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UNREGULATED FREEDOM LEADS TO CHAOS - Kojo Opong-Nkrumah

General News

Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Minister designate for Information, has expressed total support for the need for Ghana to have a national broadcasting law to ensure sanity in the airwaves.

Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Minister designate for Information, has expressed total support for the need for Ghana to have a national broadcasting law to ensure sanity in the airwaves.

 

He was answering questions on the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, and the concomitant challenges created in the media landscape, when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting yesterday.

The question was asked by Dominic Nitiwul, Member of Parliament for Bimbilla and Minister for Defence, who lamented that the practice whereby some people use plaforms provided by the media to malign others for no justifiable reasons, especially during electioneering campaigns.

Mr Oppong-Nkrumah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi, said even though be believes in freedom of expression, there was the need for some form of regulation to guide the work of media practitioners, and others users of media platform, to ensure sanity.

“I believe in freedom of expression, but I also believe there is the need for sanity because unregulated freedom leads to chaos. In this regard, I believe there is the need for the National Broadcasting Law,” he stressed.

The Minister designate further expressed support for the need to strengthen the work of the Information Services Department, to position it better for effective dissemination of information on government programmes and activities.

He observed that it was not enough for government officials to sit in Accra and organize press conferences and think the information they want to put across to the people would get to them with the required impact. 

Meanwhile, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, also deputy minister of information designate, observed that since information serves as a bridge between the government and the citizenry, she would help, if approved, to ensure that the policies of the government were disseminated to the grassroots through the Information Services Department.

Making her appearance at the appointments committee of parliament yesterday, the Akropong MP stated that this would be done with her two colleague deputy ministers and the substantive Minister.

However, she asked that it be regulated since its abuse can lead to character assassination.

The appearance of the deputy minister for information designate brought to closure the vetting of the president’s deputy ministerial appointees, which was boycotted by the minority side of parliament following concerns that they were being overstretched.

Meanwhile, the Alliance for Accountable Governance has described the Minority as lazy, following their decision to boycott proceedings of the Appointments Committee.

AFAG believes the Minority’s move smacks of hypocrisy and poor attitude to work.

Speaking in a radio interview, Deputy General Secretary of AFAG, Winston Owusu, said the Minority’s action was not in the best interest of Ghana.

“If you look at the issue at hand, you will realize that the attitude of the Minority is gradually becoming something of a lazy approach to the work of Parliament. The reason why we are describing them in this way is because this is not the first time that Parliament is sitting beyond a certain period. Even if we extend the argument further, you will realize that on several occasions, Parliament had been recalled while they were even on vacation, to sign some documents that will push the work of parliamentary proceedings, and so for them to want to use this excuse now is unfortunate,” he said.

He continued, “They are rendering this service to their constituents and by extension the people of Ghana, and so it is not in any proper decision for them to say that they are boycotting the sitting.”

The Majority side who were not enthused with the reasons given by the Minority for the boycott have described the move as hypocritical.

The Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who said this, argued that the Minority members were still participating in other meetings of the House and therefore he found it strange why they had decided to stay out of the Appointments Committee’s sittings.