The past regime was lenient in its application of the media law and that’s what the Minority in Parliament wants the current administration to do.
The opposition lawmakers want the door of lawlessness opened in the face of a law their government passed.
Former Environment Minister, Mahama Ayariga captured this when he pathetically told Parliament Thursday the National Communication Authority (NCA) does not need to be “over-serious” in the application of Section 13 of the Electronic Communications Act (2009), Act 775 and Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011, LI 1991.
I was not surprised because this group of lawmakers has been inconsistent on everything but lawlessness. Their love for lawlessness is unmatched and this explains why nothing worked under the past regime.
The lawlessness of the past National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration plunged the country into disorder. Systems grounded to a halt, morality thrown to swine, law lowered to favour cronies and corruption replaced the national anthem. The song in town was ‘do what pleases you.’
The John Mahama government hurt the future of Ghana more than what Ghanaians did to his political fortunes in last year’s elections.
The Minority will never disappoint. The reaction of NDC MPs after some 131 radio stations were sanctioned for various breaches of a law they passed, shows they want a repeat of the lawlessness that benefited them.
But the country needs a new order because no nation can develop without a discipline, responsible and law-abiding media. If the media want to hold the government, state institutions and citizens accountable, they have to be prepared to be same.
Else all these cries for the deepening of press freedom and pluralism will amount to nothing if we allow the media to slide into lawlessness day by day.
It’s either we go for the kill by insisting on the right things now as a people or we get consumed by the irresponsible media. We can’t aim for development and at the same time allow the lawlessness to fester.
That is why sanctions levelled against the 131 radio stations for various breaches of the Electronic Communications Act (2009), Act 775 last month should be lauded.
I couldn’t agree more with Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful when she told her colleague MPs that the country must do the right thing or die trying.
“We cannot continue to flout our laws [because] the evidence of our lawlessness is everywhere… chocked gutters, dying forests, dangerous streets, noise, squalor, the list is endless,” the tough-talking Ablekuma West lawmaker said.
The only thing the Minority is capable of saying and has said is that the exercise was done to clamp down on radio stations that are not aligned with the government. It’s an unintelligent mumble.
It was clear after the October 7 gas explosion at Madina Atomic Junction that there is the need for proper regulation and management of everything in the country.
I don’t think actions carried out with legal backing could be termed as political persecution or threat to press freedom.
I support the position of the Communications Ministry when it said it will give the authorizations of the sanctioned radio stations to new applicants if they failed to pay their fines.
“It is preposterous for anyone to suggest that the implementation of a law this House has passed is a threat to media pluralism,” Ms Owusu-Ekuful said and I think the reaction of the Minority is shameful and reactionary.
Let’s be serious as a country and ensure that the media are not allowed to be disorder in their attempt to seek orderliness.
The author, Austin Brakopowers is a Broadcast journalist at Joy99.7 and views expressed here are exclusively his and do not reflect the position of the Multimedia Group Limited or Myjoyonline.com. You can reach him via Brakomen@outlook.com
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