He explained that the social media ban would be irrelevant, considering the positive input social media can bring in such crucial times…
The Ghana Police’s hint of a possible ban on social media on election’s day, has not gone down well with former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan. The former UN Secretary-General has called on the Ghana Police Service to have a re-think on the possible move to ban all social media platforms on November 7.
He explained that the social media ban would be irrelevant, considering the positive input social media can bring in such crucial times. Mr Kofi Annan said this at the 12th Kronti Ne Akwamu Lecture, (an annual event organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), held in Accra on Thursday. The former UN Secretary General who said the ban would not be worth the effort, called for the responsible use of various social media platforms ahead of the elections.
He advised government to look at the useful means of social media rather than considering ways of suppressing it. He pointed out that governments which have managed to shut down social media have only “made gains in the short term”.
Kofi Annan also explained that social media has been used for healthy interactions in other countries, and have positively changed the course of elections in such countries.
The UN had earlier disclosed that it is opposed to any form of social media ban, during Ghana’s general elections. Speaking on behalf of the body, the Special Representative of the United Nations’ Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, said that such an attempt is aimed at restricting the democratic space which the UN is strongly against.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor had said at a media forum that police was considering a total shutdown of all social media platforms during the 2016 elections. Following his statement, the IGP and the police administration has come under massive criticisms from the public, most of whom have described the move as an attack on Ghana’s constitution.