By Abdul RazakBawa
Dear Sir, please permit me to use this medium of open letter to communicate to you and please consider all protocols observed as I crave your indulgence to excuse my matter of fact approach in this letter.
Mr President Sir, perhaps, I should begin my letter by mentioning that, I was one of many Ghanaian youth, who clamouredfor you in both the 2012 election and the 2016 election, which did not go our way.
Not only did I vote for you in both elections, but I took a position and went public with it through my weekly articles, which espoused your attributes and the development projects, you have set in motion, which can only be rival by that of our first president and founder, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Mr President Sir,my unflinching support for you was borne out of the conviction that, you cannot fight today’s war, with yesterday’s strategy. Our fathers have played their part in shepherding the country to where it is today, I believe the death of president John Evans Atta Mills, was a sign from God that, his generation must handover the mantle of power to the next generation, of which you happened to be the chosen one.
As a country, we cannot be driving forward and be looking in the rearview mirror.When it is said that, there is light at the end of the tunnel, you are that light. You are still the hope of a better tomorrow.
Mr President Sir, the purpose of this preamble is to provide a background to the values I hold and a window onto my disposition as a progressive Ghanaian who believes in the maxim ofgiven one his due.
Mr. President Sir, while it is not my intention to pretend to know more than you, as I believe you have sufficient and capable intelligence at your disposal to acquaint with the facts, I must say not all is well.
Sir, our elders have a saying that the one who charts a path, might not know that his back is not straight, as I believe you have a lot f issues to deal with, your scale of preference or priority might be different, so let me help you realize this.
Mr President Sir, the most despotic president since 1992, Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, when he was declared by Madam Charlotte Osei, the then Electoral Commissioner as the victor of the 2016 election, in thanking people, who have been with him during the arduous journey in his acceptance speech, he did not leave out journalists, he mentioned Abdul Malik KwekuBaako, EgbertFaibile Jnr, Ken Kuranchietc.
With your permission Sir, let me quote him for emphasis, “I take this opportunity to thank you, members of the Ghanaian media, for your continuing engagement in the public interest of our country. Your vigilance and activism are now by-words in the consistent efforts our people are making to carve a secure, democratic future for themselves. Senior journalists like Abdul Malik KwekuBaako, Gina Blay, Egbert Faibille, EboQuansah, Ken Kuranchi, KwamiSefaKayi, Samuel Atta Mensah and KwabenaKwakye, amongst others, have set admirable standards of professionalism and ethical conduct which should guide the younger generation.”
Mr President Sir, I felt goose bumps, it was like this is a General you can follow to war and be rest assured that, the spoils of war will not elude you.
These journalists did not only believe in the man, but the man believed in them and he appreciated the contributions they made, no matter how little to him getting to his destination.
Mr President Sir, this is not directly related to the subject matter, but have you noticed the undeserved accolades Nana Akufo-Addo, showers on his appointees anytime he is to introduce one of them, or the person is mentioned in his speech?
Mr President Sir, on the day to mark World International Media freedom Day, you addressed the nation and called on the government to take measures to curtail the harsh realities under which practitioners work under the current regime.
Your call was in the right direction and was exactly what the country needed.
Mr President Sir, you followed up on your call to protect and preserve the lives of journalists, especially during the coronavirus pandemic with a donation of Personal Protective Equipmentto the Graphic Communications Group.
I was excited, first of all because, you are a leader, who walks his talk and secondly, that the lives of journalists, who also play the role of a frontline workers, matter.
My excitement was cut short, when I waited without your office reaching out to other media houses, including ours to make similar donation.
Graphic Communication Group,is a government entity, which owes allegiance to the party in power. Since its establishment in the 50’s, it exists to serve the interest of the government in power. It is arguably the biggest print media house in Ghana.
GCGL,has the capacity to attract donations, not only from political parties, but the corporate world.
All over the world, even in the most advanced democracies, media houses are divided along party lines, Ghana is no exception.
Some media houses are predisposed to the National Democratic Congress (NDC)¸while others owe allegiance to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The NPP, has shown both in words and deed that, it knows how to take care of its own. It never leaves anyone behind and that includes it media houses.
The NDC, even in power has failed woefully to build strong and resilient media coalition that, would be available in difficult times such as we found ourselves to trumpet the message of the party.
Mr President, Sir, the closure of Radio Gold, which was at the time of its closure a pale shadow of its former self, is one classical example that, should tell you that, all is not well.
Sir, I remember when you were in power, you made mention of a certain media cabal, imagine how that cabal can be strengthened now to make sure that, your messages get distorted before its reach the final consumer.
Mr President Sir, social media, has come to stay, it is the new world order, but we are far from reaping the full benefit of it. Even in the United States of America, with almost 100percent internet penetration, mainstream media, is still a force to reckon with.
Mr President Sir, the NDC media exists to serve your interest, our destiny and the destiny of millions of Ghanaians are tied to yours, and we can only serve you well, when we are alive.
Mr President Sir, we cannot be passed over in the sharing of PPEs, it is not that we cannot provide for ourselves, but the symbolic gesture, it is the kind of love that, will energise us into action, and will take a bullet for you any day.
The days, when it is said that, the NDC, does not take care of its own must end with you. Muslims pray five times a day, and Christians go to Church every Sunday, because of a promise of Paradise, we don’t get the reward of politics in Heaven, we can only get it here, which is why we belong.
Mr President Sir, the NDC media, has become like the orphans in the media industry, and it tells a lot about how the party treats it own.
Many of our newspapers are off the stands, not because of lack of will, but because while in power, they was no deliberate policy to build their capacity to be able to withstand the shocks of opposition.
Since 1992, most NDC newspapers have taken flights like the summer birds anytime the party is inopposition.
Mr President Sir, when I was growing up one of my favourite tabloids for accuratenews was the Ghana Palaver, today the paper is no longer on the newsstands.
The Enquirer, in the lead up to the 2008 elections, was a paper that served the NDC and Ghanaians well, as I write to you it has folded up.
They are many examples, including the Ghanaian Lens, the Daily Democrat, Crystal Clear Lens, the Catalyst, etc.,the list Mr President is endless.
Your Excellency, I am not suggesting that, all these newspapers, should be revived but at least we can protect and preserve the ones that are left to continue to remind and hold this government that makes promises and forget so quickly.
Mr President Sir, accept my assurances of goodwill and remember I will continue to cherish and support your vision of building a cohesive and all inclusive nation.
Long Live your Excellency.