Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has accused former President John Dramani Mahama of not only being an alarmist but seeking to project government untruthfully in his unbridled desire for power.
To him, it is “unfortunate” that a statesman could stoop to such lows for the sole reason of winning an election.
“Because of his irrepressible hunger for power, he [former President Mahama] says things which are not even true hoping that Ghanaians might fail to cross-check or have a short memory,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said in an interview with NEAT FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Montie’.
His comment follows on the heels of remarks by John Mahama during his tenure, the country was ranked first in Africa for promoting freedom of the press, and that Ghana’s level of press freedom ranking in Africa currently, has dropped astronomically under the Nana Addo-led government.
Mr Mahama was all praise to his administration for setting a good standard for the country before leaving office, as Ghanaians marked World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2020.
“According to Reporters Without Borders, during my Presidency, Ghana became the country with the highest levels of press freedom in Africa. At the time, we were ranked number one out of 54 countries in Africa. We placed 23rd on the global ranking among 180 countries".
“Three and half years later, we have slumped seven places on the global ranking and lost the number one spot in Africa to Namibia and Cape Verde. We have unfortunately lost this priceless status that made all of us very proud".
“This should worry us- not only journalists and media owners but all of us, as citizens and as Ghanaians".
“As I said, when the freedom of the press is curtailed, democracy suffers. And all the other human rights that anchor our dignity as human beings are eroded".
“Without freedom, our dignity is trampled. This is why we need a free press as much as we need fresh air to breathe. So, let us all protect the freedom of the press,” Mr. Mahama said in a statement.
But the Information Minister fired back in a sharp riposte describing Mr. Mahama’s claims are “false”
“He [Mahama] should tell us which year Ghana came first. What he is saying is a big lie. A former President doesn’t speak this way. Considering the battle we are engaged in, we need not pollute the system with too much politics; that is not the way to go. Because when it happens that way, attention will be shifted away from the COVID-19 fight and our desire and mandate to educate Ghanaians; instead, we will be forced to correct the falsehoods they (NDC) propagate . . .
“ . . during Mahama's tenure, Ghana saw a drop in rankings on the African press freedom index . . . my very friend Stan Dodge was cited as being a causative factor in all this . . . So why is he not trumpeting that? Name one journalist maltreated or assaulted by government? . . . It is true that Ahmed Suale met his untimely death during the NPP's administration . . . and we would all have wished that by now, the perpetrators of that dastardly act are facing punitive measures. But it is unfair to accuse government of masterminding his death because the security agencies have not gotten to the bottom of the matter yet . . . in that case, would it be fair if we also accuse the then NDC administration of orchestration the unfortunate death of George Kofi Abanga, PeaceFM's correspondent in Goaso a few years ago? . . . We shouldn't act in such manner that because of the desire to be President at all cost, we then seek to embellish the truth or peddle blatant falsehoods . . . ” he chastised.
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