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Ghana falling 30 places off the World Press Freedom Index is not a surprise – Edem Robby

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Ghana falling 30 places off the World Press Freedom Index isn’t surprising to me.

Besides the very obvious victimization, hounding & gagging of Journalists, activists & media personalities, there is this general fear of being honest with journalists about our problems.

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Everyone will volunteer to give you information “off-record”, or “but please don’t mention my name oo” for the exact reason journalists will today, not follow/do certain stories. My work as a filmmaker takes me places. All over the country. And I see things.

The media/journalists/activists are not the only ones being hounded, gagged, and/or punished. It’s happening everywhere. And the fear transcends just speaking with the media to even doing one’s job as should be done.

Since August 2021, we’ve been trying to register @Ghfixthecountry. There’s not a single person at the registrar general department to sign the registration certificate because nobody wants to be the one to be said to have signed off the registration cert.

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Today, the Registrar has traveled, tomorrow this, the next day, that. Excuses upon excuses. In fact, we have been told point blank, that nobody will sign it off. Why?! They don’t fear God enh?! But this is whoever’s job.

But you know, nobody builds a society by keeping quiet. It’s never happened anywhere. When governments publicly, whether overtly or covertly, silence journalists and activists, it is their hope that others who are as vocal and critical as them learn to be quiet by themselves.

This is what they wanted with Barker Vogues. Quite unfortunately for them, the wrong meat. The people who know I’m in this space and know my involvement with FTC sometimes, randomly call me and tell me to be careful. Sometimes out of concern and care and fear.

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Personally, I’ve made peace with whatever comes with being in this space. As an activist. Across the board. I’ve refused to be silent because you know what? Those ruining this country for us, and our families thrive on our silence.

Our silence is exactly what they want, and I refuse to give them that. Don’t give it to them. Self-preservation is good but we must not abandon the right. We must remember to come back to it. We cannot continue to complain about how bad these are, off the record. In our homes.

And when it matters most, decide it’s none of our business. It has to be our collective business. Ghana is sinking.

We cannot build the Ghana we want if we allow politicians to punish people who are genuinely doing their jobs, and expressing their frustration with their jobs, but reward corrupt government officials who have been caught by re-assigning/re-appointing to different government institutions.

Stand up and speak up! Show your anger. Protest. Hold people accountable. Start!

About the writer

Edem Robby (Roberta Edem Abbeyquaye) is a multimedia journalist who is also a videographer, a video editor, a photographer, and a writer with over four years of experience.

She started off as a photographer in 2014 when she was pursuing a degree in Journalism (first-class honors) at the African University College of Communication.

She is also the curator and manager of Through My Lens, a Facebook page cataloging her film and photography work.

Edem Robby previously worked as a Programme Assistant (Communications) at Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), and as a multimedia journalist with Citi FM and Citi TV, and iSpace.

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