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Mills Has Become A Dictator   
 
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23-Mar-2012  
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A leading member of the NPP says the level of intolerance being displayed by President Mills and his NDC administration goes to confirm the fact that the president has become “a very dangerous dictator” in just three years of being in office.

General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, argues that whilst world renowned dictators usually use five or more years to establish their dictatorial legacies, President Mills has used an unprecedented period of three years in achieving this feat, mainly by clamping down heavily on dissenting views against his government.

In an exclusive interview with the New Statesman yesterday, the NPP chief scribe stated that the decision by the Mills-Mahama led administration to boycott all six media platforms of the Multimedia Group Limited was indicative of the level to which governance had reduced under President Mills.

Meanwhile, Nana Obiri-Boahen, former minister of state at the Interior Ministry, has described the decision as “unthinkable, irresponsible, crude and very dangerous for the nation’s democracy.”

According him, “the decision is borne out of frustration and desperation and shows how myopic the government is, with respect to freedom of speech.”

“But, some of us are not surprised at all for if you have people like the Koku Anyidohos, Ablakwahs, Agyenim Boatengs, Asiedu Nketiahs, Otukonors, and Nii Lamptey Vanderpuyes, who behave like petulant school boys, dictating the pace in a government, this is what you can expect to have,” he stated when he commented on the issue yesterday.

In the view of Sir John, “The government’s decision to boycott multimedia group and further directing all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to treat journalists from the company as gate-crashers, is an infringement on the right to information of Ghanaians, an affront to National Media Commission’s authority as enshrined in the 1992 constitution, and, above all, against the constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

Making reference to 1992 Constitution to buttress his point, the NPP General Secretary explained that Chapter Five of the Constitution which spells out the Bill of Rights also guarantees the freedom of the press, adding that Article 21 (f) of the constitution clearly states that information is necessary in a democratic society.

“Also Article 162 (4) states ‘Editors and publishers of newspapers and other institutions of the mass media shall not be subject to control or interference by Government, nor shall they be penalized or harassed for their editorial opinions and views, or the content of their publications,’” Sir John stated.

He continued, “Is President Mills saying per this directive that if a multimedia journalist goes to the Ministries, VRA, ECG, the Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly or any State institution to seek information, he should be sent out? What does that say then of the independence of our State institutions? How the executive give that kind of directive is difficult for me to understand.”

Checks made by the paper indicate that the Food and Drugs Board turned away staff of Multi TV from their premises Wednesday; the Minister of Trade, Hannah Tetteh sacked journalists from Multimedia at an event held at La Palm Beach Hotel about a month ago, insisting they leave before the function starts. Also when the president returned from America, journalists from Multimedia were escorted out of the Airport by National Security officials.
 





Sir John
In the opinion of Sir John, “for Government to boycott all six Multimedia stations because of one man, Bobie, shows that the NDC has no message besides insulting Nana Addo, because that was what the programme (Ekosi sen on Asempa FM) was used to do. And we were vindicated because Bobie himself had to apologise to us”.

When the possibility of the President not being aware of this unfolding drama was posed to the NPP Chief Scribe, he stated: “ignorance is indeed the worst form of dictatorship and President Mills cannot be absolved of blame in this saga.”

“Mills is a dictator and he is building a dictatorship outside the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. The arrogance of Mills and the NDC and the way they are rewriting all of Ghana’s history is astounding,” Sir John said.

The NPP man further added that the recent arrest of Ernest Owusu Bempah, director of Operations of FONKAR, was also indicative enough of President Mills’ level of intolerance.

To Nana Obiri-Boahen, the boycott of Multimedia comes as “a serious indictment on the intelligent people” in the Mills-Mahama led government, “more so the president who a law professor.”

According the leading NPP member, a political party may be pardoned if it decides to boycott a particular programme on a radio station, “but for the whole Government of Ghana, headed by Law Professor Mills, to boycott a media group shows how irresponsible and crude the people running the government are, and this is a clear indication that they don’t have anything good for the nation.

Making reference to Article 166, as well as Chapter 12, of the 1992 constitution, Nana Obiri-Boahen noted that the NDC should have “allowed common sense to win the day by lodging complaint with the National Media Commission if they indeed had genuine problems with Multimedia.”

He added that the decision by the Mills-Mahama led government “tells volumes about a government that is not tolerant of divergent views; a government that has no foresight and has no respect for democratic tenets.”
 
Source: The New Statesman/Ghana
 
 

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