Over the years, members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have deceptively portrayed the impression that they are the true and interminable apostles of all the libertarian principles of governance: rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of association, free market and what have you.
Their false espousal of these tenets and the deceptions inherent in their political activity initially won them some admirations in the eyes of the unsuspecting Ghanaian voters. Consequently, they reaped some political dividends in getting elected twice in 2000 and 2004.
Ironically, it is their elevation to political stardom from 2001 to 2008 that really show to Ghanaians the realities, relative to their positions on these libertarian values that they claim they and their political forebears have espoused.
The political vindictiveness and the arm-twisting of the key institutions of governance was the order of the day under the eight years of President Kufuor’s rule. For good eight years, the Judiciary, the security institutions and the media were at the receiving end of the NPP’s deceptive and reckless style of governance.
Elements within these institutions were either terrorized or cowed into submission or were heavily compromised with state funds to do the bidding of the executive arm of government led by the then President Kufuor.
One is therefore not mystified when the so-called apostles of democracy, rule of law and media freedom, recently unashamedly announced to the whole world that they have boycotted a political discussion programme on the Accra-based private radio station, Asempa FM.
According to the pro-NPP tabloid the New Statesman, “the decision of the party according to sources at the party’s headquarters is born out of the deliberate policy of Eko Si Sen current affairs programme on Asempa FM, to continually focus its programming agenda on attacking the Presidential Candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the party as a whole.”
In the opinion of the discerning minds, the above is one of the most unreasonable excuses that any political grouping can give in boycotting a good programme like the one hosted by Nana Bobie-Ansah on Asempa FM.
It is outrageous that the NPP can proffer such excuse to the good people of Ghana today when they used biased and mercenary journalists as instruments of governance in the entire eight years they ruled this country.
For good eight years, journalists or media practitioners like Abdul Malik Kweku-Baako Jn, Kwami Sefa Kayi, Randy Abbey, Ken Kuranchi, Gifty Anti, Gina Blay, Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko, and the entire members of the so-called Coffee shop mafia were at the helm of affairs.
Governance was thrown to these journalists and they at some point became to some extent the kitchen cabinet of President Kufuor and his government on dirty political tactics. They had the power to determine policy and defend the policy with ferocious vigor in the public domain.
Personalities, especially those in the political opposition at that time who made attempts to challenge the NPP on policies were hounded by these marauding media scavengers, and their images devoured or destroyed. Government’s blunders on policy and even behaviour, which seemed indefensible by the ordinary members of the society, were easily rationalized by these elements in the media. The level of negative propaganda was unprecedented in the political history of Ghana.
If all these media persons are in operation today and have not been boycotted by the NDC under President Mills’ Better Ghana Agenda, then the question that has to be asked is; between the NDC and the NPP who are the true believers of the libertarian values with regard to the media and who is more tolerant in this emerging democracy of ours?
The NPP should be advised that tolerance and media freedom is not just about getting some bribed journalists to sing your praises or to attack and assassinate the character of your opponents; it is also about accepting your shortcomings so that you can make amends the next time.
Everybody knows the style of Nana Bobie Ansah: He says it as it is. He does not spare any political party or individuals whether NDC or NPP, once he is convinced that something has gone amiss. The NPP cannot claim to be oblivious of this situation.
For instance, this very Asempa F’s Eko Si Sen with Nana Ansah Bobie as the host forcefully blew the lead on what turn out to be the scandal involving the then Sports Minister, Hon Muntaka Mubarak. The station went on a sustained campaign until the issue spread like wild fire and became a national one, forcing the current NDC government to open investigations. Nobody can claim that the Muntaka issue did not embarrass the NDC government. Did the NDC respond by boycotting the station or the programme?
The NPP and their so-called strategies and a coterie of communicators must have a re-think on their relationship with the Ghanaian independent media. The key question that one may want to ask is that, don’t they get equal representation and equal air time to propagate their ideas on the Asempa show?
Let it be suggested to them that if they think discussants or even the host is digressing from their favourable issue they can choose to be showering praises to their flagbearer or party when they go to the programme once they are given equal opportunities to state their case, if that is what they wish.
The simple advice to the NPP and whoever their media advisors are is to learn from the mildness of President Mills in the face of the ceaseless attacks on his personality and naked lies peddled on the pages and airwaves of the likes of Gina Blay, Sefa Kayi, Ken Kuranchie and Fiifi Boafo, heap on him on daily basis. They must turn a new leaf from this unruly behavior if they want to make impact in the Ghanaian politics.
True lovers of democracy and freedom must unequivocally support the position of Asempa FM because that programme Eko Si Sen, is a very fair and balance programme- far balance than the ones hosted by known NPP apologists on many other networks.
Source: The Al-Hajj/Ghana (Editorial)
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