President Akufo-Addo

A Ghanaian journalist based in the United Kingdom (UK), has wondered whether President Akufo-Addo is being a citizen or a spectator in relation to the killing of two persons in Ejura by Military personnel.

Mr Fred Sarpong speaking in relation to President Akufo-Addo’s charge to Ghanaians to, “be citizens, not spectators’, in a speech delivered during his first inaugural address on January 7, 2017.

“When does the President stand up to follow through his advise that he gave us, saying that we should be citizens and not spectators because you spoke about the deafening silence, the people that are meant to say things about this issue have been very quiet. So my question is, is he being a citizen himself or a spectator to the state of affairs,” he quizzed.

Fred Sarpong raised the issue during a discussion on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Thursday. The subject for discussion was the directive issued by President Akufo-Addo to the Minister for the Interior to investigate circumstances leading to the death of four persons and injury of four others, when Military and Police personnel clashed with agitating youth of Ejura on Tuesday, June 29.

He said President Akufo-Addo must act his words because, “some of the words he used prior to coming into office really resonated with some of us, and I have loads and ultimate respect for our President and any President of Ghana for that matter.

“And we really know that he has helped loads of people in the past as a human rights lawyer to account, so in his own eyes, through his own lenses does he think what is happening to the citizens of the nation is right or wrong,” he queried.

Mr Sarpong also noted that security officials in the country over the years, have engaged in similar incidents without any punishment hence the seeming surge in such conducts. 

“Somebody steals a goat, he gets 10 years imprisonment, somebody steals public money and he’s being tendered justice with mercy .”

He said such actions may only dent the country’s image, citing an incident in the UK where a Policeman has been sentenced to prison for a wrongful act.

“It’s setting a precedent that everybody is under the law, you are not above the law and that is something that we have not been doing in Ghana,” he noted.

In the UK case he cited, Mr Sarpong said, “the judge in sentencing said, you gonna have a bit hard time in prison because you are a Policeman, but you did the wrong thing, it was a criminal offense so we have to put you in there.”

But, he added, hearing what is happening in Ghana, “is not right, we don’t set good precedence and the people are wising up now, they can see.”

The journalist said Akufo-Addo should look back, “thinking of his time when he brought people to book for hurting or sitting on the human rights of others, is this what he wants for Ghana? That is for the President.”

He, also observed that Ghanaian media houses have been too sensational in their reportage on issues and called on media practitioners to be moderate and follow up on stories that they publish.