Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini Sayibu, has deplored the current threatening atmosphere journalists are forced to work under in the country.
According to him, it is disheartening, especially under a regime that is supposed to be a champion of human rights.
He appealed to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), lovers of democracy and the public to rise up and speak truth to authority that “this is not the Ghana we know and this is not the Ghana we will accept.”
Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini who made the call during an interview with Ghanacrusader.com stressed journalists should never fear to perform their duties.
He indicated that the horrendous accounts of the two journalists with ModernGhana who were picked by national security operatives leaves so much to be desired from the Akufo-Addo administration.
“Whatever a journalist does, the punishment must not be one that should deter others from legitimately carrying on with their practice.”
“Democracy is as good as free media. You cannot claim to be a democrat and yet be averse to free speech. It is inconsistent and unacceptable,” he stated.
“In a democracy, authority should be seen at all times supporting media freedoms.”
He questioned the essence of the repeal of the criminal libel law championed by none other than President Akufo-Addo in the face of current highhandedness against journalists.
Mr. Suhuyini wondered how the Right to Information law would help build an open and free society when journalists fear to speak about those in authority.
According to him, Ghana transcended into her current status as a democratic state because over the period Ghanaians have had the opportunity to rant and speak out about their problems, “Even under the culture of silence.”
“Even when we did not get results, the opportunity to get views off our chest has been one of the reasons why this country keeps going. And so at no time and under no circumstance should any attempt like we are seeing currently, be made to clamp down the opportunity to rant and lament for whatever reason.”
Mr. Suhuyini challenged President Akufo-Addo to redeem his image and credentials as a human rights activist and lover of the media because they are at stake.
“He is responsible for the people who are in charge of the institutions behind these threats to journalists. He should call them to order by whatever means. He is the executive President and I am sure he has all the laws and mandate at his disposal to stop this.”