Former President Jerry John Rawlings has described the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as one that lacks “political sensitivity”.
According to him, this shortcoming makes them lose sight of the wishes of Ghanaian electorates.
He said the inability of the hierarchy to gauge political atmosphere in constituencies made them often support persons who are not loved by the electorate.
He said the outcomes of such decisions had eventually led to abysmal performance and loss of seats during elections.
“If you have any political sense, straight away, call your man to step aside and give it to the man whom the people have shown such warmth. And when I had such problems, I tell the people’s favourite to go and stand as independent candidate. If not, we will lose the seat to the opposition,” he said.
Mr Rawlings, who was speaking to executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) at his office in Accra on Thursday, said even though he had made a similar assertion at a recent gathering of the NDC in Kumasi, no media outlet captured the remarks in their reportage.
He said, “This goes to show how influenced the media landscape has become by elites in societies who use money to determine what the media agenda of the day should be.”
The former President tasked the leadership of GJA to put up what he called a fight of positive defiance to weed out “mercenaries” in the landscape who thwart justice by concealing the truth.
“Without truth, we can’t develop, we can’t move ahead and development will be stunted; it will be extremely expensive and idealism will be partially crucified,” he stressed.
Besides, he called for the safety and protection of journalists by all stakeholders, and encouraged journalists to be discerning enough to make informed judgements by saying that “you cannot afford not to know enough; you have to know it all”.
“You have no idea as to the kind of joy and satisfaction you give to people when they can read a line of truth,” he added.
The GJA delegation, which was led by its President Affail Monney, paid a courtesy call on the former Head of State to invite him to its upcoming awards ceremony which climaxes the GJA 70th anniversary celebration held under the theme: “Democracy, freedom and independence of the media in Ghana: 70 years of GJA’s contribution”.
The 24th edition of the awards ceremony is set to take place in Accra on November 23, 2019.