I wish I never say anything about Manasseh Azure’s recent attack on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. David Asante-Apeatu, recently published on Ghanaweb.com, yet commonsense, posterity, and ethics in journalism keep striking me to, at least, add my opinion.
Reference the media landscape in Ghana, the media is an essential organ of the democratic set-up, an important vehicle of communication and instrument in the creation of public opinion, and has earned the trust to serve public interest. Again, the media has to provide honest, detailed, dependable and credible accounts of events concerning all issues.
This is very important to deepen the democratic credentials of Ghana, and to prove to the world that given the right environment, they are capable of managing critical issues. The media, therefore, cannot fail Ghana on this, and at this time.
It is at this point that I find it worrying that irrespective of the principle of fair comments, a journalist could use such unprintable words to describe the affable, respectable, energetic and accomplished IGP, all in the name of freedom of speech.
Much as I tried to apply the principle of ‘end justifies the means’ to understand the writer, I could not get his justifications for his use of those words on that nobleman, after reading some portions of his phrases in that write up.
As a matter of fact, Manasseh Azure’s words on the IGP, as reported by MynewsGH and published on Ghanaweb, to me were unethical, culturally wrong, politically misplaced and unwarranted.
Ido not think that the IGP has a problem with the media, as he operates an open-door policy, so one could have used more media-friendly terms to address a pertinent issue relating to the general crime situation, than to use such words, which rather took the essence of the write up away.
I do not think the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, article 5 on human rights and 162 on freedom of the media, permits or promotes such words on any individual, not to talk about the IGP.
In fact, from my background, I cannot use the biggest font of quotation mark as a justification to describe a course-mate derogatory, not to portray any head of an institution, as the writer did in his article.
I, therefore, think the writer should not attempt to justify his words used on IGP in his recent article that it is permissible to use quotation because the phrase has already sent a wrong signal in the opinion of right-thinking Ghanaians, as it did attract my attention.
I expect the writer, Manasseh Azure, to, as a matter of spirit of cooperation, freedom of expression and in reference to UDHR article 1, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood,” render an unqualified apology to the Inspector General of Police and to retract same.
I believe the writer knows the pedigree of the man Asante Apeatu, his persona, character, integrity and the capacity to competently see to it that the Ghana Police Service is transformed into a world class police service, capable of delivering, planned, democratic protective and peaceful services up to the standards of international best practices.
I entreat all Ghanaian to treat those words as unfortunate, and that they are not the real description of the Inspector General of Police.
As we all have our images and reputations to protect, let’s have respect for authority for once, because it is God who has placed them there.
J, County, Community 2 –Tema