Over the last couple of weeks, one catchphrase that has become topical and has made headlines is 'culture of silence.'
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Delivering a speech as a guest speaker at a Rotary meeting, businessman, Sam Jonah, said there are things Ghanaians mutter about at home and when they meet friends but are reluctant to articulate them publicly.
He added that this attitude is informed by partisan reasons or fear of recrimination.
Sam Jonah said that Ghanaians must learn to find their voices, otherwise, they become okay with the ills of society or become powerless.
Looking at Ghana critically, it is clear that the culture of silence in the country is alive and there have been instances that clearly depict the culture of silence.
Sam Jonah in his speech, argued that oftentimes, governments pay lip service to anti-corruption but do little substantially to cure the canker.
Perfect examples have been evident under Akufo-Addo's sitting government on issues of corruption that have been brushed under the carpet and little or nothing has been said about it.
Charles Bissue who was exposed in the Galamsey investigative piece put together by Anas Aremeyaw Anas has had nothing done to him aside from being removed from post.
In other countries, he would have been prosecuted and if found guilty, put behind bars for involving himself in such illegality as a government official.
His case is not in isolation, as there have been a number of such cases going unresolved in Ghana.
The culture of silence approach the government has adopted to resolve such issues has kind of fueled those who engage in such acts, knowing very well they will not be prosecuted.
According to Sam Jonah, "we cannot go anywhere if this situation continues. No country can develop without dealing decisively with corruption."
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Another incident where there has been loud silence on certain evils is when nothing was done about the invasion of armed military men onto the floor of parliament on the eve of the swearing-in of the eighth parliament.
It is sad to note that a member of parliament who is supposed to know better, was involved in snatching ballot papers while counting was going on and nothing has been done about such an incident.
To date, nothing has been said or done to the parties involved in the invasion of parliament by military men as well as to Carlos Ahenkorah who snatched the papers.
In defense of the many issues raised about the culture of silence, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, indicated that the views by a section of the Ghanaian public that the culture of silence is virtually creeping back into the country could not be correct.
He questioned how a country with over 500 vibrant media houses operating could be said to be in a culture of silence.
Oppong Nkrumah said, what some persons could not stand is that when they express their thoughts and other people disagree, they claim they are being silenced.
According to him, that is the beauty of our democracy.
Despite the many attacks on journalist and their need to speak up for themselves and criticise heavily the wrongs of government, they continue to do their work.
Most journalists have been brutalised, tortured, and even assassinated.
Recent on this is the arrest and subsequent assault on the journalist from Citi News, Caleb Kudah.
Like most people have heard, Caleb had access to the Ministry of National Security and filmed abandoned MASLOC vehicles at the car park. He was subsequently picked up for questioning for filming in a security zone and was physically abused while being questioned.
Despite steps being taken to look into the assault of Caleb, the director of operations of the National Security Ministry, Lt Col Frank Agyeman who was removed from post has been reassigned.
According to the report filed by the online news portal, the Fourth Estate, Lt Col Agyeman has been promoted to head the 64th Infantry Battalion.
Most people and critics believe that the culture of silence like is being talked about has clearly crept back.
Sharing his thoughts on the issue, Manasseh Azure Awuni said some journalists shy away from criticising the ills of the current administration to enrich themselves.
Manasseh made these comments in relation to the comment by businessman Sam Jonah to the effect that many individuals and civil society organizations that used to speak up against social ills have all gone mute under President Nana Akufo-Addo despite wanton corruption, killing and torturing of journalists, and rising moral degeneration in the Ghanaian society.
According to him, people are living in fear and they have a reason to live in fear because they don’t know who [murder] will happen to next.
In conclusion, as mentioned in the most recent speech of businessman Sam Jonah, most individuals have come to the conclusion that true to the words of Sam Jonah, the culture of silence is alive in Ghana, as most social ills are overlooked and swept under the carpet.
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