‘If you want to harvest crops, move beyond words’ – Manasseh to Akufo-Addo on press freedom

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Freelance Journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni has tasked President Akufo-Addo to move beyond words if he wants to harvest crops.

He was one of the discussants on the Show to discuss press freedom and free speech in the country and the recent threat against Multimedia Journalist, Erastus Asare Donkor, by an NPP MP.

“There is a saying that if a man cultivates his farm with only words, then he will harvest only weeds. So if President Akufo-Addo wants to harvest crops, he should move beyond words,” the award-winning Investigative Journalist said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, on Thursday.

Manasseh Azure Awuni was commenting on President Akufo Addo’s seeming justification of the recent threat issued by the NPP MP, to the effect that if he were President, Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor would have been beaten mercilessly for the journalistic work he did during the Ejura disturbances.

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His comment was necessitated by the fact that, addressing Muslims during the Eid Ul Adha prayers on Tuesday, President Akufo Addo said, “let me state that I am a firm supporter of free speech. However, we must all bear in mind that words can be as incendiary as a gun. The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. All it took was the muttering of words by some irresponsible journalists and amplified by the power of radio to ignite the tragic genocide in Rwanda.”

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Manasseh Azure indicated that he expected the President to have distanced himself from the statements made by the NPP MP.

“If you listened to NewsFile on Saturday, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey was very emphatic that since he roped in the name of the President, by now Akufo-Addo should have come out to distance himself from such a behaviour.”

Citing instances where the freedom of journalists have been trampled upon, he said that the President should have used the opportunity to condemn such acts instead of re-echoing the rhetoric that journalists have caused wars in other countries.

“The leading member of his party went and threatened a journalist openly. The journalist was eventually killed. What did he do? Some journalists were arrested by operatives of National Security, blindfolded, detained for 2 days, one of them said they were tortured. What did the President do?”

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“We know what happened to Caleb Kudah. What did they do? They took that Military officer from National Security. The following day, he was given the Commanding Officer of the 64 infantry regimen. Who is the Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces? That is President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. We saw what has happened to our brother, Erastus, and this is not something we should take lightly,” Mr Azure queried.



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