Freedom of Speech is one of the strongest pillars of democracy and any country that fears this pillar ought not to regard itself as democratic.
It’s quite shocking that Ghana Police say they are contemplating on shutting down social media, to control freedom of expression, on the day of election—come this November 7.
This is pathetic, somewhat mischievous for any government, country or institution to consider this as a plausible way forward in a 21st century democracy.
According to the Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor, the abuse of social media platforms by both political parties and ordinary Ghanaians often created unnecessary tension in Ghana.
And that, he believes “given the strain that preparations towards the elections have put on the country’s security apparatus, it would be unwise to ignore the potential of social media as an incendiary point for violence.”
“At one stage I said that if it becomes critical on the eve and also on the election day, we shall block all social media as other countries have done. We’re thinking about it,” John Kudalor said.
Interestingly, John Kudalor’s inspiration comes from Uganda, saying, the Ugandan government did shut down social media in the country in what president Yoweri Museveni called a “security measure to avert lies” during his re-election for a fifth term in February this year.
The truth is, Uganda should never be a democratic role model for any country that believes in liberal democracy. Beyond this, Uganda’s censorship or shut down was widely condemned by Human Rights agencies, as a suppression of freedom of speech.
John Kudalor says, “We are looking at the variables and come D-Day, we’ll come out with a decision.”
It looks like we are heading the way of North Korea…pretty soon.