Protect the nation from negative speculation, fear mongering – NPP to media

Ho Politics Media Circumspection
Ho Politics Media Circumspection

Mr Richard Ahiagbah, National Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has called on the media to shield the nation from negative speculation and fear mongering, which inhibits the development progress.

He therefore urged the media to realign with the mandate of development enhancement through unbiased communication and not necessarily give the opposition to the platform to seek refuge in national crisis and unceasingly scheme to make government unpopular with false propaganda.

Mr Ahiagbah was addressing members of the media fraternity in the Volta Region at an exclusive soiree organised by the Volta Regional Chairman of the NPP at his Ho residence.

The Communications Director said the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the main opposition Party, sought to sell the nation’s desolation as it weathered a global crisis, and alleged that the media had been caught in the daze.

“We have made some observations that we would like you to take note of for us – that has the potential to impact adversely, what Government is doing. Some media engage in reporting that in my view is inimical and which is what Chairman is underscoring that we must not toy with the peace we have.

My only observation is that in the media today there is a difficulty, where in the communication, especially on the radio and the rest is that it’s as if everything must be said by the NDC and that is it, and the NDC are free to say anything.

“They say anything without accountability. They are free to say anything and what they say appears to be the gospel. So, if NDC said, ‘Ghana is hard’, then people say, ‘yea, yea, yea… Ghana is hard’. You never ask them how Ghana under them was, and if Ghana is hard today, what is their solution to soften Ghana or to make it better?”

He said “The media has a responsibility to ask them those questions – to put them to a strict proof- to say that ‘yes, we are going through difficult times – we have admitted that the government had said so, and the NDC cannot have a free ride to say it’s hard and therefore they become the inevitable choice? With what proposition? What are they offering to say that therefore Ghana is hard under NPP and therefore this is the solution for you to be able to vet and for all of us to be able to look through and say this is a better proposition?’.

He went on to say, that, “the reality of the world today is that everywhere it is difficult… the unfortunate issue of covid, and as if we are coming out of covid then the war with Ukraine has exacerbated everything and the global cost of living crisis is real, and you the media can help is tell that story. There are instances where the media would discount that and say, ‘oh you say covid pandemic and the Russia Ukraine… so what are you doing?’

“It is like you have your cameras put before us and there is no light. You are good camera men, and you are good media people but without light you cannot run your cameras. That is the situation the world has been thrust into, and so we need your participation.

Mr Ahiagbah urged the media to champion a return to balanced reporting of the news, a forward reporting of the news that ensures that you hold both sides accountable, so we produce proposition.

“That is what we have in mind that the 2024 elections would be about ideas. But to succeed in that effort you must engage as fair arbiters. You must create the platform to say, ‘well, the NDC cannot just come here and say we are dying and that is it… Because we know you, we have seen you, we know your record, so what is it you are going to do different?’, so we can have a conversation of ideas. We agree with the challenges, and we can show you why we are in this situation.

“So if we come to terms with that and you can leverage your fairness and your independence to say that ‘let’s ask the questions and let NDC show us what they would do and let NPP show you what you do, we are confident that any day the ideas we have, the options we have for Ghana are always superior and the records will affirm that position.”

The Communications Director thanked the media for their commitment to the democratic cause and said an information structure would be created soon to help access credible information from the NPP.

He believed that in the year 2023, the party and the media would work even more closely to ensure that Ghanaians understand and are apprised with what Government is doing, and “we hope that we would continue that partnership to deepen it and make it more productive for our country.”

He said politicians and the media play complementary roles in nation-building, and whereas politicians bring development to the fore, the media also communicates that same development.

Mr. Makafui Woanyah, the Regional Chairman of the Party said the media had divine responsibility to guide the nation’s development trajectory along the pathways of truth and should be active in shielding progress from false propaganda.

He said the media should seek to retrain its fact checking function, which was much needed for the advancement of the nation’s democracy.

“One important issue I would like to raise is also the issue of security and stability of our democracy, Lately, people including some sections of the media have made statements and pronouncements that sought to undermine the peace and stability of our dear nation.

“Let’s hold dear our fledgling peace and tranquility. The press has a major role to play in the preservation of our collective security and stability,” Mr Woanyah admonished.

The Chairman who had revived a long-neglected tradition of press soirees in the Region, promised good working relationship with the media to facilitate mutual corporation and support in the year’s ahead.

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