Former President John Mahama has called on the incumbent government to inculcate the habit of embracing criticism in its mandate to serve Ghanaians.
Taking to his Facebook page to commemorate Worlds Press Freedom Day, Monday, he encouraged the Akufo-Addo-led government to create an atmosphere that tolerates free speech devoid of intimidation.
“On the occasion of Words Press Freedom Day 2021, I want to encourage President Nana Akufo-Addo and his close associates to seize the occasion to create an atmosphere that is more tolerant of criticism and devoid of intimidation.”
Mr Mahama’s comment comes on the back of concerns raised by some media practitioners alleging that free speech in Ghana has been under constant attack.
Over the years, some journalists have suffered unjustified attacks including threats on their lives and insults in their line of duty.
Comparing the two political regimes [NPP & NDC] that fostered free speech, investigative freelance journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni said the government of John Mahama accepted criticisms and was tolerant of journalists than the incumbent government.
“The government appears very intolerant and there appears to be a coordinated attempt to crush those who speak up. My candid view is that the Mahama government was more accommodating of criticism, no matter how scathing than what we are experiencing now,” he stated.
Nevertheless, the 2020 flagbearer of the NDC, urged President Akufo-Addo to refrain from stifling the media and allow journalists and individuals to express themselves without any political interference.
According to him, the culture of tolerating free speech will help contribute to national discourse.
“Create an atmosphere that is more tolerant of criticism and devoid of intimidation in order for the media, CSOs and individuals to freely express themselves and contribute to national discourse,” he said.