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Feature Article of Friday, 4 May 2012

Columnist: Tawiah, Evans

If Ghana wants peace in 2012…

By Evans Tawiah

Like many Ghanaians, I have been blaming the two main political parties; NDC and NPP, for persistently sounding the unseen war drum. The sound of the drum that shakes our peace.

In 1corinthians 13:11, the Bible says, “when I was a child, I spoke as I child, I understood as child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Indeed, I thought as a child in blaming only our politicians for shaking Ghana’s peace. Until I got admission into the Ghana Institute of Journalism, I never thought a section of the Ghanaian media carried the war drum our politicians beat.

Certainly, one cannot discourse the issues of peace in any country without mentioning the roles its media play in it. The media has the role of disseminating good information and reporting on the activities of the politician to the general public. Unfortunately, the media which should have checked and monitored the politician has become feeble and cheeps about like a brood of ducklings. Their morning shows and front pages have become law courts where verdicts are given on political issues. Accusations and counter-accusation are traded like tomatoes on Makola Market. They give room for unnecessary discussions creating fear and panic among the citizenry. “All die be die” and “Dzi wo fie asem” get months of publicity while our lights keep blinking on and off like Aphrodisiac’s disco light.

Perhaps, the media has forgotten that it took some journalists a word of mouth to set their countrymen into killing themselves. Yes. The pens and microphones of the journalist have an enormous power that our media should desist from uncultured utterances.

We often say God is a Ghanaian, for his mercies shown us. But we should not forget Ghana is not Heaven Annex. Minaj is a Liberian refugee in Ghana. He paints to me the gloomy picture he saw during the Liberian war. “Guns were fired and stones were thrown and blood shared like a widow’s tears,” he told me. “Mothers were killed and fathers were not spared. The Children? They were merciless,” he added. We are left with few months to the pools and the government and other stakeholders are doing all they can to make sure Ghana has a free, fair and transparent election in 2012. But of all such efforts, we must not forget to tap the shoulders of our media to wake up from their slumber if Ghana wants peace in 2012.

It is about t ime the Akan radio stations (some I must say) realized that they are causing more harm than good. Their cantata show which they call news is nothing but cacophony of the same war drum some unscrupulous politicians beat. Not only are the proverbs, anecdotes and the like they use in their news is uncalled for but, create tension among electorates especially the foot soldiers. Whereas we caution our media to be circumspect, the politicians should as well know that much is expected of them in making election 2012 peaceful. We never pray or wish hearing “se wagye w’ani so,” to our media when we wake up to see that Ghana’s peace is no more. Rather, we pray for an election devoid of violence. Long live the peace of Ghana.

The writer is a student-journalist at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Writer’s Email: faudpe@yahoo.com.

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