Sunday, 22 April 2007

What a Smith-like...?

Listening to Radio Gold last Friday, I couldn’t help but ask myself several times during the few minutes what at all is his point? One of the major problems we have in this country now is that, many a time, people surprisingly think that once they think in a certain way, everybody must necessarily agree with them.

The worse aspect is when the examples and reasoning for their arguments, positions and thoughts appear justified to them alone and nobody else but they don’t get it. Because of the new found craze of political & social commentating on radio and TV, panellists and others who have over night become newsmakers sometimes blow out hot air and want everybody to go along with them.

There are a lot of examples, but last Friday’s, was another spectacular one and I admired James Agyenim Boateng the more. James was a year ahead of me at journalism school, and our first real opportunity to talk came when he invited me and some others to the GBC studios for a youth program he was producing at the time.

On Radio Gold, I have followed and admired his composed yet subtle way of drawing out his interviewees and also challenging them where required. When his interviewee on Friday Victor Smith kept going back and forth without giving what is termed straight forward answers to straight forward questions, I knew he’ll get there, and there he did get.

Not even the taunts of Victor, suggesting that James had some motive or interest distracted him. But what at all was my friend Victor’s point? That there’s a ground for impeachment of the president because he made unsubstantiated claims of a coup plot, for which I can confidently say cost him to lose respect among some right thinking members of society?

And because he suggested to some MPs and they have not actualised impeachment proceedings, it is because they are too comfortable? And the measure of comfort is the car loans available to them to procure vehicles for their state functions and as Haruna Iddrisu put it, also used for party work?

Listening to Victor, I got the impression he’ll suggest in due course that members of the executive are also denied official vehicles so they don’t get too comfortable and forget about the core responsibility of being there for the people.

Our MPs quite clearly are not performing at optimum levels, and I dare say that but for partisan considerations, a lot of them would not have enjoyed re-election. We need to get more from our MPs than we are getting now, but any suggestion that it is because the MPs are too comfortable with four-wheel drives is farfetched.

I am one of the people who disagree with those who say there’s no justification for MP’s to be given car loans. If they’ll not get car loans then they should be provided with official vehicles; because as we all agree, they form a critical part of our governance structure.

I am told Haruna made other points I did not stay on to listen to, but for me, I always get worried when internal political matters are discussed and debated publicly. Just a few weeks ago, the NPP Greater Accra folks had their turn on radio, maligning & throwing verbal blows at each other.

And just when it appeared that the NDC was piling up the pressure and winning some public confidence following Mills’ Energy pronouncement and visit to Akosombo, and the absence of NDC public fights, Victor has poured petrol unto the naked flame.

Accusing MPs of taking ‘bribe’ is a serious allegation and I know that even those who might have taken some bribe (ala Victor) will not take it lightly.

We (media) will take it up, talk about it, dig for undercurrents and the anti-NDC media will skew it in a particular direction, but can you blame us?

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