Sometimes, when we are over excited, we say things without giving it much thought. We get carried away in the moment, the euphoria and atmosphere suggests to us what we should say, but upon sober reflection, usually after the programme, we come to the realization that, we did not speak well.
My opening statement is what is going to guide my article as I try to understand and appreciate what the Second Deputy of parliament and Member of Parliament (MP), for Nadowli, Alban Sumani Bagbin, meant when he said on Thursday at the National Democratic Congress headquarters that “The NPP takes care of the media better than the NDC even in opposition”.
Before anyone attempts to dissect his statement, it will be good to want to find out from the Honourable, what he has done as an individual to help create that rapport between the NDC and the media?
It is said that, he who pays the piper, calls the tune, the NDC as a party, has always played the victim when it comes to its dealings with sections of the society.
You will hear them say, lawyers are against us, judges are against us, the Catholic Bishops Conference are against us, teachers are against us, medical doctors are against us, Christian Council of Ghana are against us, even children are against the NDC.
The situation sometime sounds pathetic when you hear them complain about not having favour with sections of the society.
Everyone goes where he or she is appreciated and welcome, even a goat when it makes an attempt on your crop and you beat it, it will never come again.
Human beings are creatures of habit, the NC, has perfected the habit of pushing people away. The NDC, has the unique advantage and privilege governing this country more than any political party, so if any party, should have favour in the eyes of Ghanaians, it is the National Democratic Congress.
On the back of the envelop count, they are more newspaper that are predisposed to the NDC than the NPP. For radio and Television, it is difficult to tell, except to say, as many supporters of the NPP that work for a radio or television station, you will have the same number or even more supporters of the NDC.
What could be the problem then?
I am not talking policy or ideology; I am simply comparing Human For Human!!!
The value both place on the media is different, while the New Patriotic Party sees the media as partners; the National Democratic Congress sees them as adversaries.
For eight years that the NDC was in government, nothing was done consciously to placate the media, which stood by the party from 2001 to 2008.
Our elders say, it is your love that will determine the stew that will be prepared for you. Former president, John Dramani Mahama, sometime last year, said the media cabal was preventing his message from getting to the people. I was scandalized because it was coming from a communication expert, who ought to know, how to woo the media.
Besides, there was nothing like media cabal, even if for purpose of discussion there was one, nothing prevented you from creating your own media cabal.
The Deputy Minority leader, and Member of Parliament for Ketu North, James Avedzi Klutse, addressing journalists in the Volta Region on the occasion of the World Media Day, said, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is working on “courting the media” to offer better opposition to government’s programmes and projects.
The NDC, does not need to court the media, what the party needs is to build the capacity of its media, and no media anywhere in the world can match the force with which they will move.
The NDC, has over the years labeled it own media as not being credible. Yet it is not credible newspaper like the Ghana Palaver, Enquirer and a not credible radio station, like the radio Gold that held President John Agyekum Kufuor’s government in check for eight years.
The NDC winning the 2008 elections was among others the effort of these media houses, but what happened when we won power. The Ghana Palaver and the Enquirer today are not on the newsstand.
The party needs to go back to the drawing board and begin to appreciate the effort of its media houses. They can try as they did, whiles in office to buy the silence of the media houses predisposed to the NPP, but it won’t work, especially when the NPP is in power.
President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has shown the NDC, how it is done. He is rewarding their loyalty, commitment and hard work. Every media house or journalists who played a role in his success story, has either had a pat on the back or had appointments to serve in his government in one capacity or the other.
The NDC is a party that parades great minds such as the former president, John Dramani Mahama, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, Alban Bagbin, Haruna Iddrissu, Amissah Arthur, Hudu Yahaya, the list is endless. So it is disheartening if after more than 20 years of fourth republican dispensation, the party is still talking about courting the media.
We go to church every Sunday and mosque every Friday, because of reward and punishment. Reward comes in so many forms, it is not only monetary but a simple appreciation and recognition is all one needs.
Everyone in the party must take responsibility and recognize that what we do today, the choices we make, first as individuals and then as a party, have consequences and will shape the kind of political establishment that they build.
Dear Alban Sumani Bagbin, you already have a media that has shown commitment, tenacity and a sense of purpose even in the face of ridicule by your action and the actions of every single individual in the party.
The NDC just celebrated 25 years of establishment last week, do you know we did not get an invitation to cover the programme, that is how pathetic the situation is.
A word to the wise they say is enough.