political opponents of the main opposition National Democratic Congress and many of the other marginal opposition NDC-sponsored political parties.
I am also not certain that the former Dean of the School of Mass Communication at the University of Ghana, Legon, would have Ghanaians and the rest of the world believe that the brutal stabbing-assassination of Mr. Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, then the New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for the Akyem-Abuakwa-North Constituency, and grandson of the legendary Dr. JB Danquah, which is alleged to have been deliberately bungled by the extant Inspector-General of the Ghana Police Service (IGP), Mr. John Kudalor, and then President John Dramani Mahama, ought to be deemed to be any far less significant than the equally brutal point-blank slaying of Mr. Ahmed Suale, the renowned investigative journalist.
In short, what we are dealing with here is far more complex than the sort of curiously facile academic exercise that Prof. Karikari clearly seems to be performing here. More so, when a military attaché to the Presidency was not very long ago summarily executed, Mafia-style, on the Accra-Tema Motorway by some two unidentified gunmen who may very well, in retrospect, have been sponsored by the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 13, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]