Recent developments on the African continent is very worrying and must be nib in the bud before it escalates. In recent times xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa particularly Nigerians is a deep concern that reflects the deep-seated animosity towards each other we have courted as a result of our inability to root out corruption. Indeed, such attacks had occurred here in Ghana some few months back when Ghanaian traders went up in arms against the Nigerian traders ostensibly for taking over their businesses.
It must be emphasized that entrenched corruption that has been ‘formalized’ by political class in Africa has caused pervasive poverty on the continent which has boomeranged and escalated the mass exodus of Africans to seek greener pastures outside of their country. The phenomenon has gotten to such levels that, people have virtually sacrificed their humanity and sense of security and safety to the extent of adopting the “if-i-perish-i-perish” attitude. Scores of Africans have lost their precious lives in the Mediterranean Sea and the Libyan desert just to cross into Europe so they can work and feed their families.
The whole problem in Africa has been and still is endemic CORRUPTION. For example, good health care, quality education, housing, and even food is reserved for a selected few who are perched on the political ladder. I was personally elated when some African politicians were humiliated when they were spotted in Europe on their way to access medical care abroad. Here in Ghana, we have also witnessed how ultra-modern health facilities built by using the taxes of the citizens have been abandoned and, in some cases, sensitive installations like air conditioners, generators and machines have been stolen.
The future still looks chaotic and gloom with regards to spontaneous violent and or xenophobic attacks which is likely to expand in nature and scope if laser intervention is not quickly rolled out. In this regard, the media has a very important role to play in curbing corruption and corrupt practices in our public space.
By and large, the media in Ghana has not fair badly, but may I quickly add that the success of the media, in general, has been spearheaded by few individuals within the sector who have stood firm to expose the wrongs in our societies.
We expect the media to unearth the wrongs in our various institutions mandated to serve the citizens as the constitution ascribes. Pervasive corruption and extortions along our borders, for example, frustrate businessmen and women who trade along the corridor thereby impacting negatively on prices of goods and services.
Unfortunately, a section of the Faith and Civil Society has been heavily compromised by politics hence their silence even in this bizarre state of affairs. However, the media, which is assigned the fourth estate of the realm besides the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary cannot and must not fail us. In fact, the sanctity of the nation is now hinged on a very vibrant and corruption-free media.
I, therefore, call on the Ghana Journalism Association (GJA) to continue to closely work and firm up the partnership with civil societies such as the Ghana United Nations Association (GUNA) and other patriotic organizations and individuals to hold high the torch of justice, good governance and accountability likely to engender peace and development. When this is achieved, worthless migration among the African youth which is evoking tensions in some African countries will drastically reduce.
Africa can unite and must unite not by the politicians but by her ordinary people.