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Opinions of Friday, 20 August 2010

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Let Us Aim To Make Ghana Africa's Most Free Society!

I could not help feeling sorry for Mother Ghana, when I recently heard
calls from a number of practicing journalists that the bad nuts in the
profession ought to be reined in, through controls of one kind or the
other. Professor Kwame Karikari was the lone voice advocating leaving
the status quo untouched. What is it, dear reader, which motivates
those who think that we ought to busy ourselves with empowering
tomorrow’s tyranny with the building-blocks, to enable such a regime
muzzle the right to freedom of expression, of future generations of
Ghanaians? Do they not understand that we are in the knowledge age –
and that it is only those societies in which there is a free
interchange of ideas, in which the leading-edge ideas will come to the
fore: and help propel nations (like ours!) towards a prosperous
future? Why should we not rather seek to make our country Africa's
most free society, and once again become a beacon for those of our
fellow Africans who live under some of the most brutal dictatorships
in the world – and inspire them to fight to create free societies too
in their oppressed countries?

Should we not tolerate the transgressions of the unethical; the
uncouth; the biased; the irresponsible; and the corrupt; in the
profession, in exchange for continuing to enjoy the freedom to
criticize and check those who lead our country: and make it impossible
for tyranny to ever return to blight the lives of present and future
generations of Ghanaians? Instead of wasting our energies thinking up
clever ways to restrain the media, let us rather aim to make Ghana as
free a society as the United States of America is, if not even freer
than that bastion of freedom. It is shortsighted in the extreme to
think that in the Internet age, anyone can effectively control free
speech, anywhere on the surface of the planet Earth.

Can the criticism-averse and smug-geniuses amongst those who surround
the president at the Osu Castle, for example, who loathe one simply
because one dares expose them for the third-rate individuals they
really are (who are only lucky to be at the seat of power on account
of their being in the entourage of the presidential candidate of
today's ruling party in Ghana, the National Democratic Congress (NDC),
during the campaign for the December 2008 presidential elections!),
ever stop an old fool like me from speaking my mind online, even
though they are making a stab at it? We must not let the sins of
unprofessional journalists (who have sold their consciences for a
handsome profit to crooked politicians!), and a majority of whom have
not even mastered the basic tool of their profession, the English
language, to ever stop ordinary people from enjoying the right to
express themselves freely in newspapers and on the airwaves of the
electronic media, in our homeland Ghana. Period. A word to the wise…

Google: "ghanapolitics".