Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor has backed concerns raised by the highly influential Ghanaian mining tycoon, Sir Sam Jonah who issued a scathing statement of how the current government dispensation has cowed the general citizenry and the media into a “culture of silence”.
In a statement titled “Down the Up Escalator: Reflections on Ghana’s Future by a Senior Citizen,” Dr. Sam Jonah raised a plethora of issues bedeviling the Ghanaians society currently.
In the widely discussed statement, Sam Jonah bemoaned what he described as the backdoor creeping in of the dreaded culture of silence in Ghana.
According to Sam Jonah, individuals and civil society organizations that used to speak up against social ills have all gone mute under President Nana Akufo-Addo despite wanton corruption, killing and torturing of journalists, and rising moral degeneration in the Ghanaian society.
““What is baffling is that those who used to have voices on these things seem to have lost their voices. People speak on issues based on who is in power. Is our deafening silence suggesting that we are no longer concerned about issues that we complained about not too long ago, particularly when those issues persist….. The molestation of and in some cases assassination of journalists, murder of MPs, corruption, the harassment of anti-corruption agents,” Sam Jonah jabbed the current dispensation.
Speaking in an interview on CITI TV monitored by Whatsup News, the former President said he believes Sam Jonah’s comment might be based on some experiences he has had and on his pedigree, and such claims must not be taken lightly.
“They have their experiences, so I am in no position to say what they are saying is unfounded. For a man like Sam to speak the way you have cited him as saying, suggests that he has some evidence,” Kufuor said.
“It appears to me that in recent times in our Fourth Republican dispensation, the courage to stand up for the truth and the determination to uphold the common good is lost. In our dark moments as a nation, it is concerning that the voices of the intellectuals are receding into oblivion. Sadly, it is a consequence of the deep partisan polarisation of our country such that everything is seen through the lenses of politics,” Sam Jonah had stated.
“It appears to me that the culture of silence has returned. This time not enforced by legal and military power but through convenience, parochialism, hypocrisy, and a lack of conviction. Where are our Adu Boahens and PV Ansahs?” he said.
Ex-President Kufour who reportedly belongs to a rival camp within the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) thinks Sam Jonah’s comment should be given attention and be considered.
“They say freedom is not handed on a silver platter, sometimes you fight for it. This is part of the uses of the media, to dare to speak up to uphold public interest… Sam [Jonah] has said it and Sam is very responsible and a high member of the community. [I want] to say that it should not be treated casually. He might have something he is advocating [for], and it is not for me to dispute him. Just saying, when you allege, you prove it. You don’t put it all on the government as such,” Kufuor said.