A leading member of the largest opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Arthur Kennedy has taken a swipe at the management of the Despite Group of companies, saying the group has dealt freedom of the Press a big blow by forcing insincere apologies from two of their hosts, Adakabre Frimpong Manso and Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie.
Arthur Kennedy suspects the raft of apologies rendered by the two hosts who were on separate issues have become enemies of the opposition NPP fuels the suspicion that they might have been bullied to kowtow to pressure against their wish.
Adakabre Frimpong Manso Wednesday rendered an unqualified apology to Nana Addo over his alleged claims of the NPP leader threatening to kill him.
Also, Morning show host of Accra based Okay FM, Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie apologized unreservedly to the opposition New Patriotic Party in an attempt to woo them soften their stance on him and the station he works for at large.
In a statement released Wednesday, Arthur K condemned the strong stance of the opposition NPP calling for an investigations into the drama that unfolded from their issues with the Journalists working under the Despite Group, adding that such behavior makes nonsense of Ghana as a modern country with a free press.
“We claim to love democracy and the freedom of the Press but our supposed commitment is just that – empty talk,” the statement added.
Read in Full Arthur K’s Statement
FORCED FALSE APOLOGIES
We claim to love democracy and the freedom of the Press but our supposed commitment is just that— empty talk.
The management of Despite Group of companies have dealt freedom of the press and journalism a big blow. They have forced insincere apologies from their hosts, Adakabre and Etikesie. This morning, the boss of Citi Fm re-enforced the message to journalists that any of them who takes on the establishment does so at their own risk. Mr. Atta Mensah stated that he would sack Adakabre if he owned Citi fm. Really?
So we have Adakabre apologizing even while his father elaborates on the threats to him? What happened to the text messages threatening death? Are those now legal?
I was tempted to keep quiet because the journalists themselves have apologized. BUT THIS IS NOT ABOUT THEM! It is about FREEDOM OF THE PRESS!!!
This is a signal moment. It sends the chilling message that any journalist who takes on powerful people can be bullied and or sacked regardless of the circumstances.
It is my carefully considered opinion that the issues raised by this episode and earlier instances involving Joy fm and other media houses and involving, not just the NPP but also the NDC should be investigated. If indeed, the 2 journalists did anything unlawful, they must be sanctioned. However, nothing they did wohld justify death threats and intimidation. Those are not the ways of a modern country with a free press.
It is sad that Elizabeth Ohene, Haruna Atta, Kofi Coomson could practice principled journalism but current journalists under a democratic dispensation cannot practice their craft to the best of their ability.
I am still waiting for the voices of GJA and the Giants of journalism. Where are they? MLK said, “In the end, we will remember, NOT the voice of our enemies but the silence of our friends”. The silence of the friends of journalism and democracy is deafening! What happened to “FREEDOM and JUSTICE “!!!!
What happened to the Party that proudly repealed the criminal libel laws? What happened to the minister who led that repeal and used to brag about it?
God bless our homeland Ghana!