Ghana’s president Nana Akufo- Addo is under public pressure over his deafening silence on increasing reports of attacks on Ghanaian journalists under his watch.
Many Ghanaians including some sitting members of Parliament as well as notable associations have called on the president to publicly condemn the attack and arrest of the two journalists by men alleged to be national security officials.
A Former Deputy Interior Minister James Agalga had this to say “Journalists have been in the news for quite some time, I mean they have been subjected to abuse and attacks and in some cases the lives of journalists have been cut short in this country under the presidency of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the man who in times past was touted as the champion of human rights,”
“Today, all these abuses are happening under his watch and the man isn’t even speaking to the issues. That’s what is most shocking and amazing. It is bizarre that all these things are happening and the president will not find the time, he will not stop globetrotting and address these major security concerns.”
Also, a group known as Coalition of Civil Societies Organization (CSO) Against Political Vigilantism in a statement copied to Ghanamatters.com said “We also call on the President of the Republic of Ghana who is the Head of the National Security Council to come out and condemn this attack on these journalists and institute formal investigations into the circumstances leading to the torture of these Journalists by members of the National Security”
The concerns come on the back of the arrest and alleged torture of Emmanuel Ajorfor Abugri, Editor of online news portal ModernGhana and his colleague by operatives of the National Security.
Abugri, who was released on Saturday 29 June 2019 said they were tortured and beaten by National Security operatives while in detention following a raid of their office and their subsequent arrest. Abugri and his colleague were arrested for “engaging in cyber-crimes.”
“When we were picked up, we were taken to a place for questioning. When it so happens that my answers were unfavourable to them, I was slapped. I was slapped severally,” Abugri narrated his sad story Tuesday.
“I was abused and tortured by the National Security Operatives. My friend, I cried like a baby.”
The National Security, however, denied physically abusing the duo, describing the claims “clear and deliberate” attempt by the suspect to discredit the investigations and the case against him.
“Torture and manhandling of suspects are not part and parcel of the culture and architecture of the secretariat under the administration of President Akufo-Addo,” a statement from National Security said.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has also asked for the immediate suspension or resignation of the National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah, over the arrest and torture Abugri and his colleague.
The NDC is a statement sighted by Ghanamatters.com described the treatment meted out to the journalist as barbaric, inhumane and disgraceful.
“We join many well-meaning Ghanaians in registering our revulsion to this barbaric act, and wish to express our deepest concern over deteriorating press freedom under President Akufo-Addo,” the statement said, adding: “The NDC hereby calls on Albert Kan Dapaah to immediately resign as National Security Minister or be suspended by the President, to allow for a full-scale investigation into allegations of torture of the journalists. We submit that all those found culpable must be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
Source: Ghanamatters.com/Coffie Emmanuel 2019.