Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has challenged Mr Sam Jonah to provide evidence to back his claim that there is an apparent return of culture of silence in Ghana.
He said even though the claim of the former President of mining firm Anglogold Ashanti should not be dismissed or discredited, the issue must be subjected to strict proof.
The former President added that Mr Jonah’s claim must be examined in detail and perhaps evidence looked into before a conclusion is made.
Speaking in an interview with Citi TV’s Bernard Avle, former President Kufuor said Sam Jonah’s comment might be based on some experiences he has had and on his pedigree, and such claims must not be taken lightly.
He however stated that the murder of Ahmed Suale and other threats that some media personalities have suffered, which Sam John enumerated in his lecture, cannot be attributed to government because there is no evidence to prove that the current administration was complicit.
“This government is my government. The people alleging that; are they saying that it is the government that killed Ahmed Suale? Can they prove it? So, we have to be careful. If you mean the investigative mechanisms of state are not rising to the occasion, say that, but don’t say that it is the government that killed and it killed as a result of intolerance, we have to be careful,” President Kufuor stated.
He added that, ““They say freedom is not handed on a silver platter, sometimes you fight for it. This is part of the uses of the media, to dare to speak up to uphold public interest… Sam Jonah has said it and Sam is very responsible and a high member of the community. [I want] to say that it should not be treated casually. He might have something he is advocating [for], and it is not for me to dispute him. Just saying, when you allege, you prove it. You don’t put it all on the government as such,” the former President responded to a narrative by Bernard Avle.
Mr Sam Jonah claimed culture of silence is apparently back in the country when he delivered a paper on April 22, 2021 at a public lecture with Rotarians in Accra on the theme; ‘Down the Up Escalator: Reflections on Ghana’s Future by a Senior Citizen’.
According to him, the culture of silence was slowly creeping into the country through convenience, hypocrisy and parochialism.
“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 a lack of conviction. Where are our Adu Boahens and PV Ansahs?
“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 is 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 polarisation of our country such that everything is seen through the lenses of politics”
Following that comment, many have expressed divergent views with some challenging his claim.
However, former President Kufuor believes that Sam Jonah’s comment should be given attention and be considered.