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General News of Wednesday, 21 July 2021


Free speech: 'Don’t look too far to see the devil, sir' – Manasseh to President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Manasseh Azure Awuni President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Manasseh Azure Awuni

• President Akufo-Addo has appealed to Ghanaians to do everything to maintain the free speech we are enjoying

• He said he is a firm supporter of free speech

• But Manasseh Azure Awuni thinks otherwise

Manasseh Azure Awuni says all is not well with the free speech that Ghanaians are enjoying under the leadership of a man described as someone who over the years has been championing free speech in the country.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha made a passionate appeal to the media, political commentators as well as the Ghanaian populace that they should do everything within their power not to abuse the prevailing atmosphere of free speech, as any such mishandling could have a negative impact on the territorial integrity of the nation.

“I am a firm supporter of free speech,” President Akufo-Addo said. “The government I lead is also a firm supporter of free speech amply evidenced by the culture of free speech prevailing in the country.

“However, we must all bear in mind that words can be as incendiary as guns. The Bible tells us that ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue‘. All it took was the mating of words by an irresponsible journalist, amplified by the power of radio, to ignite the tragic genocide in Rwanda,” the president said.

“It is important for all of us to recognise that there is only one country we call home, and that is Ghana. We must protect our way of life in the words of the national pledge, with all our strength and with all our hearts.

“We should not allow the actions and utterance of a few misguided persons to jeopardise and destroy the united Ghana we currently possess, which is the envy of many on the continent and in the world.”

Reacting to this, the Investigative journalist in a post on his social media timeline said, if the President is still talking about free speech at Eid, then it means “all is not well with free speech”.

Azure Awuni indicated that, President Nana Akufo-Addo during his speech conveniently cited the irresponsible exercise of free speech by journalists to make his point but “failed to mention that some of the most irresponsible abusers of free speech are politicians.”

“Don’t look too far to see the devil, sir,” Manasseh Azure Awuni advised.

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