The Show Must Go On
The Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga last week unfortunately added his voice to ugly noises to the effect that the live telecast of the election petition case pending at the Supreme Court was wrecking the economy.
His call came just about three days after his colleague Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini had bemoaned the effect of the election petition arguing that it adversely affected investor confidence in the country. Other notable social commentators went for the jugular and called for an immediate broadcast of the court proceedings but the “Let My Vote Count Alliance” has strongly disagreed with those assertions and calls.
While the LMVCA expressed “a great deal of appreciation to the Supreme Court for its decision to air proceedings of this historic case live”, it took “exception to and strongly disagree with the perception and fear that economic activities are stalling, as expressed by some individuals.
According to the Information Minister, investors would be enthralled into Ghana when productivity of the country was enhanced but devoting several hours to televise the election dispute before the Supreme Court will negatively affect the generation of revenues for the economy and as a result, pose a threat to the national kitty.
“This is wrecking the economy…So, clearly, it will have an impact on the economy. It will have an impact on revenues because if there isn’t much traffic on the port, there isn’t much traffic in the economy. The income that will be tasked will not be there. And so, ultimately, our ability to deliver on our commitments and our targets may be affected by these things that are happening”, Mr. Ayariga observed last week in an interview on Radio Gold, an Accra based private radio station.
Mr. Inusah Fuseini also speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday 20th April, 2013, maintained that a careful examination of the petition would establish how costly the exercise had been to the country by insisting that “This election petition is very costly, costly in terms of production; productivity has gone down drastically.”
The LMVCA in a press release issued over the week warned propagandists who were pushing for a halt in the live telecast.
“LMVCA wants to sound a simple note of caution. Further interference in the justice delivery process by halting the live telecast of Supreme Court hearing will only incur the wrath and outright displeasure of the good people of Ghana. In any case, economic activities grinding to a halt whilst the entire nation seeks justice in this case could be deemed as the right price to pay for Ghana opting for democracy.
“Ghanaians are aware that in countries where the legal routes were ignored and power dislodged through brutish and democratically unacceptable means, the nation was brought to a standstill any way. In light of the above, whilst we appreciate dissenting views as a component of sound democratic practice, the let my vote count alliance deems it highly retrogressive, disingenuous and anti-democratic any further move by word or action on the part of any citizen who intends rising up against the live telecast of the Supreme Court proceedings.”
According the group, “the live telecast of Supreme Court proceedings has given Ghanaians the opportunity to have first-hand knowledge of proceedings from the court room, rendering propagandists redundant and defunct on the matters of the proceedings”.
“The live broadcast of proceedings, we believe, will enhance transparency and educate Ghanaians better. Any subterfuge approach to deny the voter this fundamental right and or privilege would be considered anti-democratic and would not be tolerated by Ghanaians.
“Ghanaians have opted for democracy and the pursuit of justice at the Supreme Court is a move to deepen and consolidate Ghana’s burgeoning democracy”, it observed further.