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There is no growing culture of silence in Ghana-Gov’t insist


Information Minister Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has mounted strong defense of government against critics that the government is adopting draconian tactics to stifle free speech and also ganging citizens from expressing their views freely without intimidations.

The accusations about growing culture of silence he insisted was not true citing over 500 radio stations, 100 tv stations and millions of social media accounts as bases. The true of the matter the minister noted was that, there are some persons who are not comfortable, when what they say is responded to.

“They are of the view that they should have the right to criticize and to question and we agreed with that view but there are some of them who can’t take it when responded to’’ he justified what some described as attacks by government communicators after the business man Mr Sam Joana spoke about the issue urging Ghanaians to speak out.

 Mr Oppong Nkrumah reminded media practitioners that the kind of narrative they put out about the country will be taken at the global form to mark the country down. 

The former president John Agyakum administration he said ensured that the criminal liable law was revoked. The Akufo-Addo administration according to him, added two more layers by passing Right To Information (RTI) bill into law and went further to set up office mechanisms on the safety of journalists who feel threaten in their line of work. He encourages the media to made good use of the RTI law.

He also charged the media to promote the country and regions they practice in a positive way to attract investors to developed it.  It is important that the government deepened freedom of expression and freedom of Media that was granted by the constitution, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah stated. 

Information Service retooling

An audit from all government departments and agencies including Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) were being carried to get professional public relations officers.

The audit according to Oppong Nkrumah became necessary because most of the RCC PROs are basically communication managers. The government, he added has since registered those who are not professional PROs   into the institute of public relations to be properly trained and certified.

The move, he explained is to ensure that they deal with the media professionally when journalists ask for certain information from their outfits. Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has tasked all regional Information Officers to work with regional ministers and the media to identify potential tourist sites to promote the region.

The old structure of Information Service Department ( ISD) he observed doesn’t fit for purpose, hence the need for reorganization to make it relevance.  A proposal he disclosed is before cabinet waiting for approval to procure new information Vans and retool their offices. 

The purpose of the tour is to engaged the primary stakeholder- the media to deep the government and media relationships.

As the ministry responsible for interaction between government and the Ghanaian people, it’s important to strengthen the relationship.

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