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Northern Ghana is sitting on a time-bomb -Chief

2010-01-12 19:41:10
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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tarch House Media and Entertainment, Dema-Naa Mohammed Hafez, has stated that the Northern Region is sitting on a “time bomb” which could explode anytime, if the National Media Commission (NMC) does not act fast to clamp down on the media, especially radio station owners in the area, to stop recruiting “uninformed and mediocre staff” to run the air waves.

Mr. Hafez, also one of the local chiefs in Tamale with the title Dema-Naa, noted that it was incumbent upon the NMC to set the requisite standards for media operators in Ghana, and more especially, those in Tamale, in order to stop them from relying on cheap labour, which he said, ends up poisoning the minds of the people up North, who are already sensitive to political, tribal and chieftaincy issues.

He was addressing a section of the media in Tamale, in reaction to comments made by some panelists on one of the Tamale-based radio stations (name withheld), which sought to describe him and the Special Aide to the Chief of Tamale, Mr. Alhassan Basharu Daballi, as well as the Public Relations Office (PRO) of the Dakpema, Abass Salifu, as a “bunch of criminals”.

Meanwhile, none of these three personalities he defended has ever been convicted or charged with any criminal offence by any competent court in Ghana.

But, the host of the programme, he noted, could not insist on the panelists retracting their statement, or at least give the same opportunity to any of the three persons to defend the issue.

Hafez said though he personally went to the radio station to ask them to retract the allegation they made against him and others, the management of the station charged him with wrongful entry, which matter is still being investigated by the Tamale Police.

The Tarch House Boss noted that it was high time the NMC woke up to independently check the activities of the media houses, and their owners who hare giving the opportunity to “anybody at all” who could just speak either the English or any local language, to go on the air waves without being edited.

In his own estimation, about 80 to 90 percent of the staff of the various radio stations, especially the private ones, were not professionals, and had not had any formal training, but were working comfortably and gaining cheap popularities.

According to him, the majority of them, including the morning show hosts, usually end up using provocative words, inciting, misleading and misinforming the public, who sometimes out of ignorance, perceive these information as nothing but the truth.

Mr. Hafez, who is also a peace and development advocate, using the elements of entertainment, challenged the media to be more professional and play significant roles in the rebuilding of peace, unity and tolerance among the people up North.

He bemoaned that the media houses all over Ghana were sensitive to sensational stories that create tension, promote antagonisms, and impede the development processes of the country. “The radio station or the media should not be the channel for the unscrupulous people seeking their selfish interest to divide the people and assassinate the image of the few generous people who want to promote development.”

Using himself as one of those people with good intentions towards the promotion of peace, unity and development, Mr. Hafez asserted that he had become a prime target for those “nonentities” to always insult, chastise and try to pull him down.

“I work for God’s blessing, and not to please ordinary people. My loyalty to Dakpema, Naa Mahamoud Dawuni and the Kampakuya Naa, is because they are preaching about peace and development. So therefore I will continue to give them my support, and whoever thinks he can help, must come on board to move the north forward, but not to sit and criticize needlessly. All these unconstructive critics use the media to achieve their aims,” he said.

He therefore appealed to the National Media Commission to take steps to flush out the unprofessional people posing as editors, presenters and reporters, before they throw Tamale into disarray.


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