Need we refine our language and content on ghanaweb?

Feature Article of Friday, 19 April 2013

Columnist: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta

By Kwesi Atta Sakyi

10th April 2013

In John 11:35, it is stated, ‘Jesus wept,’ which is said to be the shortest and most terse verse in the holy tome. Did Jesus weep for himself, for humanity, for his friend Lazarus who was dead, or for the pity he felt for his friends Mary and Martha? Some Bible commentators of the synoptic gospels will have us believe that the weeping of Jesus showed his humanity, even though he was the Son of God and in triune with the Godhead of God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and God the Son. Need we reflect on why Jesus wept? In the case of Ghana, if Jesus wept for the whole of humanity, then he also wept for us.
Since he was the alpha and omega and said somewhere that before Abraham the patriarch, he was with the Father in the schema of things in the creation of the universe, what scientists call the Big Bang, Jesus knows our plight in Ghana today and we believe he will hear us. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a goon as a ruffian or especially one hired to help break a strike. The word is said to have been derived from the fictional character, Alice the Goon, created by E.C. Segar (1894 – 1938), a US cartoonist. In the case of Ghana, can we state that a goon is anyone contracted or hired by government detractors and opposition political party to pass derogatory remarks, heckle, lampoon, satirize and drag the name of the government in the mud by literarily making mountains out of mole hills or creating storms in teacups, or raising false alarm of wolf, wolf?
Goons, in the case of Ghana, are also those mischievous characters who populate Ghanaweb and other internet fora, with half-truths, damnable lies and highly senseless and sensational and fabricated concoctions, just to dent the image of the ruling government and cause public disaffection, disquiet and perhaps, rebellion. Is that not tantamount to the high felony of treason, sedition and perhaps, on a personal level, libel and character assassination? Unknowingly, many non-discerning columnists on Ghanaweb have committed, are committing and have intention to commit further acts of these dishonourable, unpatriotic and dastardly acts of atrocious atrocities. What do these hirelings achieve by peddling lies on Ghanaweb to mislead the gullible Ghanaian reading public? These cheap pamphleteers need to think twice before they put pen to paper or as it were, touch their keyboard and button to send.

We must endeavour to put paid to these illegal acts of spreading false rumours likely to dent our image abroad as a peaceable, hardworking and law-abiding citizens. I am not holding brief for anybody but as an impartial senior citizen, I think I have the onerous duty to call people to order if they are going astray. I know what I have written will draw vitriolic effusions and invectives but need I care, so far as I am speaking the truth?

Thus, those goons who think themselves smart but in reality they are dull, weird, crass, gross and base ought to jack up their act and observe netiquette on Ghanaweb by choosing their words carefully and verifying their facts before rushing to press. It is patently and abundantly clear that for some considerable length of time now, Ghanaweb has been grossly debased and abused by the vociferous vituperations of voluble vultures of base and irrational mentality, so much so that many readers and commentators have withdrawn and held back. This is because those discerning and respectable individuals have found that some articles have sinister motives, of running down the government even when the government is trying its best to fix problems and deliver on its promises and remit.

Everyday, times without number, we read on Ghanaweb huge amounts of stories purportedly reporting humongous and gargantuan malfeasance and corruption in government circles but we do not get any substantial facts from these serial scribes except huhudicious (alarming and dangerous) and atrocious allegations. Where are the facts and figures? Is it much ado about nothing or a hullabaloo? Why don’t we have arrests, or better still, why don’t government spokespersons and PROs come out to give us their versions? Who is fooling who? How can we run a country on gossip and hearsay? Don’t we have very serious developmental issues to ponder?

What do we say to huhuuhu (fearful) gossips being bandied and peddled around on Ghanaweb and other media? Is that the best way to develop a country? I don’t think in the USA or UK or in any advanced and civilised country, they stoop so low, as we do in Ghana. Is it the price we pay for freedom of information? Who is going to crack the whip to stop this rot and bring everybody to heel? Webster defines gravitas as reserved dignity or as I put it, carrying yourself high, with dignified mien, and having urbane manners, having good taste and a sense of propriety. Please, let us all behave with some sense of gravitas, restrain, decorum and patriotism when we go on Ghanaweb or any of the numerous online media such as ghananews24, Spyghana, worldcom, ghanavillage, ghananewsaid, peacefmonline, infoghana, ghanaherald, ghanaheadlines, myjoyonline, vibeghana, sankofa, saharareporters, among others.?

It is high time we stopped spreading destructive and unproductive gossip to our undiscerning and gullible reading public. What do we gain by spreading dissent and disaffection? We gain nothing but self destruction as a people.

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