While both the petitioners and respondents in the ongoing presidential election petition at the Supreme Court prepare to file their addresses, former President Jerry John Rawlings has called on Ghanaian Media to help in attaining a violent free post court-ruling scenario and avoid raising false hopes.
He bemoaned that some of the media houses have not helped as far as reporting of court proceedings are concerned, adding if they are able to report objectively, it will aid in promoting lasting peace in the country especially when the final ruling is given.
The former President made this call in an address he delivered at the National Peace Summit organized to educate Ghanaians on issues of justice and peace and how these ingredients can strengthen democratic governance in the country.
This was an initiative of the National Peace Council (NPC), the Manhyia Palace, the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) and the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), the national summit is on the theme, “Justice, Peace and Reforms will Strengthen Ghana”.
Former President Rawlings noted: “we have to concede that some of our media have not helped to objectively disseminate news about the just-ended judicial process but have contributed to unduly raising the political temperature.
The media have to revise their approach to reporting electoral disputes and be guided by the principle that their agenda-setting role should always protect the national interest and not be tarnished by the petty, biased and parochial political agenda some of them pursue”.
He emphasized the need for Ghanaians to pass the test of accepting the verdict of the Supreme Court; adding, ‘this is one test we cannot afford not to pass’
He commended the Nine Judges presiding over the case for their composure throughout proceedings at the Supreme Court.
He particularly lauded Justice William Atuguba, President of the nine-member panel, hearing the election petition for bringing in humour to reduce the tension and ‘to make sure that the situation did not boil over’.
“we must give thanks to God and for him (Justice Atuguba) for making it so humorous and for making it so palatable...at the end of the day our response to the ruling will indicate how mature we are; we cannot once again fail to pass this test…” he added.
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