Kabral Blay Amihere - Chairman of Media Commission Five Political Parties have urged media owners, particularly radio stations, to ensure quality control over the content of their programmes and desist from granting indisciplined politicians the platform to attack opponents.
The parties-the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), the Independent People’s Party (IPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) , therefore called on the media to stop giving prominence to issues that mount up tension and contribute nothing to the peace and security of the country.
They also urged television stations to play videos on the ethno-political and electoral violence in Rwanda, Kenya, Liberia and Sierra Leone to intensify the awareness of the need to maintain peace and unity.
They argued that media reportage, especially on radio stations over the past weeks, had given much attention to political issues between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP), which they described as unprofitable.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in separate interviews in Accra, the chairman of GCPP, Mr Henry Herbert Lartey, the founder of IPP, Mr Kofi Akpaloo, the General Secretary of the PPP, Mr Kofi Siaw-Asamoah, the chairman of PNC, Mr Abu Ramadan and the Communication Director of CPP, Nii Armah Akomfrah, all urged their members to refrain from activities that could truncate the national peace and unity.
Mr Lartey said it was so sad that at the time that the message of peace must be sent to the people, particularly the youth, the media especially some radio stations gave space and airtime to issues that put fear and panic in the citizenry.'
He observed that the negative reportage had the tendency to scare potential investors away since nobody would risk investing in a country which was characterised by political tensions.
Commenting on utterances of some political party leaders, Mr Akpaloo said focus should not be geared towards condemning offenders but rather “we should correct the system to stop it from happening again.”
“It would surprise you to know that some top journalists in the country wake up in the morning expecting bad things to happen so that they can use it for their own selfish gains. Some ask questions which make you to wonder whether they are really trained journalists’’ he said.
Mr Akpaloo said the radio stations had failed woefully by deciding to play back recorded hate speeches on their programmes, cautioning that Ghana would be heading towards doom if the citizens took peace and stability for granted.
Touching on the issue of tribal politics, Mr Asamoah appealed to religious institutions and civil society groups to educate their members to refrain from the act describing it as bad and divisive.
“I believe that everything that is happening in Ghana can be laid at the feet of the NPP and NDC. We have allowed these two parties to retard growth and development with their personal interest. It is surprising that the media, whose responsibility it is to act as a watchdog for the country, is giving prominence to their activities,” he said.
Mr Asamoah described those who indulged in politics of insults as “politicians who don’t have anything good to offer the citizens.”
Mr Akomfrah condemned the utterance made by Mr Kennedy Agyapong and called on him to publicly apologise to the Ghanaian electorate since it discredited him as an honourable MP.
He called on the media not to tolerate acts that he said had the potential of causing great division and hatred, particularly institutions and organisations.
Mr Ramadan appealed to the media, the Electoral Commission, the National Commission for Civic Education and civil society to work hand in hand to intensify the peace campaign.
He also urged the citizenry to conduct themselves in a mature manner in the upcoming general election.