“You have to kill the Tutsis, they’re cockroaches.”
“All those who are listening, rise so we can fight for our Rwanda. Fight with the weapons you have at your disposal: those who have arrows, with arrows, those who have spears, with spears. We must all fight.”
“We must all fight the Tutsis. We must finish with them, exterminate them, and sweep them from the whole country. There must be no refuge for them.” “They must be exterminated. There is no other way.”
These were the exact eighty-five words that also fueled the claiming of more than eight thousand life’s in Rwanda in 1994. The country was shake up by an outrageous massacre of life; it was shred to pieces. An estimate of eight-hundred thousand Rwandans fell victim to the mass killing. Due to one’s irresponsible and uncensored articulations,lives were exterminated, properties were ruin and citizens became immigrant or refugees in other states.
Rwanda wasn’t the only nation that was disturb and smoked by civil war, Syria was also another victim of such circumstances. On February 2011, a 14-years-old Syrian boy sprayed an anti-government slogan on his school wall in Deraa, Syria. His writing claimed to have taunt the President of the nation, Bashar al Assad. This boy`s few expression on his school wall led to a civil war and claimed over half a million lives in the country.
If MouawiyaSyasneh who was just 14-years-old and his prank written on his school wall could have shaken and turn a nation into ashes. And Ferdinand Nahimana, Hassan Ngeze and Kangura whose words on Radio Television Libres des Mille Collines in Rwanda had played a role in the genocide that took place in the country. It is no doubt that our actions and utterances can cause a huge detriment to us and our nationas large.
Upon all these overtly evidence at our disposal folks proceed to turn a blind eye and deaf ears and proceed to act and behave in a way that will place our ‘mother land’ in jeopardy. I know my readers are pondering on the reasons behind these aforementioned articulation and the bearing of this writing. It`s not for my amusement to pen down anyone in this articlebut the uncharacteristic and unprofessionalism from some of our leaders and some citizenry has brought this written into existence. As a citizen of the state, I am obliged to voice out and express my sentiment on any deed that deemed to be unethical. I have turned a blind eye of being a spectator to a citizen.
It has explicitly and objectively come to my awareness for over one and half a decade nowthat, some of our leaders and citizenry who have took podiums and media outlets have made certain assertions of which the repercussions could have impede the country`s freedom. I think we are fortunate as a state to have swerve such unforeseen atrocities synonymous to that of Rwanda, Syria and the rest.
For political reasons, power and selfish interest and fame, we have received numerous comments and assertions in the public sphere that I think we should have made to pay by now. But I say objectively that this is not far fetch, if we don’t reframe from it. Why this emphasis?Our political, non-political leaders, and power seekers whom people trust and heed toare placing our beloved Ghana in peril. Why this assertion?
Prior to 2012 election, the flag bearer of New Patriotic Party (NPP) and now the incumbent President of this Republic made an ‘All die be die’ statement all in the name of gaining power. He made this assertion base on his hunch that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are scheming to rig the 2012 elections. This statement of his cause a stir in the country. Even though he came out and said people misquoted what he said and even gave a distinct interpretation to it, that didn`t have any impact. Both the now incumbent government and their biggest rivalry NDCwrestled over it. Agitation clouded the country,people even hada feeling the 2012 elections will be a dicey one. Butall things being equal, the elections came into being and the issue was put to rest.
Four years down the lane, another incidence also transpired known as the ‘Montie FM Saga’ which led to three people being incarcerated as a result of threatening a high court judges when they were given a platform on Montie FM. Their utterances could have also caused chaos and turmoil but the issue was curtailed and shoved aside.
Just a year later after the Montie FM Saga, the Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC),KokuAnyidoho was also arrested for predicting coup against the incumbent regime. He was also detained and queried for his assertion. It became the order of the day,creating confusion and turmoil in the atmosphere. The issue was deliberated on, condemned and erase from the public sphere.
As if this wasn’t enough, just anotheryear down the line another bombshell has also been dropped by the Presidential candidate of the NDC, John DramaniMahama. On his visit to the Volta Region made a statement of matching NPP “boot for boot” in the imminent 2020 national elections. He sounded a word of caution that NDC has a revolutionary root and when it comes to violence no one can beat them.
What an intriguing statement from a formal statesman. I was stun by this utterances of his! Did he meant good with what he said or otherwise? Was he articulating that in 2020if he hypothetically lose the elections won`t heacknowledge the outcome?This is what runs through the minds of many Ghanaians and even more adhering now he is the presidential candidate for his party. We the citizenry of this nationcan`t condone the tendency of havenleaders who can`t control their emotions by making statementswhich may one day be detriment to us.
One fascinating thing about all these is, some of these prominent people own media houses and has a wide range of listener’s. A typical example is the Member of Parliament for Assin North, Kennedy Agyapong. Who owns Oman FM and is known for making ostentatious assertions. This man in 2012 sat on his ’Frequency Modulation’ (FM) and declare war on all Ewes residing in Ashanti Region. And even threaten to lynch security personnel’s if they intervene.
This articulation of his was an unworthy one. In retrospect to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda one of the things that ignited the civil war was the use of the media. Where three journalists incited one tribe against the other. The above statement from the Member of Parliament for Assin North isn`t distinct from what also instigated the genocide in Rwanda.
We have a myriad media house in the country who are operating without following the principles or canons of the profession. Now a day’s, people turn to use the media houses to incite and obtain their objectives. The propaganda and malicious lies being disseminated per day cause for concern. This is where National Media Authority (NMA) should intervene and perform their responsibilities of being instituted. They have been in slumber long and it’s time for them to wake up! I say, it’s time for them to filter the media arena and scrap the bad ones or else we will be struck by an unforeseen storm.
To our precious leaders and citizenry of the state, I say to you that we have come far as a nation to be gambling with our lives and the liberty we are enjoying in this state. Please let us halt any activity that will place the only country we have in peril. We are one people, let not fight, and lose lives and what we have worked for so many years because of our own selfish interest. Let think of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren before we say or do something that will hamper the peace we have enjoyed still now. Let all live in harmony for the betterment of our beloved Ghana. GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA, GOD BLESS US ALL.
Ghana Institute of Journalism.