The National Democratic Congress’ flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, has characterized President Akufo-Addo as a vindictive and autocratic leader opposed to the expression of free speech.

While addressing chiefs and residents in the Ahafo region as part of his Building Ghana Tour, former President Mahama asserted that, teachers and headmasters are hesitant to voice concerns about various issues in their schools, fearing victimization or dismissal.

During his address, Mahama drew attention to the dynamics between falsehoods and the truth, emphasizing that while lies might take an early lead in a race, the truth ultimately prevails in any democratic society.

Underscoring the significance of free speech in any country, Mahama lamented the perceived erosion of this right under the administration of Nana Akufo-Addo and Bawumia.

Reflecting on his presidency, Mahama highlighted a policy that encouraged open dialogue, allowing headmasters and teachers to voice concerns when things were not progressing well in schools.

“They say when there’s a race between lies and the truth, the lies take an early lead. But eventually, at the finish line, the truth will be vindicated and the truth will win in any democracy. In any country, the right to free speech is very important.

“At the time I was President, we allowed people to speak freely, and so if things were not going well in schools, the headmasters and the teachers could complain and talk. Unfortunately, that changed when the Nana Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government came in.

“It was a very autocratic, vindictive government, and so if you were a teacher or a headmaster and things were not going well in your school or the educational system [and] if you talked about it, they would either sack you or they will transfer you. And so it instituted a culture of fear amongst public servants,” Mr. Mahama said.