In a press release responding to remarks by National Security Minister Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah, the University of Ghana’s Branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UG-UTAG) has vehemently condemned what they perceive as an attack on the freedom of speech of academia, civil society, and the media.
The statement was released following Minister Kan-Dapaah’s remarks during a seminar organised by the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in collaboration with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and Ghana’s Cyber Security Authority on October 19, 2023.
The seminar was aimed at assessing the impact of disinformation on electoral integrity in Ghana and Africa.
During the seminar, Minister Kan-Dapaah expressed concern about individuals in academia, civil society, and the media whom he believed were promoting false narratives in support of a coup or military rule in Ghana.
He noted that these individuals had gained substantial followings on social media and were using their influence to disseminate misinformation, which he deemed a threat to the nation’s peace and stability, particularly as the country approached the critical December 2024 general election.
UG-UTAG’s press release strongly condemned the minister’s statement, arguing that it could stifle the expression of dissenting opinions and impede the exercise of fundamental rights to free speech.
While emphasising that they did not support any calls for a coup in Ghana, UG-UTAG asserted their commitment to speaking out on national issues.
The statement also highlighted the importance of good governance, the fight against corruption, proper economic management, and proactive pro-poor policies as antidotes to coups and military interventions in politics.
The association also called for a national dialogue and conversation on these critical matters to secure peace and promote political stability in Ghana.
Source: Dickens Ofori Asare Adjei