Former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong has revealed that the conduct of some ‘partisan media’ is the reason some clergy men are unable to speak on national issues.
In recent times, the clergy have come under fire by some media houses for relenting on criticising the unpopular and harsh policies of the Akufo-Addo government unlike they did during the erstwhile Mahama administration.
Popular among media personalities who have called out the clergy over what they describe as wanton dissipation of public funds by the NPP government coupled with a failing economy are Onua TV’s Captain Smart, Power FM’s Prince Minkah, Okatakyie Kwame Afrifa Mensah, Mugabe Maase among others.
Dr. Opuni Frimpong did not mention the names of these personalities or their organisations but was quick to say that then lack of editorial policies in some media houses are “silencing voices of wisdom in the country”.
“The challenge of extreme partisanship has a lot to do with the Ghanaian media at the moment and the owners of the media houses. Because we have people who have specific political interest setting up media houses using those media houses to pursue their political interest,” he said.
So sometimes you are not sure of their editorial policy because people sit down and say all manner of things and nobody stops them.”
”Some of us are suffering from these media houses because when you speak the truth they will not even listen to you, they will even insult you. They always expect people to speak in favour of their political parties. That is gradually silencing the voices of wisdom in Ghana,” Dr. Opuni Frimpong stated.
He made these remarks while speaking at a public lecture as part of activities marking 100 anniversary of Presbyterian Church of Ghana- Akuapem Presbytery Ascension Congregation in Koforidua.
The event was under the theme “The Church as an Agent for Consolidating Democracy, Economic Transformation and Social Equity in Ghana: Prospects and Challenges.”
According to him, the Christian Council speaks when necessary therefore there should not be an impression that those with voices of conscience are in bed with the government.
To justify the seeming silence on their part, the renowned clergy man said, “What is amazing is that some of the things we are saying today have been said in the past but when these politicians are in opposition and you say some of these things they receive it in good faith and even congratulate you but when they are in power they don’t want to hear these same words.“
“ It is a political strategy because when they are in opposition they cry differently but when they are in power the sound also changes”
Rev. Dr. Opuni Frimpong also raised serious concerns over the rate at which politicians are establishing radio and TV stations for aggrandizement.
He called on the National Media commission to strictly enforce ethical standards in the media space.
“Until the National Media Commission intervene to address the issue with the owners of media houses how to eliminate partisanship of the media and pave way for objectivity to take it course, then we will have a long way to go as a country,“ he lamented.