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Some journalists have become 'guard dogs' for government instead of watchdogs - Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has expressed concern over the role of some journalists in Ghana, accusing them of acting as "guard dogs" for the incumbent government rather than fulfilling their traditional role as watchdogs. Speaking at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra on Sunday, Mahama lamented that these journalists are attacking critics of the government, deviating from their core mandate of holding the government accountable.

John Mahama

Mahama made these remarks while answering a question posed by Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) President Albert Dwumfour. Dwomfour had enquired about Mahama’s plans to ensure the safety of journalists if he were to return to power. Dwomfour highlighted the numerous attacks on journalists under President Akufo-Addo's administration, which have led to a decline in Ghana’s media freedom index.

In his response, Mahama recounted the hostile environment journalists face in Ghana today, with some even seeking asylum abroad due to the dangers associated with their profession. He assured that, under his leadership, journalists would have the freedom to operate without fear of attacks. He contrasted the current situation with his previous administration, where he claims even his harshest critics were free from any form of attack.

Additionally, Mahama clarified his commitment to run a lean government comprising sixty ministers, including both ministers and deputies. He argued that an effective government does not require an excessive number of ministers, pointing to the current administration's 120 ministers, which he believes has not prevented the country's economic decline.

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The media engagement served as an opportunity for Mahama, the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), to outline his policies to the Ghanaian public, including his vision for a 24-hour economy.

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