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20.02.2020 Feature Article

President Akufo Addo, Read This Together With The Public

The Ghanaian leader, Nana Akufo Addo, photo credit: Ghana media
LISTEN FEB 20, 2020
The Ghanaian leader, Nana Akufo Addo, photo credit: Ghana media

Recent kidnappings and assassinations in the country are some of the reasons many Ghanaians live in fear and wouldn’t like to talk or have anything to do with politics. Even though Ghana is a peaceful country, it’s clear many people live with anxiety and fear.

Elites don’t go to jail and without money, you can’t get justice because the judiciary which supposes to be effective appears to be one of the weakest, probably in entire Africa. The crime high official Ghanaians commit and escape with impunity could never happen in any developed country.

A country which many disagree with something, yet afraid to speak because they fear for their lives, even though many things are going wrong, is not good. Fear in a country poses fundamental questions of which it's the government's responsibility to give assurance to the people.

On social media LinkedIn, I have received many emails from some of my followers but I wasn’t expecting this one. On February 2, 2020, I received the mail below over his disagreement with some issues going on in Ghana, asking me to do something about it but I shouldn’t mention his name.

Dear Sir, it is with great pleasure I write to you. I read your columns with a lot of joy. I want to draw your attention to an issue that I observe is going on in Ghana, but has remained under the radar.

The Ghanaian government's intention of passing a cybersecurity law; under the guise of protecting children from harmful internet content (the words of the minister of communication). So far so good.

However, if we look Africa-wide, we see that these types of laws are being used to stifle opposition voices; for example in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda.

I also observe that there is no debate on this issue in Ghana between government, civil society, and other stakeholders.

Moreover, the government members should also be reminded they may instigate these laws today and use them to intimidate and stifle others, but whatever happens, at some point they will also leave offers (no matter how long it takes) and these same laws will be used against them.

From an ex-journalist to a well-respected journalist, I hope that you can open the debate on this subject for broader consultation. Now I have the impression that it is being purposely kept under the radar, because of our President's reputation as a Human Rights Lawyer under whose watch such a law would be passed.

Please do not mention my name anywhere as nowadays, you might not know who is reading along. Thank you for your attention. Best wishes, xxxxxxxxxx

You see if people are quiet in Ghana doesn’t always mean because Ghana is a peaceful country but the fact is firstly, many are afraid of Akufo Addo and secondly, they don’t have confidence in either the judiciary system or the police.

After reading his e-mail, I wrote back to him: Thanks, for the information Mr. xxxxx and making things clear to me. I will do more research on the topic to find out the real reason Akufo Addo's government wants to implement it and I promise not to mention your name. Thank you.

I am not interested to write an article based on the opinion of the concerned Ghanaian. The significance of this article is to let everyone know that many Ghanaians fear for their lives in a country under democracy, therefore, they need assurance and security from the Ghanaian government.

Joel Savage
Joel Savage, © 2020

Joel Savage is a Ghanaian-Belgian journalist and author. The accredited press-card holder of the Flemish Journalists Association once contributed regularly to the features column of the Daily Graphic, The Mirror, Ghanaian Times and the Weekly Spectator. The writer currently lives in Belgium., Column Page: JoelSavage

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