Dear Mr. Sport Minister,
“Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.”-Desmond Tutu
I want to draw your attention to the ongoing politics of marginaliation and disrespect being embarked upon by your Ministers and the present administration against your very own.
History will not be kind to me if, I refuse to point out or draw your attention at this juncture, to the level of conscious discrimination against journalists in this country, especially the so-called media favorably disposed to the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
As a Ghanaian, who lived under the eight years (2001-2008) administration of John Agyekum Kufuor, I know what exclusion looks like and I can smell it, but is not funny.
For eight years, journalists, who supported the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, were given special treatment; a media fund was set up at the Ministry of Information then led by Asmoah Boateng, to take care of them. They were given monthly allowances, as a motivation for them to give off their best.
In opposition their journalists, still get preferential treatment, because they value their worth and work.
It is no wonder that even in opposition the NPP, still control the media in the country.
Mr. Minister, I have decided to make this an open letter to you, because I know you will not be in the country by the time the paper hit the news stand, but at least someone will inform you, maybe the President, since he has been invited to observe the opening ceremony, this is to enable you appreciate and understand, the frustrations we are going through, as a result of the blatant disregard and lack of recognition, despite our efforts to get the attention of the government.
We have sacrificed so much for the party and the Government, for some of us, all we have to show for is the law suits hanging on our heads and unnecessary insults we receive from your opponent.
I think, I am also taking our case to the court of the public opinion, by writing an open letter, after all the talks and admonitions are yielding no fruit.
The NDC media, have never been so short-changed like the present administration of which you are part, has done to us in the last one and half years.
Presently, you are the most popular Minister in town, due to the importance, we attach to football in this country.
The world cup in Brail, presented to you a unique and rare opportunity to write all the wrongs and the treatment meted out to us by this administration, by making sure that at least each media house is giving a ticket to send somebody to go and cover the event.
To add salt to our injury, your Ministry totally excluded journalists from the 15-member ‘celebrity’ ambassadors for the World Cup; this is not only marginalization, but pure hatred with impunity.
I am not happy and I know that many of my colleagues share in this sentiment, we are at the cross-roads, we have sacrificed everything for this administration and the NDC, we are not welcome at the other side, yet the people for whom we made those enemies, do not give a hoot about our feelings.
I am disappointed in you, Mr Minister. I am requesting for explanation on why not a single journalist is qualified to be appointed an ambassador from the 15 celebrities, who could afford to pay their way to Brazil, but have been given free ticket to go and do what exactly, I do not know.
The Ministry, has outline some initiatives to make sure the country derives maximum benefit from the participating in the tournament, we missed out at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups in Germany and Brazil respectively.
So it came as no surprise, when some Committees were set up to in conjunction with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the Ministry of Tourism to get investors and investments into the country. Some members of some of the Committees even went to Brazil to study the place before the tournament start. This trip was made without taking along journalists, to report back to the people, how their tax monies are being used.
The Ministry, has done the unthinkable again, by excluding the media from embarking on the trip, I do not know whether as usual, the Monkeys have been excluded for the Baboons, which is usually the case.
I cannot begin to list the names of newspapers and radio stations that are considered NDC media, but so far I have not heard of anybody amongst us, who is on a plane to Brazil, instead some celebrities, who have not dreamt of defending this government and do not care a hoot about the NDC party are rather giving first class ticket to Brazil.
Often, when people in the kitchen are denied a plate when the food is ready, this is what you expect to happen.
Today, many people are condemning the celebrities, as though they appointed themselves; they have been reduced to public ridicule and condemnation for no fault of theirs. They are equally taxpaying Ghanaians, who deserve recognition for what they are doing and how high they have raised the flag of Ghana.
I am sure many of them will be regretting now for answering to a national call.
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, seem to be goofing ones too many