Governance group, Centre for Ethical Governance and Administration (CEGA) has asked for the Deputy Minister for Information Pius Enyonam Hadzideh, to be called to order for his constant harassment of the media.
The group in a statement released today, May 11, 2020, said if his behaviour is unchecked “will further dent the image of the government so far as press freedom in the country is concerned.”
The group wants President Akufo Addo to immediately call Hon. Pius Hadzide to order and request him to apologise for his attack on a TV anchor from TV3.
They narrated the near-fisticuffs between the deputy minister and TV3’s Johnny Hughes during a morning talk show.
“The Hon. Deputy Minister made claims to the effect that the government had made substantial investments into bringing up more Covid-19 Testing Centres in Ghana…. On his part, the host of the program asked the Deputy Minister to give further and better particulars of the nature of the investment…Not only did the Deputy Minister get infuriated about Host’s line of question but he went on to accuse the Host of being biased and unprofessional,” CEGA narrated in the statement.
“The CEGA wishes to place on record that, this is unbecoming of a Deputy Minister for Information in Ghana. As a Deputy Minister, Hon. Pius Hadzide must understand that he is expected to serve the people of this country and he must do so with utmost patience, humility and candour.”
The statement signed by Prof Ohene Adjei, the Executive Director of CEGA expressed disgust about the conduct of the Deputy Minister. “As the Deputy Minister of Information he is supposed to protect journalist instead of attacking such professionals who are genuinely doing their job,” it read.
The Akufo Addo administration has racked up the unenviable reputation as one of the most suppressive regimes on press freedom. Recently, Reporters Without Borders downgraded Ghana’s press freedom status, while Ghana also dropped seven places on world press freedom ranking.
Already, under the Akufo Addo administration, one journalist (Ahmed Hussein-Suale) has been assassinated for tracking a corruption scandal that links to the Presidency.
Several other journalists have been harassed with some forced into brief exile for exposing rot in the regime.