Feature Article of Sunday, 29 April 2012
Columnist: Abdallah, Tijani Kassim
Tijani Kassim Abdallah
When you want to ascertain for yourself a primary knowledge on peoples political opinion, I must confess that the best place to be is in the Trotro.( for the avoidance of doubt, where Trotro is define as the commercial vehicle that convey people from place to place).
Just last week, I joined a Trotro vehicle from West Legon leading to Achimota and all of sudden there was a heated debate in that Trotro that engage my attention, following the release of Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong. A woman shouted next to me in Akan “s? mekas? y? beyinu,s? uw? akuo a nimde? fo? wom te s? lawyer Attah Akyea,Jake Obetsebi Lamtey, Dr Arthur Kennedy, saa na ?be si, na NDC ?d?n na omu nim?”. Meaning if you have intelligent people in a political organization like lawyer Attah Akyea,Jake obetsebi lamtey, Dr Athur Kennedy and others, he would not remain in police custody without bail, and what does NDC people think they know? The woman enquired.
In a quick response, an angry man sitting in the front sit took offense of it and said “why do we at this age and time confuse judicial proceedings with politics and in any case who in NPP can speak intelligently than Dr. Tony Aidoo, Kobby Acheampong, and Haruna Iddrisu, show me?” The man challenged.
As the debate got intense and the whole Trotro was divided and over heated. The question I asked was why should we personalize our politics like religion, having rise from my sit and ask the driver to lower the radio set or turn it off to bring peace in the car. This is because the argument was triggered from an Akan radio station that exaggerated the news and blew it out of proportion. But how does one deal with thugs and illiterates who do not understand the views of other people on political matters particularly in the hinterlands? It is a difficult situation indeed and in Ghana, the politicians over the years have continued to mistaken politics with ethnicity and personalities. As a celebrated country and the pride of African democracy, I think that we should move away from ethnic politics to issue based, and is important to acknowledge the media as a powerful tool for education rather than malice. For instance, it is in appropriate to destroy a person’s hard earned reputation for money or parochial ends. ROLE OF THE MEDIA First, the media should do us good by giving precise news rather than exaggerated opinions, for the purpose of baiting large audience. Second, there must be laws and regulation that will empower the media commission to enforce professionalism in their operations. Third, media practitioners’ should exercise their freedom of expression with a high sense of responsibility.
Fourth, the media must have ethical values far from political ideologies; we must end the practice of corrupting the press for partisan purposes. Fifth, we should employ some emotional intelligence as a people to accommodate those who do not share our point of view.
Finally, I humbly recommend to news editors to consider and look for mature people in our society who are inspirational to the youth, who set an exemplary good life for others to emulate, those who make sense in their discussion rather than noise.
As we approach 2012 elections, I am urging all of us to be responsible to get our point of view across. May God Bless Us All.
Tijani Kassim Abdallah