Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo would today, Friday, December 13, 2019, before noon, meet a cross section of Ghanaian journalists to account for his stewardship after three years in office and most likely tell what he would be doing in 2020, aside campaigning for his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP)
This is a good thing. The President speaking to the media means he is speaking to the country at large. It would be about the third official media encounter the President would be having since he was sworn into office.
We only hope and pray that this time round, the event would not be partly used as a time of sycophantic praise singing. The Presient does not need that. He has more than enough eloquent bards around him and in his party to sing his praises.
There is a time for everything. We can celebrate the President on his birthdays and shower all the praises on him and recount his achievements and wish him God’s blessings.
But not on a day like today when Ghanaians in need of development are awake and glued to a television or radio set in hope that a critical question that affects their wellbeing or community would be asked and given an appropriate response.
For a President that has lived 50 years of his life in active politics, there should be no media encounter whatsoever that should scare him or any question he would be incapable of answering.
It is no secret that in planning such media encounters, there is the tendency to plant specific question among a section of the media so as to make the President look good.
This would not help anyone. It makes the journalist sound less intelligent. It makes the otherwise brilliant event look artificial and cosmetic. It deprives the President another opportunity to have an organic feel of the actual situation on the ground. It becomes a disservice to mother Ghana.
It is people who love you that are courageous and honest enough to tell you the truth no matter how bitter it may be.
We understand that running a media house is costly and sometimes when you are seen to be critical of governments, certain favours and support is denied you.
We can live with that because it is worth the sacrifice.
Once the criticism is constructive and genuine and well intended, we leave it for posterity to judge rather than trade our conscience and dignity in exchange of newsprints and production cost.
Let our colleagues attend today’s media encounter having in mind that being in the media is a calling and a ministry that should not be traded for favours.
We expect a frank and honest discussion in an atmosphere of mutual respect when the President meets Ghanaian journalists this morning. Long live Ghana.