Gov’t Social Media Clampdown Agenda Exposed

The Akufo Addo administration has hinted of plans to clampdown on Ghanaian social media due to the bad press the government is receiving. The Ministry of Communications has warned that it will be forced to regulate activities of citizens on the internet.
Speaking on the sidelines of the freedom online conference in Accra today, Thursday, 6 February 2020, the Communication Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said, “In certain countries, there have been calls for social media to be shut down because of its abuse …If we don’t self-regulate the state will be compelled to set in place the mechanisms to regulate our usage of the internet.
This is the umpteenth time the minister had dropped this hint, in what is increasingly confirming rife speculations that social media exposures are dealing a hefty blow on the reputation of the Akufo Addo administration and maybe soon rolling out masked internet censorship measures to silence dissenters.
Last year, the minister claimed the government was already working on a regulation that would be “criminalising the sharing of inappropriate content”.
 “The Ministry is working with the Attorney General, and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, among others to come up with the framework on child online development and welfare within the shortest possible time,” Mr. Owusu Ekuful stated, even though Ghana already has a robust cybersecurity law.
Experts say this is exactly the tell-tale signs that experts have warned against. In 2016, the BBC reported how countries like Uganda, Gabon, Chad, Burundi and Congo-Brazzaville have shut down internet services
With social media platforms being used to organise political activities, the continent’s political elite seems worried that such platforms could be used to foment revolt.
Earlier this week, vociferous musician cum social critic, Kwame Asare Obeng (A Plus) was slapped with a lawsuit by the police administration, seeking to restrain him from his rather blunt social commentary he streams live on his Facebook.
Several months ago, another controversial social commentator on social media, Kevin Ekow Taylor, stated categorically stated that he had evidence to prove that the Akufo Addo administration has contracted the National Communications Authority (NCA) Chief Executive, Joseph Anokye to device systems to clamp down on potential dissenters to the government run-up to the 2020 elections.
Joseph Anokye is a Ghanaian geodetic engineer and technology expert who had been a former worker at NASA. He is noted as the main brain behind the election victory of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2016.
In the past year, the Akufo Addo administration has been at the receiving end of the massively influential Ghanaian social media. Ghanaian social media has been effectively used to mobilise the populace against acts of alleged corruption and mismanagement in the government. The most recent example is the relentless campaign on social media that resulted in the torpedoing of the fraudulent US$ 1 billion Power Distribution Services (PDS) management contract of the Electricity Company of Ghana.
The Akufo Addo administration has not exactly had a rosy record of how it treats dissenters or journalists as it has encouraged a brutal campaign against journalists that have been critical of the government.
 One such journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale who went undercover to expose high-profile corruption in government was early this year murdered in cold blood. Since then, several other journalists, who have had access to incriminating information about government appointees have been hounded, with ace investigative journalists, Manasseh Awuni Azuri fleeing briefly to South Africa on exile.


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