Don’t Allow Politicians To Abuse Free Speech - Kufuor To Media

Don’t Allow Politicians To Abuse Free Speech - Kufuor To Media
John Agyekum Kufuor

 

 

The former president John Kufuor has condemned the media for opening itself up to be used by politicians to champion their parochial interest in the name of free speech too. At least three individuals also including the executive director of ASEPA Mensah Thompson and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Bono regional

 

chairman Kwame Baffoe (popularly known as Abronye DC), are currently being tried in court over statements they made in the media that the police say amount to false publications. Speaking in an interview, Kufuor said the media has been largely irresponsible in executing their gatekeeping role leading to abuse of free speech

 

 

in the country. Unfortunately, these days, especially in the times of social media, media also turns to be too sensational, the former president also said. The sort of language one hears on the airwaves will also give the impression the media are not yet up to appreciate their civic responsibilities, the social role to safeguard the

 

 

constitution and uphold the transformational processes to better the lot of the citizenry at large, Kufuor added. On the series of coups being witnessed in Africa, Kufuor said the experiences of military takeovers cannot be recommended for any generation to embrace. Kufuor has, therefore, advised against any attempt to stage a

 

 

coup in the country or the sub-region. He said, coup is not an experience I will recommend for any generation. I wouldn’t advise anybody to hail a coup d’état. It comes from faceless people you don’t know, who haven’t given anything to keep for you or to manage for you, and they may not even be competent enough to do anything. And

 

 

if they come, they also use an opportunity and come to impose themselves on you and destroy your life. Is this what anybody should want? he quizzed. He said coups thrive when some governments tend to lapse and there is misgovernance one way or the other. Kufuor also said when government’s do not take care of their security

 

 

arrangements or they don’t show appreciation of the geo-politics of the neighbourhood then a coup might happen. He also said sanctions of regional bodies like ECOWAS and African Union on coup makers does not bite and, therefore, are not deterrent enough. Coups makers also think your sanctions will never bite them

 

 

economically or politically or socially, so, they just carry on in spite of declaration of these regional groupings and, so, these associations or groupings must begin to think very seriously on how to give the constitutional provisions the bite so when they say don’t do it and you do it they can get you and so you know perhaps it is not

 

 

profitable to try it, he said. In an advice to heads of state on the continent, Kufuor said, try to live by your oath to the people because it is also the underpinning of good governance. If you think the period is too short, use the constitutional means to convince the people to amend the constitution or reform the constitution to lengthen

 

 

tenure a bit but please don’t play smart and on the eve when you should be stepping down, you say there’s a third term. You do that and you push people into feeling they too can take things into their own hands and do what they mustn’t do.