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24 June 2013 | Editorial

Propaganda Theatricals

Daily Guide
Murtala Mohammed
Murtala Mohammed

Propaganda is no longer limited to spinning stories and causing these to be published on the pages of friendly or state-run newspapers.

It has taken the politically grotesque form of arresting persons and framing them up for the purpose of diverting the attention of the citizenry from the multi-faceted malaise of governance.

Too many questions are being posed about the sincerity or otherwise of government players in the face of many challenges confronting the country, queries too cumbersome and embarrassing for those at the helm.

The incessant fire outbreaks to hit the country and the gun-jumping report by the President and his lieutenants that arsonists from the opposing party to the ruling NDC are responsible for the crime against have not helped matters.

The embarrassing repercussions of the political gaffe have prompted government to run helter-skelter outside the overheated kitchen for an answer and eventually settling on the propaganda machinery whose lame manoeuvre is the subject of this commentary.

Arresting a number of persons and claiming they set the Kantamanto, Makola and even the Kumasi Central markets on fire appeared handy for them.  Unfortunately though, the ploy has fallen flat on its face as evidenced by emerging details of the persons picked up, as it appears elsewhere in this edition. A graduate, a mobile phone repairer and even the son of an NDC kingpin have made the list of the arrested details which Ghanaians are oblivious to.

Some propaganda stuff do not fly, they are stuck to the point of release posing as emotional irritants for the discerning citizens whose eyes it is meant to throw dust into.

It has generated enough queries for those responsible for hatching it that the credibility of releases emanating from government circles has been dealt an almost fatal blow.

Managing government information is a serious business because besides other attributes, it defines the quality of those at the helm. When people begin to digest information from government with a pinch of salt as being done now, governance suffers diminishing returns as the leadership becomes excessively paranoid blaming the other side of the divide for the hydra-headed shortcomings it is mired in.

Those responsible for managing the propaganda department must get a bit sophisticated and come off the almost pedantic stuff they churn out here and there when they are under pressure.

We have learnt that one of the suspects being held is the son of an NDC kingpin in the Bawku area who eyed the MCE position in the municipality.

How do we reconcile the gaffe that those behind the fires belong to the other side of the political divide and the foregone detail?

Getting serious and scientific in the handling of information or in communicating with the people requires a lot of finesse and sophistication to bring out the desired results. We have long outgrown this cheap propaganda. When will the arsonists appear in court?

Having arrested them, isn't it time to book the return flight for the Yankee investigators?

quot-img-1show me your friends and i will tell u what you'd become

By: lamptey quot-img-1