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Opinions of Friday, 20 November 2009

Columnist: Albert, Francis A

The Death of Mr Essuman, a Wake-up Call for All Pro-NDC Media Friends

...time to boycott NDC

The time has come full cycle that Pro-NDC media has to reconsider their unflinching support for the party. They will be better off playing a neutral role than to waste their time on a party that has little regard for the media.

Most of their media friends were over the moon that they played a major role in the victory of NDC in the last December-January elections and little did they know that NDC will discard them. This is a useful lesson for other media houses who are thinking of throwing their weight behind the NDC government. They have proved to be ungrateful, disrespectful, arrogant and visionless towards people who helped them into power.

This attitude is not limited to Pro-NDC media alone but also NDC party members themselves. There have been so many cries from party members, yet the leadership of the party has failed to listen to the concerns of this crying majority. The better Ghana agenda will never succeed if people who played a role in the success of the party are not protected. Whatever wrongs one may attribute to NPP, a fact that is not lost on us is their ability to mobilise their party members and friends in the media.

The death of Benjamin Essuman is sad story and every Pro-NDC media holds it a duty to sympathise with him by boycotting NDC and leaving them to their fate. The leadership of NDC has argued privately that they won the election without the help of the media. How much more can people become ungrateful? Thus, they have suddenly forgotten the role these media outlets played in educating people in their small ways. Some media houses both in Ghana and abroad were promised huge sums of money just to support the NPP but these media houses turned down the offer with the hope that their reward will come if NDC won the elections.

At the time of writing, almost every Pro NDC Journalists is disillusioned and kicking themselves for not accepting monies promised them by the NPP before the elections. And to add insults to injury, all the juicy government adverts are given to Anti-NDC media houses who till date are doing everything humanly possible to kick NDC out of power. Now these opposition media are more potent and vibrant than before.

If you want an NDC official to talk to you, tell him or her that you are from Joy FM, Peace FM, Citi FM, Adom FM, Oman FM, The Crusading Guide, Daily Guide, Statesman, Searchlight, Observer, Gye Nyame Concord and other opposition stations outside of Ghana, then they will be prepared to answer all questions and provide all information.

The Daily Democrat’s story about the neglect of Mr Benjamin Essuman did not come as a surprise to most Pro NDC journalists. They are getting used to the reality now. President Mills said he is a father for all Ghanaians, nobody is contesting that. But not to the detriment of people who risked their lives to bring you into power. We may sympathise with the president because his government is controlled by corrupt officials who benefitted tremendously under the eight years of NPP’s brutal and corrupt rule. These people are scare stiff that if they tow on party line, they will be exposed. This is a danger which NDC is underestimating just like the last days of NPP in government. In fact it is shocking watching NDC officials messing about with little respect for their media friends. The best tribute that Pro NDC media can pay to the late Mr Essuman, is to register their displeasure by boycotting NDC and all information held by them about NDC officials put into the public domain.

The government of the NDC is really underestimating the strength of their media friends. They are joking. It is not true that NDC doesn’t have loads of media friends. In reality, they have about 30% of the media both home and abroad behind them. That is without even counting the windfall following media houses (those media houses turned NDC friends because they are now in government). In Ghana for instance they have Radio Gold, Diamond FM (Tamale), Capital FM (Kumasi), one each in Aflao and Takoradi, one Gold Radio in France, GFM radio (London), Daily Democrat, Enquirer, Daily Post, Insight, Catalyst, Palaver, Dispatch, Afrikaana radio (London) and a number of media houses not mentioned here.

And each of these media houses played a major role in the last elections amidst threat and intimidations from the then NPP government and party members. So far almost all these media houses, apart from a few Pro Government journalists, have been left to their fate. One of such neglect led to the death of Mr Benjamin Essuman and in death, they still neglected him. This is a proof that NDC is heartless towards their media friends and therefore do not deserve any support from them.

Indeed, the Daily Democrat has spoken the minds of every Pro NDC journalists. In every democracy, governments give support to their information outlets and many examples abound. It is about time the Pro government media men learnt to be independent and to work hard, one day their efforts will be rewarded. Relying on NDC and its government will only spell doom for them.

It is frightening how NDC is fast distancing itself from reality into the illusionary world of TB Joshua who decides what the president must do or not do.

My condolence goes to Mr Benjamin Essuman’s family. May he rest in perfect peace. The almight God knows best, not people who by virtue of power do not remember how they got there. The tired legs and the drained resources of people who helped fought the war in December 2008. The 2012 election is just around the corner and the anti-NDC media will campaign for them.

Mr Essuman, our thoughts are with you even in death. Fare thee well.