The Minister of information, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for the Ofoase-Ayirebi constituency, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has reiterated the resolve of the Akufo-Addo administration to deepening the frontiers of free speech and the independence of the media.
This he said was evident in the passage of the Right to Information bill into law, the opening of the Office for the Coordinated Mechanisms for the Safety of Journalist, recruitment of RTI Officers inter alia.
Interacting with journalist of the Savannah Region at Damongo as part of his duty tour of the five regions in the North, the minister acknowledged the fact that the media plays a critical role in ensuring our democracy functions and function very well.
He observed that the culture of silence so trumpeted by some people as the order of the day in Ghana under the current dispensation is neither here nor there.
“Now, I want to reiterate this because, we are in times when because of media polarization, sometimes you also find people casting narrative that are difficult to go home with.
There is a conversation going on that there is a culture of silence in this country. And I want to assure you that you can feel free to go about your work because, the evidence shows clearly the various layers that we are adding to ensure that freedoms are deepened. There are those who can’t stand it when they speak or criticize government and somebody disagrees with them, “he noted.
The legislator cum minister recognised the fact that the times that we are in now, are not ordinary times, but times that call for extraordinary and collective responsibilities from citizens.
The COVID-19 pandemic he pointed out, has gravely affected the nation, especially on the economic front constraining government from pursuing the desired economic development.
Economic growth he noted had dwindled to about 7% with the country hitting about 11% deficit and national revenues are not coming in as expected coupled with ballooning expenditures which means borrowing has to go up a little.
He admonished journalist in the infant Savannah Region to direct their energies, microphones and cameras towards promoting the vast tourism potentials in the region, adding that,” the way of journalism is not to tell the most saddest or gory stories in your area, but to hold duty bearers accountable and expose the ills of society, whilst promoting your community and your country so as to attract potentials investors”.
The minister was accompanied by the Savannah Regional Minister, Saaed Muhazu Jibreal, the Savannah Regional Chairman of the NPP,Alhaji Iddrisu Sulemana (Kalimonia),the Savannah Regional Youth Organizer, Raphael Mahama Akati, the Regional Communications Officer, Issah Mohammed among others.