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Manasseh Azure Awuni explains why there is a ‘culture of silence’ under Akufo-Addo

Manasseh ?resize=707%2C546&ssl=1 Manasseh Azure Awuni, Investigative Journalist

Thu, 29 Apr 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Manasseh Azure Awuni has been explaining why he believes that under the presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians cannot express themselves freely.

According to him, even though he complains about some form of ‘culture of silence’ under President Akufo-Addo and yet he can express his views, it does not indicate that there is no ‘culture of silence’.

Azure Awuni explained on GTV’s ‘Moomen Tonight’: "We are living in a country that if you walk to a typical hospital today and there are problems, the superintendent there will tell you that look, we have these issues but if I talk about them, I will face sanctions.”

He cited a yet-to-be-aired documentary he has done on the COVID-19 pandemic wherein he spoke to some health practitioners and experts, “and sometimes the things you are told before the interview and when the camera is rolling, they are two separate things; very watered-down versions of what you hear. They later explain that they could not say some of the things because of fear from authorities.

Over the period, there have been some journalists who have been subjected to torture from state institutions just because of some publications or reports they have done. Examples include modernghana.com, Joyfm and WhatsUpp news media persons who were manhandled by the police and national security agencies.

Manasseh Azure Awuni stated further that the killing of Ahmed Suale, an investigative journalist with Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Tiger Eye PI, puts some fear in journalists.

“During the [Parliamentary] vetting by Muntaka Mubarak of Asawase, we went straight to the website of the National Communications Authority (NCA) and Ursula Owusu who is the Communications Minister as seated there and started pointing to radio stations that according to the NCA’s date hadn’t renewed their licences. Some even defaulted more than Radio Gold and Radio XYZ, but they were still there. They asked the question why are they still there and Ursula Owusu pretended she didn’t know what [was] happening…,” he said.

He added that as the Minister of Communications in President Akufo-Addo’s first term of office, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was so involved in the closure of Radio Gold and Radio XYZ.

“The closure of radio stations, the murder of Ahmed Suale, the arrest, detention and alleged torture of the modern Ghana journalists, these are the things that are beginning to appear as though the state is taking part in some of the things. Ordinarily [they] would occur and be termed as stifling of media freedom,” Azure Awuni told Abdul Hayi Moomen.

He observed, there is some kind of hypocrisy among Ghanaians whereby some people who appeared to be speaking during the erstwhile Mahama administration are now quiet and cannot speak against the ills of the Akufo-Addo administration.

“Those who thought that Rev. [Prof.] Martey should shut up and has no business talking about politics or he is an NPP man, a politician in a cassock; they called him all manner of names; he has lost credibility because their party was in government. Today, you are in opposition and you are shouting where are they? They should come and talk. People who had no credibility when you were in government why would they soon have credibility when you are in opposition? If their voices do not matter when you were in government, why should their voices matter when you are now in opposition?” he asked.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com