Originally Published, December 13, 2012
When the presidential candidates contesting the December 7, 2012, polls, signed a peace pact in Kumasi on November 27, 2012, pledging their commitment to peace and violent free elections under the auspices of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), the National Peace Council and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Ghanaians were impressed not just by the aptness and timeliness of the initiative, but also by the file of eminent persons the organizers arraigned, as backers to the initiative. Their choice of persons was one that was froth with wisdom, boldness and leadership.
For many therefore, the peace pact represented an appropriate, tangible seal to the many efforts the peace-loving people of this nation had undertaken. Irrespective of the nature of our efforts, both at the individual and the collective levels, they all found expression in this single initiative which gave us the Kumasi Peace Pact.
Originally Published, June 13, 2012
Dominant attitudes in all pervading cultures have ways of signalling whether the society is growing, declining or self-destructing. When we assess our political behaviour and practice from 1992 to date, within the general context of our political milieu, the question must be asked, what society are we seeking to leave behind for the next generation? Are we fostering the building of a cohesive society based on unity and trust or a society that lives in suspicion and fear of each other? Do we have people with true democratic mindset to be in charge of this country, Ghana?
The actions and utterances of politicians who seek to rule this country, must always personify the aspirations of our country, like education, provision of electrical energy to power our economy, modernization of the economy, science and technology, the fight against ignorance, the need to overturn the human resource deficit in our medical and educational institutions, and manage public expenditure in a more prudent manner by eliminating waste and corruption in the civil service. Political parties as civil society organizations are engineered for this purpose.
Nurturing a strong democracy needs the presentation of opposing viewpoints in a balanced and proportioned way. In this regard, the media in Ghana has a very significant role in facilitating public politics by setting an agenda based on issues of national interest rather than becoming a conduit for misleading and manipulating public minds by politicians.
The tensed political landscape in Ghana characterised by greed, corruption, disrespect for the presidency and disrespect for the honourable members of the House, sheer lies, personal vendetta, insults and rumour peddling can be partly attributed to the fact that, when it comes to the role of the media in politics and nation building, the political landscape is overly tilted in favour of the political media segment.