Abdul Malik Kweku Baako of the New Crusading Guide newspaper has dismissed assertions of a culture of silence being pervasive in the country.
Baako observed on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo program that the era of people being cowed into silence exists no more in the country.
Kweku Baako recognized that while there have been some attacks on the media, it is erroneous for one to conclude that there is a deliberate attempt by the state to silence opposition views.
“Culture of silence, there’s none of that here. We have infractions and violations of media freedom which is a fact. We’ve had serious challenges with expressions of free speech in this country but we are long gone past the days of culture of silence,” he said.
The culture of silence issue was raised by respected statesman Sir Sam Jonah during a speech at a Rotary event.
“It appears to me that in recent times in our Fourth Republican dispensation, the courage to stand up for the truth and the determination to uphold the common good is lost. In our dark moments as a nation, it is concerning that the voices of the intellectuals are receding into oblivion. Sadly, it is a consequence of the deep partisan polarisation of our country such that everything is seen through the lenses of politics.”
“It appears to me that the culture of silence has returned. This time, not enforced by legal and military power but through convenience, parochialism, hypocrisy, and a lack of conviction. Where are our Adu Boahens and PV Ansahs?” he said.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah also rebuffed the submissions of Sam Jonah, arguing that no such thing exists in the country.
“This claim that there is a culture of silence in this country cannot be true, this is a country with about 500 radio stations, 100 television stations, millions of social media accounts and everybody is freely expressing themselves.”
“What some persons cannot stand is that when they express their thoughts and other people disagree, then they claim you are silencing them. Respectfully, that is the beauty of our democracy, that I will have my say, and you can disagree with me,” Nkrumah stated.