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Opinions of Friday, 20 January 2017

Columnist: Joshua Kwame Nkrumah

The hypocrisy of western media vs naivety of Ghanaians

President Nana Akufo-Addo President Nana Akufo-Addo

By Joshua Kwame Nkrumah

The United States recently had an election which saw the “unlikely” candidate Donald Trump win against the “likely” candidate Hilary Clinton.

After the victory of Trump, scores of Americans took to the streets in major US cities (New York, California etc.) demonstrating their displeasure of Trump’s win. Some of the protests turned violent. Although such events were reported in the news, I was very surprised because I was not expecting this kind of reaction from a country which had practiced democracy for over 200 years.

Ghana, a small country in West Africa, also went to the polls on December 7, 2017 barely a month after America’s historic elections. There were tensions prior to the elections which saw the likes of the US Embassy and the British High Commission caution Ghana to ensure peace during the elections. Ghana conducted herself very well and lived up to expectations of the world as a beacon of hope in Africa in terms of democracy. However, this remarkable feat did not catch the attention of many western media.

CNN captured it without touting Ghana’s democratic credentials but chose to report that Ghanaians queued for food in Ghana which is not only false, but also had nothing to do with the elections. Fast forward, Ghana swore in their President in a colorful event.

However, the occasion seems to have been marred by a plagiarism allegation. Ghanaians have made a lot of noise about it (which is not surprising). The shock of it was that the western media (Washington Post, Reuters, Al Jazeera etc) have now seen the need to report about this issue of plagiarism. Why didn’t they report so much about the elections which in my view was less violent than the aftermath of the US elections.

Ironically, some Ghanaians are happy seeing Ghana in the news for the wrong reasons, so they surf online looking for western media who have reported it so that they can share it to buttress their point. Ghanaians who have done this sort of thing in the past or now in the name of partisan politics should bow down their heads in shame.

If you think or thought that you would jubilate about Ghana’s downsides so that your party can come to power and bring back the “glory” then you must indeed be a “stupid” person. The reason being that governments would come and go but Ghana is still Ghana.

So the dirt which is being heaped on Ghana in the name of plagiarism which you are happy about would be an indelible one which your government would also come and meet. So indeed, the western media is full of hypocrisy but don’t also be “stupid.”