Former President John Dramani Mahama has bemoaned media freedom under the ruling Akufo-Addo government is threatened due to failure on the part of the government to protect the rights and lives of journalists.

This, he said, has led to Ghana having a bad image on the international front.

“Why should journalists feel threatened because they criticise government? I came to office and faced some of the worse criticisms that any President has ever faced in this country.

“It is good for our democracy if they criticise us. If their stories are not true, you respond if you can. But under this President, I think the media is under attack,” he bemoaned.

To the former President, the incumbent government has not done enough, especially when the father of the country is one who once pushed for so much freedom in Ghana.

“Nana Akufo-Addo signed the criminal libel law so that journalists could no longer be penalised for their write-ups and yet under him press freedom is deteriorating. The last index that was published, Ghana has slipped several steps behind in terms of press freedom.

“At first, you go out and people tell you they admire the media independence of your country, but today we don’t feel the same.  Everybody now feels there is a certain emasculation of the media space,” he stated in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.

To Mr Mahama, who is the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, it is needless for journalists to feel threatened due to what they come out with in their line of duty.

“Look at the threat to journalists; Manasseh Azure was very active in our time but nobody went after him. Manasseh never said he felt threatened under my administration.

“Even if our media is not perfect, we must encourage it to improve and not to harass anybody. Ahmed Suale has lost his life and it has gone international. I travel outside and people ask me what is happening in Ghana,” he said.

Source: | Gertrude Otchere