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Opinions of Thursday, 22 October 2015

Columnist: Baffour, Prince Kyei

Gambling with human lives, episode 2.

Some weeks ago, a very hardworking journalist, Mr. Samuel Nuamah, lost his life when returning from an assignment with the presidential press corps when the team was involved in a fatal accident. Typical of us as Ghanaians, the president, journalists and the whole country mourned him in grand style but failed to put in place measures to prevent a similar incident from occurring. It does not come as a surprise that some weeks after Nuamah’s death, another accident involving the presidential press corps has occurred. We just talk; we make no effort to walk the talk.
In the few days following Nuamah’s death, I had the chance of seeing a news report in which the car that was transporting the journalists was shown and it saddened my heart. The president rides in a comfortable car, followed by other equally nice and comfortable cars but he cares less about the state of the “jalopy” in which these journalists travel just to cover stories about him. If the president has waited till now and has not put any measures in place to ensure the security and safety of journalists, then he is guilty of one thing: GAMBLING WITH HUMAN LIVES; the lives of these journalists.
What surprises me more is the attitude of journalists themselves towards these accidents. The media in this country has gained a reputation as the fourth arm of government and I know they did not come this far by sitting down quietly in their media houses. They have over the years served as the mouthpiece for the citizens of this country especially less privileged ones. However when it came to this issue that directly affects them, their reaction is far below what is expected. Is it that they do not value their lives, or they and their leaders have been silenced in a way that they alone are witnesses to? Is it that their leaders do not have their interest at heart just like the politicians? It will be expedient for them to act in collaboration with the flag staff house to ensure that when the presidential convoy is speeding off in style and utmost safety like chariots of fire, their lives will be considered equally valuable and made part of this arrangement. The life of every individual is sacred, whether president, journalist, rich or poor and should be treated as such.
To Mr. Nuamah, may your soul rest in peace
To his widow, children and family, may the Lord be with you
To the journalists who survived but are injured, I wish u a speedy recovery
To the president, prove to Ghanaians that you do not consider your life more valuable than that of the journalists
Finally to my fellow Ghanaians, let us all open our eyes, hearts and minds to know the true nature of these politicians.
God bless our homeland Ghana

Prince Kyei Baffour