Feature Article of Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Columnist: Yiadom, Boakye
By Dr. Boakye Yiadom
The myth surrounding the lies of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration has been broken following the death of President John Evans Fiifi Atta-Mills. After his death, the officials, including the sworn-in President John Mahama are sitting on vital information preventing Ghanaians from knowing the circumstances surrounding the death.
Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy, a Medical Officer by profession, was the first Ghanaian to call for a committee to investigate the death. The government has turned deaf ears to the call.
It appears investigative journalism in Ghana has died with Atta-Mills. Let me remind journalists in Ghana of an article compiled by Harold Reporters themed “Anarchy Reigns When Journalism Fails.” This was published by ghanaweb.com on July 27, 2010. This is exactly what is happening in Ghana today. Notwithstanding the words of encouragement from the late president, journalists are scared to expose the deficiencies’ and inaccuracies of the government.
On September 14, 2010, the late President Atta-Mills urged media practitioners to be responsible in the execution of their duty. The late President was addressing members of the National Media Commission (NMC) when they called on him at the Castle, OSU.
According to President Atta-Mills, press freedom without the accompanying conscientiousness will only spell the doom for any country. The President said “I want all media people to realize that never compromise on the case.” After his death, Ghanaians are itching to know what went wrong. The people are expecting Ghanaian Journalists to investigate and publish the information Ghanaians are yearning for. This will force the government to either confirm or deny the report. It is alleged that the keys to the Castle Ambulance were nowhere to be found. Why was he transported in a private car that did not befit his status as president? What about the questions that arose at 37 Military Hospital? This is the time Ghanaians are expecting journalists to stand up as soldiers ready for the defence of Ghana. If Atta-Mills had been resuscitated and brought back to life at the “37 Military Hospital,” he would have renounced and debunked the NDC in particular and those he trusted and surrounded himself with in the Castle in general. Although Atta-Mills was given a fitting burial, none of the confidants went to his aid in time of need.
Under Kufuor administration, a number of Acts those impeded and frustrated journalists in the discharge of their lawful duties were repealed.
I can recall the names of two eminent Journalists who were arrested and detained without trial by two despotic regimes. What was their crime? For exposing those regimes through investigative reports. They are the late Kwame Kesse-Adu and also the late John Kugblenu.
Kwame Kesse-Adu was the Accra City Editor of the Ashanti Pioneer, published in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Capital, and was arrested and detained without trial under the repealed Preventive Detention Act (PDA) by Kwame Nkrumah regime, while Kugblenu, Editor of (Former) Free Press, was arrested and detained without trial by Jerry Rawlings PNDC regime.
At least, these two journalists are being remembered for the yeomen service to mother Ghana.
We can boldly say that through their efforts we are now breathing a sigh of relief, free press and “wo nso ka bi”. All under democracy practised in the civilized world..