President Akufo-Addo has dismissed claims of he presiding over a ‘culture of silence’ in Ghana.

According to the President, it’s unfair to accuse his government of being intolerant of criticism as both traditional and social media have remained vibrant with people freely speaking the mind on national issues.

“It cannot be that everyone has a right of reply except members of the government and officialdom. Nor can it be that challenging an opinion expressed by a journalist constitutes an attack on press freedom. What I believe may be lacking sorely in our society today is the need to listen to each other more. Knowledge has never been a gift granted exclusively to one group. We must listen, and hear each other more,” President Akufo Addo said at a special congregation at the University of Cape Coast to confer an honorary doctorate was conferred on him Saturday.

He added “And, for me, personally, I find it ironic that the Presidency of a man who has been and continues to be the most vilified political figure of his generation can be accused of presiding over a “culture of silence. There is no midnight knock on the door in Ghana for authors of dissenting views, nor will there be during my presidency.

“I belong to the Danquah – Dombo – Busia political tradition, one whose forebears, at great personal sacrifice, fought for the democratic, open, free system of government we are enjoying today in Ghana. They propagated the concept of democracy at a time when it was not, in Africa, a fashionable concept. Indeed, the philosophy of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) coincides with that of the Fourth Republican Constitution. It is the dominant political philosophy in the world today, and has stood the test of time,” he emphasized.

Business magnate and senior citizen, Sam Jonah in a public lecture on 23 April 2021 on the theme; “Down the Up Escalator: Reflections on Ghana’s Future by a Senior Citizen”, lamented that many individuals and civil society organisations that used to speak up against social ills have gone quiet in recent time.

“In the past, when all had failed, academia was the last vanguard. We all remember the role that the Legon Observer played. Under the hallowed cloak of academic freedom, men and women of conscience could write and speak words that penetrated the halls of power. It appears to me that in recent times in our fourth Republican dispensation, the courage to stand up for the truth and the determination to uphold the common good are lost. In our dark moments as a nation, it is concerning that the voices of the intellectuals are receding into oblivion. Sadly, it is a consequence of the deep partisan polarization of our country such that everything is seen through the lenses of politics. It appears to me that the culture of silence has returned. This time not enforced by legal and military power but through convenience, parochialism, hypocrisy and lack of conviction” Mr. Jonah is reported to have said.