THIS FREEDOM OF SPEECH

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freedom of speeach

ONE OF the tenets of democracy is freedom of speech, free speech or freedom of expression.

Freedom of speech simply means every citizen has the right to express an opinion but have we stopped to ask ourselves if we can express every piece of opinion?

This question demands a very lengthy discussion, probably an endless one, because those who would choose to discuss it would certainly bring out many ideas.

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The ADD NEWS GH wishes to call attention to this issue of free expression because it seems some people are abusing it simply because they do not understand it or are just being mischievous with it. Their action may be because the establishment or the authorities or the agencies that should prompt the citizenry about the proper exercise of the right to free speech have reneged on that mandate.

Also, Ghanaians have become a people who gloss or laugh over certain statements and dismiss them as thrash or mere joke.

If we take opinions seriously, especially those expressed in the public space by people who matter in society, we would be amazed about the peace and tranquility we would enjoy and the progress we would make because we would devote precious time to always plan for the way forward in improving our lives.

If as a people, we do not gloss over certain loose expressions, the politicians, for example, would not come to us with empty or outrageous promises and go to sleep after winning elections.

We should also note that certain opinions are inciting and can one day lead to crime or any other bad behaviour. This is because there is a group of people in society who would remain followers of certain people they respect as their leaders in certain respects and as such would swallow whatever they bring out.

This is why the ADD NEWS GH would not support opinions that would one day cause trouble for us all.

To situate the argument, we would like to make reference to one piece of opinion that would cause us trouble one day, if not checked.

This is the stand taken by some community members that they would prevent politicians from campaigning in their communities because of lack of the expected development in terms of roads, pipe-borne water, schools, hospitals, you name them.

Today, there is news that a Mr. Novihoho Afoaglo, described as the Chief Executive Officer of Marrer Ghana Limited and Susatgad Boat Building and Fishing Industries, has threatened to bar any political party from engaging in political campaigning in Ketu South District in the Volta Region because successive governments have failed in providing development projects in the area.

Let all those who think like Afaglo know that they can use the courts to seek redress if they think they have a case against anyone.

He and others like him should note that they are wrong if they think their stand is harmless.

It can turn really violent and violate the law if their threat is carried out.

This is because while they resist the politicians, they should not forget that there are some within the same community who can join the politicians to oppose them or they can even oppose them independent of the visiting politicians.


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