Peace and security are crucial for the nurturing of Ghana’s young democracy. Yet the media do not appear to give serious attention to these issues.
A Research and Development Consultant Kojo Impraim is urging media houses in the country to establish Peace and Security Desks to give special attention to those issues.
He said many media houses have established Business, Political and Current Affairs desks as a way of priority to the neglect of peace and security issue which ensures theirvery existence.
Mr. Impraim made the call in an interview with the media on the sideline of a workshop organized by the United Nation Development Programme, UNDP and Centre for Democratic Development, CDD in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
The workshop focused on sharpening the knowledge of participants on conflict sensitive reporting and peace building as election 2020 approaches.
It was attended by selected journalists across the country.
The training was under a programme known as a Consultative Platform initiated by the UNDP and CDD to promote dialogue and build consensus on national policy response to systematic governance issues.
Other partners of the platform are National Peace Council, Ghana Journalists Association GJA, National Development Planning Commission, (NDPC), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Office of the Senior Minister and YES Ghana among others.
The Multi–stakeholder Consultative Platform for Peace and Democratic Governancealso seeks to strengthen partnership with civil societyorganizations, the media, government and the private sector to develop workable and pragmatic interventions to deal withcritical issues that promote peace and good governance.
The Research and Development Consultant Mr Impraim said Ghana is touted to be one of the peaceful countries in the sub-saharan Africa.
However, literature on Ghana’s security is quite worrying.
He said a research conducted by Small Arms Commission in collaboration with Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre revealed that about two-point-three million small and light arms are in circulation in Ghana.
“The issues that are happening are too close for us to be comfortable. We need to do quite a little more to address the possible threats to peace and development in this country”,
Mr. Impraim emphasized. He cited media polarization as well as the mistrust between political parties and the security institutions as factors that need to be addressed.
He said depending on which party is in power or in opposition the NPP and NDC always have a perceived mistrust towards the police and wondered how long would that continue.
He said, “Issue about the mistrust towards the Electoral Commission concerning voters’ register keeps on coming upevery electoral cycle. We do not seem to trust our institutions. It also means that the institutions need to do a bit more for the Ghanaian to have confidence in them that they are the arbiters when it comes to enforcing electoral laws, when it comes to ensuring that election is peaceful, credible and fair that all of us will accept the result”.
Mr. Impraim also raised issues concerning criminal administrative system saying the judiciary has a responsibility to ensure that impunity is addressed in this country.
Story filed by GBC‘s Sualah Abdul-wahab.