The Executive Director of the Institute of the Democratic Governance (IDEG) Dr Emmanuel Akwetey says former Editor for BBC Focus on Africa and Daily Graphic, Elizabeth Ohene could have incited the government and people against Civil Society Organizations.
It follows an article (All-knowing neutrals) authored by the veteran journalist who also is a former Education Minister in which she took on the CSOs for acting all-knowing and claiming to love Ghana more than anybody in politics.
Madam Ohene wrote the opinion piece in the wake of concerns the CSOs raised about the controversial Agyapa. The article has received tons of reactions from some members of the CSOs.
“These groups have strong opinions and express them in colourful language. I like that. They claim to love Ghana far more than anybody else and definitely more than anybody in politics. I have problems with that. They claim to be honest, hardworking and effective and they have answers to every problem. They are mistaken” Madam Ohene wrote.
Speaking on Starr FM’s Analyses Programme on Saturday, September 5 2020, Executive Director of the Institute of the democratic Governance, IDEG, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey said Madam Ohene got it wrong with her latest article
“The first feeling I had when I read Auntie Lizzy article, you know we don’t use her formal name, we always call her Auntie Lizzy, We are very proud of her. No matter how she’s gone against us. I think she stood and been a model in speaking out and bringing the issues out and in a very balanced way, if you can read the articles and so on. But the first impression I got when I read her article, you know, “The Neutrals”, I just felt that she probably could have incited government against civil society or people, you know, the language the description was so biased and negative” He said
Dr Akwetey added “it could motivate somebody to say, let’s deal with them. They are the obstacles in our way, the barriers, they have no right and so on. But we have all the rights to be there constitutionally to point what is wrong. Accountability is part of our function”.
He further called for the relationship to between the state and CSOs to be strengthen to benefit Ghanaians. According to the IDEG boss the labeling of CSOs as all-knowing by Madam Ohene is unmerited and should be dismissed.
“We need to build the relationship and stop saying, they (CSOs) think everything they say must be taken. It has never been the case. When the current president, President Akufo-Addo meets CSOs, do you know the debate? He debates them, but we are able to speak. At the end of the day when he is summarizing he picks something, he also gives us more information to tell us that what we thought wasn’t the case. Just as the (finance) minister has done and now he feels we (government) need to give more information, we need to communicate, we need to explain but we also need to listen. After all we say we are acting in the interest of the public. So that whole charge that we are ones who when we speak must be listened at all cost, I am sorry to say is unmerited and it should be dismissed”.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Naa Dedei Tettey