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Opinions of Sunday, 17 November 2013

Columnist: Damptey, Daniel Danquah

Have our Editors and Media Presenters become lily livered?

I have been battling with my conscience on whether or not our Editors and media Presenters think only of their stomach before deciding on which subject merit national attention. Issues of national interest are most often relegated to the background, whiles our gloated “untouchables” in the media chose to discuss insignificant issues involving other countries.
The Ghanaian Newspaper Editor and his counterparts in the electronic media would jump with relish at a scandal about how the corpse of Yar Adua was brought to Nigeria without the knowledge of his Vice than discuss issues of corruption that has permeated deep into the fabric of the Ghanaian Society.
The issue is not farfetched. Our Former President, the late Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills had died under bizarre circumstances. Numerous allegations of current President’s involvement in the death of his predecessor were made by many Ghanaians. But how many of our newspaper Editors and media Presenters made mention of even one of such allegations, not to talk of calling those who made the allegations to substantiate their claims? Our “glorified” editors and media presenters chose to keep mum over such a serious matter. Why?
Current President John Dramani Mahama was alleged to have inflated a contract involving the purchase of some aircrafts for the Ghana Armed Forces. His then boss, John Evans Atta Mills was not enthused with the deal and therefore set up a three-member Committee to investigate the entire shady deal . The names of these three prominent Ghanaians were made known. The fear of exposure and humiliation led to current President, John Mahama resorting to some unorthodox means to “eliminate” his then boss. That was a matter that should have warranted an intensive investigation by the media if the institution was worth its sauce. But that was not to be. Did the Former President set up a Three Member Committee to investigate the rotten deal? A call to any of the so-called committee members could have resolved the issue. But these media presenters and editors negated the most essential ingredients of their calling. They chose to pretend that no such thing ever happened. They chose to discuss and comments on less insignificant things whilst evil triumph at the corridors of power.
I challenge all those editors and media presenters with overblown ego who have awarded themselves such “big titles” (which cannot be found in any dictionary, whether ancient or modern) to tell me whether their action of keeping silence in the face of strong evidence that the Presidency was deeply involved in the demise of his predecessor was borne out of patriotism or blind prejudice? Were they compromised or “settled”?
Over the years, squabbles between couples or men and their girl friends were and are still given wider publicity. Editors and Presenters will make frantic calls to aggrieved lovers who feel cheated by their partners to enable them state their side of the issue. Their overgrown egos are always at work when they decide whom to call and whom not to call. Which is more news worthy – the mysterious death of a President and the fracas between a man and his concubine?
Were we not in this country when current President John Mahama contradicted himself twice on events leading to and after the death of his predecessor? There are recorded tapes to buttress this point. The first has to do with his first public broadcast on the death of his predecessor. The second had to do with the interview he granted Shaki Shalli of Straight Voice Africa (VOA) a few weeks after the unfortunate death. How many of our Presenters have made attempts to find out which of the two – the President or his Accusers are lying? None! Yet they refer to themselves as the Best Media Presenters that have ever been seen in this country. Its time they removed the scales from their eyes so that the masses could see them for what they are. They should bow their heads in shame! Yes, that is what they should do. What are they attempting to hide? Have they been bribed? Ghanaians deserve an answer from them.
Ghanaian newspaper Editors put irrelevant issues on the front pages of their newspapers and the next morning, their colleague Presenters bring out such issues for discussion during the newspaper review segment of their programmes with glee and self importance. If Ghanaian newspapers could publish that the UN has rejected attempts to postpone the trial of Kenyan President and his Vice, and their colleague Presenters could make the issue the subject of discussion on their various programmes, what prevents these same group of “eminent personalities” from highlighting issues involving the death of a sitting President? Whom are they trying to deceive? Nobody, but themselves!
Newspaper Editors and media Presenters gave wide publicity to the death of Issa Mobilla and the Ya Na. They blew out of proportion allegations made against the then sitting President even though the accusers did not provide any evidence. Yet the papers and presenters had a field day calling people who were not even at the scene of the incident. Are we applying double standards here? Forget about politics. We are talking about principles. If the President is innocent, why wouldn’t these presenters play the tapes for all Ghanaians and the international community to know whether or not our President is indeed the man his devotees have touted as a kind hearted and patriotic citizen of the country.
Did the Minister of Communication, Honourable Iddrissu Haruna not contradict his boss, current President John Mahama on the venue both of them alleged they had been sent to by the late President to represent him? Remember, the tapes are there oo. But who are the presenters to play them? Like eunuchs with nothing dangling between their two legs, they cannot talk because they have been gagged.
Have Ghanaians forgotten so soon the interview our President granted one TV station (I think it is TV Africa) on how he became a staunch member of the Anglican Church where he now worships with the current Chief Justice of the country, Her Ladyship, Justice Georgina Wood? He said that during the vetting of her Lordship for the substantive position of Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, anytime she was asked a question, she would remark, ask Vice President, John Mahama.
That was the mother of all lies for we are all aware that Mrs. Georgina Wood was nominated by the Kufuor Administration and her vetting took place during the administration. John Mahama was nowhere near the Presidency. He was the Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi. What was going on in his mind when he made that spurious remark?
You see, we have a President who has been lying right from birth. Do you recollect that this same President had written in his book “My First Coup detat” that he and a friend were once chased by a lion while going to school? Yes, he indeed wrote that in his infamous book. He has thus matured from a baby liar to an adult liar. Who can withstand him in that aspect? No one!
Oh no, I feel dazed and stunned. I have been given a raw deal by a person who is supposed to be my mentor. I feel uncomfortable that this country is presided by a man who claims to be a staunch member of the Anglican Church. The man has behaved like the biblical Ananias and has therefore let down the whole Christendom.
I am ashamed of having an Ananias for President. But what have our editors and media presenter done about it? The death of a sitting President is news worthy. The story about a President who lies to his countrymen and the international community makes instant news, no doubt about that. Why are our Editors and Media Presenters pretenders that our President has not lied? What is happening? Have our media presenters and newspaper editors suddenly developed cold feet? Why are these “untouchables” and “terrorists” dragging their feet when issues affecting John Mahama erupt?
Today, media men like Randy Abby, Alfred Ogbamey, Adakabre Frimpong Manso are singing the “Alleluia” chorus anytime John Mahama’s name pops up. The tapes are there for Ghanaians and the International Community to know the type of person we have for President. They have played those of Baba Jamal, Yaw Boateng Gyan and that of Victoria Hammah over and over again. What prevents them from giving the same dose to President John Mahama?
Have they been compromised and thus lost their sense of priority? Have they lost their venom? Are they lily-livered?
I pause for immediate answers!!
Daniel Danquah Damptey ( 0243715297