The route to peace and tranquility
The National Media Commission (NMC) has spoken. Like most institutions and individuals who have found their voices after a long lull, the NMC has announced its condemnation of what it calls hate language coming from both sides of the political divide.
It is appropriate that the institution legally mandated to regulate the media has spoken at last. We would like to believe all sides of the media divide would listen to wisdom from the NMC, and behave appropriately.
Invariably, the section of the media which supports the party in power tend to behave as if they are the untouchables, and go ahead and heap virtual garbage on the people of Ghana. They tend to insult, ridicule, and make mockery of very serious suggestions and people making those suggestions, especially, when such suggestions do not tend to praise the administration of John Evans Atta Mills and the party that props it up.
That it has taken all this while for Ghanaians to realise the danger in the intemperate language being spewed in the name of politics on the media landscape, tells everything about the hypocrisy that has underlined the way Ghanaians do things.
In 2008, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was at the receiving end of hate language without any institution, including the National Media Commission, even calling for proof of the wild allegations being made in the print and electronic media.
There were well advertised allegations that the New Patriotic Party candidate was dealing in drugs. There has been no proof. Meanwhile, the NDC press has been going on and on about this allegation at this point in time.
The Chronicle is of the opinion that the Media Commission would take measures to end these wild and baseless accusations which are only trumpeted to seek unfair advantage, and which irks people who believe in their presidential candidate to exact their own revenge.
Hate language in the body politic did not originate with Kennedy Agyapong's statement. As a matter of fact, it has been the trump-card of some leaders of this society, and their followers who resort to hate languages and insults against their rivals anytime the going got tough.
Hypocrites that we are, we all bury our heads in the sand pretending to hear no evil, see no evil and say no evil. When the shoe is pinching on the other leg all hell breaks loose.
That is why our efforts at finding a lasting solution to the problem ought not to concentrate on Kennedy Agyapong's statement, as if it is an isolated case. There is a bigger problem out there that has not been addressed. As the Member of Parliament for Assin North himself told The Chronicle at the weekend, his statement, which was in response to how the registration exercise had been hijacked by thugs wearing distinctive colours of an identifiable political party, has created the avenue for the discussion of very serious issues in society, and helped to lower the temperature in the body politic considerably.
We are of the view that so much is going wrong, because a large number of the populace is beginning to lose faith in the police, especially to be seen to be impartial. We do not believe that this is a tag our law and order enforcers would like to wear for long. We believe the police officers and men would begin to reform themselves.
When the ordinary man begins to build confidence in the Police Service as a fair and neutral institution dispensing justice without political colour, much of the tension in society would ease. In the interim, we hope and pray that the National Media Commission would be bold to shame media houses and individuals using the media to undermine the peace and tranquility we all enjoy.