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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Culture of silence is gradually creeping back into our democracy – Senyo Hosi speaks against attacks on journalists

Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distribution of Ghana, Senyo Hosi has condemned the recent increase in threats and attacks on journalists in the country.

He said the act is not only a compromise on the freedom of the press but also an indictment on the country’s democracy.

Senyo Hosi made the comments on JoyFM’s Super Morning Show where he noted that the culture of silence is gradually creeping back into the country’s democracy.

“We are beginning to see some sort of culture of silence trying to get back into our democracy and it’s not helping,” he said.

This comes on the back of fresh attacks on journalists in the country including freelance investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni.

Mr. Azure Awuni disclosed that he received a death threat following an article he wrote about the country’s recent election and its outcome.

The piece titled, ‘ERRORtoral’ Commission and Akufo-Addo’s coup d’état,’ discussed the anomalies with the Techiman South parliamentary results and the non-participation of the people of Santrokfi, Akpafu, Lolobi, and Likpe (SALL) areas in the voting process.

The two issues, if not resolved before the constitution of the next parliament, could result in what Manasseh Azure describes as a “coup against the legislative arm of government.”

However, someone who was not happy with the article and felt the journalist, through the piece, was siding with the opposition NDC on the two constituency issues, sent him an email on Christmas day saying Manasseh was “lucky to still be walking a free man.”

Reacting to this, Mr Hosi expressed disappointment in how some journalists have been treated in the country.

He stated that journalists are among persons who are least celebrated but sacrifice a lot to make sure that the environment in which citizens thrive is viable and conducive.

“The life of a journalist is difficult. It is less rewarding, economically not that satisfying, it’s a difficult one but our democracy is significantly hinged on the work of the journalist,” he said.

Mr. Hosi was also least impressed but very worried about the number of attacks on journalists that have occurred under the Akufo-Addo-led administration.

He noted that the attack on the media during the tenure of President Akufo-Addo, who was among persons who fought for the criminal libel law to be repealed is unfortunate.

“There have been big disappointments for me on how some journalists have been treated and how the government under the Akufo-Addo regime has acted. You don’t really see the party take a proper stance on all these things.”

He further called on government to act on the matter and deal with the issues.

“The fathers of our democracy are still alive and President Akufo-Addo is one of them. What he’s done to make sure that we earn this kind of democracy is remarkable and I celebrate him every day for that [as such] it will be quite a big indictment on him if these [attacks on journalists] is not properly dealt with.

“We can’t have [the attacks] happening and we have to deal with it. People may find it difficult to say but let’s be honest about it, increasingly we are seeing a callback and the country is gradually the culture of silence is creeping back into our general space and we need to deal with it,” he said.

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