The much-criticised tyrannical rampage by the Akufo Addo administration against critical media voices has recorded another casualty as reports indicates that the Jubilee House has pressured the management of Accra-based Angel FM to indefinitely suspend popular radio host Blessed Godsbrain Smart, aka Captain Smart.
The station’s General Manager, Kwadwo Dickson, has revealed Captain Smart was sent home by the station’s proprietor Dr. Kwaku Oteng for utterances that he claims were uncharitable to the Akufo Addo administration and some of its ministers.
Dr. Oteng is a known loyalist of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the latest action reinforces the growing reputation of the Akufo Addo Administration as intolerant to media freedom.
Captain Smart may have become collateral damage in the media clampdown, given the fact that he is widely perceived as a poodle of the governing party. In fact, during the contentious plan by President Akufo Addo to blow over US$100 million to construct a controversial cathedral, he openly exhibited his support for the government by physically donating a symbolic cement bag to the contentious project.
Captain Smart’s witch-hunt is coming barely a week after international Media watchdog, Journalists Without Borders downgraded Ghana’s press freedom profile to the 30th position in the global press freedom index.
The countries ranking remained the same as the 2020 rankings at 30th position, but a breakdown of the indices indicates that Ghana did worse this year than in the previous year.
In the rankings, the higher the scores on the indicator, the poor the ranking. Hence, a score of 6.72 for Norway is translated to a higher ranking than Eritrea which scored 81.75.
Ghana was ranked 30th in both 2020 and 2021, however, in 2020, Ghana has a score of 21.33 and 22.26 in 2021, indicating a further decline in press freedom standings among the 180 countries captured in the ratings.
The Akufo Addo administration is seen as one of the most intolerant to media freedom in the history of the country, following the sheer number of media organisations and personalities that have been targeted by the government.
The government has clamped down on dissenting voices, including the mysterious assassination of investigative journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale who was investigating a serious case of corruption at the Jubilee House.
Other journalists such as David Tamakloe, the Editor-in-Chief of Whatsup News has been inexplicably arrested at gunpoint twice within six months for reporting on issues of injustice and corruption.
Others, including Manasseh Awuni Azuri, etc have had to escape into exile or gone into hiding for the explosive revelations they made about the government.
The situation in the country last week forced the hitherto private Dr. Sam Jonah to issue an explosive statement where he warned that the country has degenerated into the days of despotic leadership and the “Culture of Silence”.