'You've become tyrannical; brought back culture of silence' – Ayariga tells Akufo-Addo
A former presidential candidate Hassan Ayariga has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of being tyrannical.
The founder of the All People’s Congress (APC) said in a statement on social media, following the arrest and detention of two ModernGhana journalists – one of whom claims was tortured by National Security operatives – that the President, famed as a “human rights activist” has now “turned out to be a democratic tyrant”.
“Let us remind Nana Addo, the so-called human rights activist, now president, that Ghanaians are not safe under his presidency”, adding, a “human rights activist now a tyrant president”.
“President Nana has brought back the culture of silence”, Mr Ayariga said, asking: “What sort of tyranny is this?”
He catalogued some instances to buttress his point.
“Media personnel being harassed, police officials being interdicted, kidnappings, killings, public workers sacked based on false accusations and tagged members of other political parties, corruption and poverty everywhere. Our freedom and justice are under threat. Let’s defend our freedom and justice. Let’s change the deceptive change”, Mr Ayariga rallied.
Mr Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, the Deputy Editor of ModernGhana, who was arrested together with Mr Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum, a reporter, on Monday, 1 July 2019 said that he was tortured and beaten by the National Security operatives while in detention following a raid of their office and their subsequent arrest.
Mr Abugri, who was released on Saturday, 29 June 2019, said he was not spared by his captors who, he claimed took turns to hit and taser him.
Even though the National Security said they arrested the two in relation to cybercrime and hacking allegations, Mr Abugri said the questions posed to him while in detention had no link to those claims.
Mr Abugri noted that he was rather questioned on a critical article his outfit published about the National Security Minister, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, and the governing New Patriotic Party’s MP for Effutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin in relation to happenings at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
Gun-wielding officials stormed the office of ModernGhana last week and whisked the two journalists away. Their heads were covered with a black bag on Thursday, the journalists claim.
Narrating the incident, Mr Abugri said he was slapped, punched and assaulted endlessly for hours till the point where he struggled to breathe.
“They questioned me for about an hour and then the beating started because they said I have to confess. I was tortured; every question came with a slap. When they ask anything and before I could say anything then the slaps,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.
He said the operatives got infuriated and intensified the assault any time they felt unconvinced about his responses to their questions.
“When I give an answer and they are not satisfied then they give me a slap. They used the electrical shocker to shock my body”, he narrated, adding: “From there, they made me go through the military style where I have to lean against the wall with legs up and head down as if I'm doing a press up then they gave me a huge slap at my back then I fell and one guy used his elbow on my backbone”.
He continued: “I could not breathe for a while, so, I had to open my mouth and gasp in the air so I could survive and I cried like a newborn baby telling them I was innocent.”
Mr Abugri said one of the articles in question was received through a third party and published because it satisfied the editorial policy of ModernGhana.
He said the other story was written out of a press release.