Mr Manasseh Azure Awuni, a journalist with Accra-based Multimedia Group, has entreated the Akufo-Addo government to emulate former President John Mahama of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) by eschewing vindictiveness against persons who highlight the ills of his government.
The investigative reporter also urged the current administration to learn from former president John Kufuor, who, he said, created a conducive environment for media practice in Ghana.
Mr Awuni, who was commenting on the spate of attacks on journalists in recent times, including death threats which forced him to go into exile in South Africa following the airing of his documentary on the alleged activities of a pro-governing party militia group at the Osu Castle – a claim denied by government and discounted by the National Media Commission (NMC) – told Accra100.5FM on Thursday, 25 July 2019 that: “If you look at the general media landscape, beyond me, if you move from one radio station or TV station to another and you ask journalists, they will tell you that the current atmosphere is a bit too hostile towards journalist”.
“The freedom of the press is being suppressed by the government and journalists are complaining a lot”, he noted.
According to him, during Mr Mahama’s presidency, despite the barrage of criticisms he hurled at him, the then-president took all of it in his stride calmly and gently.
“He was very accommodating and I can tell you that Mr Mahama is not vindictive, so, journalists had our freedom to do whatever we had to do without fear or favour”.
Mr Awuni, therefore, pleaded with the Akufo-Addo government to learn from his predecessors.
He said journalists cannot be “praise singers” of any government but rather hold the to account.