Opinions of Wednesday, 3 July 2019
Columnist: Isaac Ato Mensah
The Communication Educators Association of Ghana (CEAG) met in Winneba on 27 and 28 June, 2019, for the first time.
It was to rope in full members, associate members, student members, institutional members and corporate members, and to adopt its draft constitution.
Importantly, the draft constitution which was discussed at the business meeting on 27 June had an extensive procedure on DISMISSAL of members.
When I told a key convener during the break that the University of Education Winneba (UEW), which was hosting the event, did not have such detailed procedures in its statutes available online, he responded: “That is strange”.
Even the definition of CEAG member came up for debate. When everyone else had voted to adopt some proposals with only one dissenting vote, the motion was carried. During a later debate, when the participant who had dissented took the chance to convince participants on his perspective; he received a rapturous applause.
The effect was that participants had to undo most of what they had done and instead consider two proposed resolutions on the draft constitution so that it could be adopted at a later date.
It was a joy to experience democracy in a collegial atmosphere.
The formal event in the afternoon of 27 June broadcast live by Windy Bay radio of UEW, was addressed by Rev. Fr. Prof Anthony Afful-Broni, the UEW Vice Chancellor.
In his brief address he stated among other things that the association’s work will support “Our government’s policy” for free senior high school, which raised a few eyebrows.
But perhaps the subsequent sentences should worry all of us: “The association should lobby and ensure media men [and women] are well taken care of so that those who are rich don’t hijack them to do their bidding. I sincerely mean it. I’m pleading”.
Little did we at writersghana.com know that three editors of modernghana.com, as of the time he was speaking that afternoon, had been arrested by “National Security” – that amorphous creature often used to terrorise the media and all of us.
History is rife with examples where National Security has been used as justification to torment and intimidate outspoken formal and informal critics of the status quo; and this is not limited to Ghana.
What then is the role of the Ghana Police Service? Is it part of the security apparatus? What falls within and outside its jurisdiction?
“Our government” must do things properly.
As my mentor will never tire of saying: “You can never do the right thing at the wrong time”.
That amorphous creature called National Security which usually revolves round a few individuals based on the party in power should learn that there is something to be said for integrity.
Need we remind ourselves yet again that integrity is the bedrock of all well ordered and progressive societies – societies that develop largely through freedom and justice?
We need to focus on principles and not personalities. That way we do not look foolish when the “Big Men” are shown to have feet of clay.
And now if we have also crossed the line, above and beyond Prof Augustine Nwagbara and modernghana.com, we are ready to be arrested and or intimidated….but only by Small Men.
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