Sunday, 23 April 2017

Time To Harness Media's Undoubted Power To Halt High-Level Corruption In Ghana

There is no question that the government's  fight against illegal gold mining in Ghana, would not have gotten the widespread support across the nation that it now enjoys, without the active involvement of the media.

It is a perfect example of  harnessing the power of the Ghanaian media for positive societal outcomes.

It really is such a blessing for Mother Ghana that today the more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media are  clearly demonstrating that they are now alive to their responsibilities to the Ghanaian nation-state and  to its citizenry.

Clearly, without the media's active involvement  in the fight against illegal gold mining it wouldn't have gone so well thus far - and neither would it have spread so widely so quickly. Without question. Definitely. Full stop.

Flushed with their victory against illegal gold miners, now the media must also commit to fighting high-level corruption in Ghana, with the same passion it is helping to fight illegal  gold mining - to save the country from being bled dry by powerful and influential thieves-in-high-places operating from the shadows to drain the very lifeblood out of Mother Ghana.

For example, to help President Akufo-Addo fight high-level corruption successfully, the  media must constantly shine their varied-powered spotlights on the processes and mechanisms being used to actualise government initiatives such as: 1-constituency-1-million-dollars; 1-district-1-factory; 1-village-1-dam; and taxpayer-funded cash bailouts for distressed but potentially profitable private-sector businesses.

To be successful in that regard, the media must ensure that every pesewa of taxpayers' cash  pumped into all the initiatives mentioned above is properly accounted for, and put into the public domain on an ongoing basis.

This is no time for taxpayers' cash to be allowed to disappear into the financial equivalents of blackholes - as a result of  pork-barrel politics in Ghana.

All the initiatives mentioned above  are potential hotspots of yen-abaan-enaa-aaba-corruption  - perpetrated by the mean-spirited my-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong myrmidon-types slowly destroying Ghanaian democracy with their foolish, and antediluvian block-headed intolerance.

It is vital therefore that in addition to being vigilant over the aforementioned initiatives, the media also demand that the criteria used to select the distressed but potentially-profitable private-sector businesses  earmarked for taxpayer-funded cash bailouts, are made public by the appropriate sector ministers. It could breed high-level corruption - and countless duds will be chosen for political patronage reasons to the detriment of hapless taxpayers.

Above all, given his background as a successful player in Ghana's financial services sector, the media must ask the minister of finance, the Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, to, as a matter of urgency, tell the nation precisely what ethically-anchored steps he has taken thus far, to ensure that  any allegations of conflict of interest made by the cynical, cannot possibly be justified by  any fair and independent inquiry.

Furthermore, it is important that the media ask Hon Ken Ofori-Atta to reassure the nation that despite his business  background, the Republic of Ghana  will not be disadvantaged in any way whatsoever, in his work as Ghana's finance minister - but rather it will be  Ghana that will instead benefit from his experience as a highly-successful businessperson.

He must also state without any equivocation  that there will be no conflict of interest situations that will arise during his tenure as Ghana's finance minister, which  will result in any of the financial services sector business entities that  either he, or any of his family and friends have interests in profiting handsomely at Mother Ghana's expense - as a result of insider information or insider dealing. 

Finally, the question is: Has the time not now come for the Ghanaian media's undoubted power to be harnessed to halt high-level corruption in Ghana once and for all by shining their respective spotlights on the system ever more brightly? Food for thought.
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