The sitting president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other leading opposition members back in 1993 rejected media regulations in favour of a blanket constitutional provision that guaranteed freedom of the media and locked out censorship.
Akufo-Addo along with the then opposition leader Albert Adu Boahen, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby among others, rejected any regulations because of suspicion for the then National Democratic Congress, NDC, government and particularly former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Host of Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom-Otchere made the claims in the editorial segment of his programme which aired on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
He cited Article 162 (2) of the 1992 constitution which read: “Subject to this Constitution and any other law, not inconsistent with this Constitution, there shall be no censorship in Ghana,” before explaining how and why the then opposition rejected the regulation.
“So in making this other law, the freedom fighters on the centre-right… did not concede anything to Rawlings, they did not concede anything at all to Rawlings, so we didn’t allow any regulation. They will not allow any regulation.
“Albert Adu Boahen, Akufo-Addo, Wereko Brobbey, Da Rocha, they did not allow regulations because they were suspicious that if you were to allow Rawlings and his junta, Kojo Tsikata, Totobi Oquakyi and others to bring in regulations, they will use that regulation to muscle us.”
He added: “So when the constitution says subject to this constitution or any other law… They said we don’t want any law. The constitution says no censorship, you cannot censor, we do not want it.”
He, however, submitted that whatever suspicion that existed between the major stakeholders back then has evaporated over time and it was time for Ghana to seriously consider a round-table multi-stakeholder meeting to discuss the subject of media regulations.
His views were within the context of the recent murder in Kasoa of an 11-year-old boy whose older friends allegedly killed him in order to use him for rituals.
The media has come under fire especially TV stations that allow spiritualists and money doublers to propagate their gospel on their networks.