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Feature Article of Friday, 22 June 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Let Us Be More Tolerant In Ghana

By Kofi Thompson

There's no gainsaying the fact that most ordinary Ghanaians are desirous of continuing to live in a nation that is relatively peaceful - compared to other nations on the continent of Africa.

Democracy is not just about institutions. It is also a way of life based on tolerance. The cohesion of our country is coming under considerable stress - often, as a result of violence associated with Chieftaincy disputes and communal differences.

Most worrying of all is the possibility of electoral violence - as December looms. For that reason, there is a desperate need for our political leaders to tone down their public utterances.

Whatever may have prompted him to do so, we must take Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo's message wishing President Mills well - shortly before the president left for America to see his doctors - at face value. It marks a turning point for him - from the infamy of telling his supporters that: "All die be die!".

Having set that conciliatory example, let him also encourage the more bellicose amongst the hardliners in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) he leads, to be more tolerant - as that is in the supreme interest of Mother Ghana.

One also hopes that President Mills, and the more moderate individuals amongst the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), will do likewise for their party's hard-of-hearing hardliners too.

Above all, let the Ghanaian media strike a more tolerance pose, henceforth.

They ought to make protecting the national interest, and fighting for what will benefit a majority of ordinary people at all material times, the ethos that underpins their profession.

By so doing, they will be less amenable to manipulation by politicians. Their role in Ghanaian society is not to advance the parochial interests of political parties and politicians. It is, aside from protecting the rights and liberties of Ghanaians, and being the watchdogs for society in our democracy, to make this a society in which hidden evil is constantly exposed.

As they turn over a new leaf, one of the things the media can do, is to preach the virtue of tolerance in the columns of Ghanaian newspapers, and on the airwaves of Ghana's electronic media.

For the sake of our dear nation, and the well-being of all its citizens, henceforth, let us all strive to make ours a more tolerant society. Let us be more tolerant in Ghana.

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com

PS I was aghast, as I noticed yet another example of yellow journalism in an edition of the counterfeited National Review newspaper, being pointed to by the host of Net2 Television's early morning newspaper review programme on Wednesday, June 20th, 2012.

It does not speak well of officialdom under the present regime at all, that those evil minds behind that outrage, which the National Media Commission (NMC); the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI); and the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, have all been made aware has nothing to do with me - who originally registered the title with NMC but has not yet started publishing it for lack of capital - have still not been apprehended.

Are they waiting for it to publish some abomination that will result in some calamity, before they act to arrest and prosecute the criminal minds behind it? O, Ghana - enti ye ewieye paa eniea? Pity. Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Vodafone

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