The Ghana Police Service’s decision to shut down social media platforms on election day has been described as an affront to the tenets of the 1992 constitution.
This is according to Kinna Likimani, Project Lead of Ghana Decides, a social media platform dedicated to election coverage in Ghana.
[contextly_sidebar id=”semBIQypMH0GPlMK4XWufUspA3MTDZwS”]The Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor has said the Police is considering the decision in a move to ensure order on social media platforms.
But Kinna Likimani believes the decision will not augur well for the development of Ghana’s democracy.
Speaking to Citi News, Kinna described the decision as a repressive tactic.
“We are not a country that subscribes to heavy handed repressive tactics otherwise we will not be in a democracy. What we need to do is that within our democratic dispensation, we educate our citizens. The Police needs to understand and come on and we all work together. There is a huge space that even the Police can occupy on social media. Ways by which we can inform Ghanaians, ways in which we can help them in their job. Not only the Police , including the EC who is now on social media.”
Kinna also added that the Peace Council, government and other key stakeholders should be on social media to deal with the challenges that will come up during the election.
“The last election, the EC released the results on Facebook. The Peace Council needs to be on social media, the government needs to be on social media. It is a platform for informing and together we can Police ourselves but to ascribe to heavy handed repressive tactics, I repeat it is not a democratic best practice and it doesn’t suite the path we are on as Ghanaians. We close down social media and then what. What message do we send to ourselves as Ghanaians. That we can’t handle ourselves.
“The last election, it was not as big enough but people were talking about things that Ghana decides was going to do. We were circumspect; they were pictures that we took that we felt because international news organisations follow us. We will not release them so we can train people. Citizens can be educated but to say you want to shut down social media is a repressive tactic and is not a democratic best practice. Ghana is not Uganda …This is not a democratic best practice, we have to find ways within our laws to deal with the challenges that come up and not to shut down it,” she added.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana