Former President John Dramani Mahama has expressed profound sadness over rumoured allegations that some media personnel are paid to attack their colleagues who are fighting against corruption.
The 2020 flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said the media personnel need to save the country in a time when anti-graft institutions are also under attack in the fight against corruption.
Speaking at the Ahmadiyya Convention on ‘Corruption with the theme: A threat to national development, peace and security’, he said, “the watchdog role of the media enshrined in the 1992 Constitution is gradually being thrown to the dogs.”
He believes that the media which has the power to hold government accountable is falling foul to its own principles of being for the people because it cannot be a part of the corruption and claim to fight against it.
According to him, this situation puts the country in a paradoxical bind in which the media whose key role is to be a watchdog for the people is rather a watchdog for the government against the people.
Quoting the 1992 Constitution he said, “The constitution in Chapter 12 says the media shall be the watchdog of the people and so the media shall be our watchdogs over government to make sure that government does the right thing and does not misuse our money.”
He cited the frustration of not resourcing the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu to enable him to fight corruption as well as the spanner thrown in the works of the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo as examples of government’s lack of political will to fight the canker.
The only way for the government to be corruption-free, according to Mr Mahama is to strengthen the anti-corruption institutions; fund them appropriately and provide them with the human resources for them to do their work.
So far, he doubts that has been happening.
He called on government to be tolerant of criticisms when organisations and investigative bodies are exposing corruption.