“Democracy simply means the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.” OSCAR WILDE, [The Soul of Man Under Socialism]. A few years ago, I would have found it outrageous for anyone to even suggest this in a jovial setting. Today, I am swayed by the events of the recent months to give it a due consideration as the hard and bitter truth.
This bitter truth, seems to rear its ugly head time and again when a journalist features in the news only for the cause of being at the receiving end of violent assault for the reason of fulfilling his or her responsibility. This truth takes on an air of impunity when these cases are ignored and left to die out because contrary to the plethora of statements released after each incident, no one really cares.
And those whose jobs it is to care seem to find it rather too great an inconvenience;
“Sometimes when these cases happen we only here of them in the news…. we will advise journalists to take step because an assault on a person is a crime. Take steps and report to the nearest police station and make sure the police enter the case.” Those were the words of Director General of Public Affairs for the Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu at an interview after a series of incidents that saw journalists being assaulted by politicians and policemen alike.
And I agreed – it seemed only logical that the police be informed before legal action could be taken. That was until I decided to analyse the facts. Today, after a month of silence and what I presume to be ‘investigations’, the New Democratic Party (NDC) have finally discovered the security personnel who found it his sole prerogative to dish out hefty slaps to an unsuspecting Multimedia journalist.
My shock came at comments made by parliamentarian, Mr. Nii Lamptey Vanderpuye when he spoke in an interview on Joy News channel saying that “whenever they [police] are ready to take action, the person will be handed to them.”
A month! And all we have to show for it was that if the police found it convenient, they could go and apprehend the individual who had no qualms with violently attacking a journalist because he ‘threatened his authority.’
At this rate, we might as well consider the profession an act of suicide.