Former President John Dramani Mahama has urged the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to be more tolerant of dissenting views from media houses and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), as the world marks World Press Freedom today, Monday, May 3, 2021.
“I want to encourage President Nana Akufo-Addo and his close associates to seize the occasion to create an atmosphere that is more tolerant of criticism and devoid of intimidation in order for the media, CSOs and individuals to freely express themselves and contribute to national discourse.”
Reporters Without Borders in its ranking released in 2019 saw Ghana losing its spot as one of the best-ranked countries for press freedom.
The drop was attributed mainly to the murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale earlier in 2019.
Globally, the country dropped from 23 in 2018 to 27 in 2019.
Apart from Ghana’s performance on world rankings, some have suggested that the closure of radio stations by the government further suppresses media freedom in Ghana.
In 2019, two media houses affiliated with the National Democratic Congress(NDC) – Radio XYZ and Radio Gold were shut down for various infractions.
The NCA also suspended the authorisation of Radio Tongu in 2020 on the grounds of national security and the public interest.
The decision led to an unspecified number of arrests and the seizure of equipment after the Tongu Community Multimedia Network (Radio Tongu) in the Volta Region “illegally” resumed operations.