Sunday April 3, 2021 on the Christian calendar represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The news of the killing of an eleven-year-old boy Ishmael Mensah allegedly by his teenage friends Felix Nyarko 15, and Nicholas Kini 17 at Kasoa in the Central Region threw the nation into a state of shock. What is more curious is the ages of the victims and the alleged killers, the motive behind the murder, and the benefits to be accrued to the killers. The incident has indeed left a bile taste in the mouths of the family and the community. Preliminary investigations revealed that the two suspects after consulting a ritualist said to be in the Volta Region were asked to produce five thousand cedis, and a human being to be used for money ritual.
According to reports the two initially planned to kidnap the deceased and blackmail and collect five thousand cedis ransom to be paid to the ritualist. According to investigations, the two later discarded the idea. They later lured their supposed friend into an uncompleted building under the guise of selling him a video game and committed that heinous crime. Traditional, social and other media have been awashed with tones of sympathy, condemnations and questions. Anyone who hears this unfortunate news would ask, what in the world could motivate such teenagers to go in for ritual money? What do they need such huge amount of money for, considering their ages? Is there a breakdown in the social and family values? Have regulators such as NCA, NMC, BOG among others relaxed in the enforcement regimes? The incident in that re-ignited a number sad commentary, the wanton disregard and breakdown of our moral fiber which has been overtaken by the inordinate taste for wealth albeit through foul means.
The upsurge in moral decadence and get rich quick attitude ought to be tackled with an-evangelical zeal. The issue of money doubling and rituals among other fraudulence deviance have been with us for some time now, that discussions and debates die naturally in a matter of days and re-surface when and incident such as this recurs. The Ghana Journalists Association has indicated it is in the process of regulating the media space in terms of content generation. This it says is to bring professionalism and standards into contents and programmes produced especially by private stations. The topics to be debated and solutions propounded.
A cursory look at media content in recent years give credence to the proliferation of many a money doubling syndicates, activities of mallams, fetish priests and priestesses, pastors, spiritualists and crypto currency merchants. Not a day passes without people receiving facebook and other social media requests from such mallams. Many satellite TV stations have been inundated with money doubling ritualists, and others wooing unsuspecting, desperate and ignorant citizens under the guise of doubling the monies.
One sometimes wonders whether the Managers of these stations presented credible information to the National Communication Authority, NCA before they are given licenses to operate. Or whether they are even monitored afterwards. It is indeed our cultural values cannot be sacrificed on the aught of business expediency. The media ethics argue to be revisited and revised to suit the times. We sympathize with the bereaved family. As we wait for the case to be heard and judgment given all stakeholders must put their houses in order and be diligent in serving the nation.
By Abraham Donkor, a Journalist.