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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Serve As Links To Peace – Otumfuo To Media

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Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has said media practitioners have the capacity to use their mediums to facilitate consensus building in a bid to lessen political tension in the country.

“Never mind where the momentum of politics may be leading, the peace and stability of our nation must be inviolable, the media will be doing a great service to the nation and indeed to humanity if they can create an environment which encourages consensus building to lower the causes of tension within the body politics,” he said.

Opening the maiden media capacity enhancement programme organised by the Ministry of Information at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi yesterday, the Asantehene said “members of the media should be conscious when they are practising as professionals and when they come to politics.”

About 250 selected journalists are set to benefit from a media capacity enhancement programme (MCEP) annually paid for by the Ministry of Information, and the programme is expected to provide continuous in-service training for media personnel drawn from across the country in order to improve their skills for the industry.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said that the role of the media is crucial to the sustenance of peace and stability of the country.

“It is my hope that improving the understanding of our practitioners will contribute to the enhancement of the quality of the media and diminish the source of concerns we have today,” he said, adding, “Let me conclude with a fervent appeal to the media, to all our journalists and media owners, you all have a duty to protect and preserve the unity and stability of our country, in the face of all the turmoil in the world, you are proud because you can point to your country with pride and its stability and increasing success.”

“A challenging moment it has been but it is so for us to follow the Methodist hymnal and count our blessings, count them one by one and we will know what the Lord has done for us. That knowledge should inspire us to persevere, to work hard to douse conflict, work hard to forge unity and generosity of heart,” the Asantehene added.

MP’s Fight

He also said the recent exchange of blows in Parliament by Members of Parliament should serve as a warning to Ghanaians not to be complacent about the current peace being enjoyed in the state.

According to him, no one expected that the previous year would conclude with the august House degenerating into a brawl with very honourable members putting aside their debating skills in order to exhibit their punching prowess.

“The stress on our highest institutions of state and on the nation’s psyche has shown clearly that we cannot afford to be complacent, or take anything for granted both now and in the future.

“Recognising this also makes it necessary for us to take a good look at ourselves and the path we have embarked upon, seek any fault-lines that may appear so we can take the appropriate steps to mend them.

“Such constant introspection is necessary if we are to avoid the unexpected and secure the future for generations to come,” he advised.

Otumfuo lauded Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and the Ministry of Information for their efforts to assist journalists to carry out their essential roles through educational programmes, and urged them to sustain the good works.

The sector minister said that the Ministry of Information encouraged the stakeholders in media to work together to develop a capacity enhancement programme through which it could impact the landscape of practicing journalists.

He said the government had stakeholders’ engagement with the National Media Commission, the Ghana Journalists Association, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, the Private Newspaper Publishers Association (PRINPAG), the Institute of Professional Studies, and the Communication Educators Association of Ghana, civil society groups in media, selected leading journalists and media houses to enable the setting up of an Independent Working Group.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said, “In our industry there is often not much working together. We have not been united in building solutions to common challenges we face. This has mostly limited how much impact and growth we can record together. This therefore, is, a refreshing beginning and I pray the collaboration among players in the sector lasts. I encourage all stakeholders to see the strength in this collaboration as a compliment to our individual efforts to grow our industry together.”

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