Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azuri Awuni has described as despotic the administration of Nana Akufo Addo, after he has been virtually put on constant police guard in fear that some people in government have put a hit on his head.
During the Ghana Institute of Journalism’s (GIJ)’s early commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day, Manasseh, describes his virtual incapacitation because he has to be guarded by a police detail round-the-clock due to the suspected hit on him for his numerous exposures of shady deals within the Akufo administration.
According to Mr. Azuri, prior to 2012, the media atmosphere was relatively free compared to the current regime of the Akufo Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He said, despite releasing serious corruption reports on the Mahama administration, never did he feel afraid for his life. In fact, he said, instead of antagonising him, as the current administration is doing, some NDC politicians had wanted to coerce him into their fold.
Manasseh revealed that the then Minister of Communications, Dr. Omane Boamah had approached him to offer him security due to the explosive reportage he was making on the then-Mahama administration. He said, he declined the offer.
Comparing the two administrations, Manasseh sums up his experience by saying he had to escape South Africa on a brief exile with his family when he exposed the government’s sponsorship of a militia group that was undertaking military training at the Christiansburg Castle in Osu.
The concerns raised by the guests at the GIJ event re-echo an indicting statement released this week by renowned mining tycoon, Dr. Sam Jonah, who gave a prescription that Ghana has been gripped by a culture of silence under the current dispensation.
Tanko Musa Zakaria, a GIJ lecturer who made a presentation during the event, noted that the current administration has demonstrated a lack of commitment to press freedom by allowing the Right To Information (RTI) to haemorrhage.
According to him, journalists are still harassed, oppressed and restricted besides the devaluation of the RTI law by state institutions.
The Akufo Addo administration has been ranked by a number of media watchdog groups as one of the most suppressive of media freedom. It is also regarded as one of the most corrupt and blood-thirsty, given the rising spake of murders and rampant killings, including the gunning down of some 8 voters at Techiman South Constituency, during the December 2020 general elections.