MONDAY’S announcement by the Minister of Communications, Dr. Omane Boamah, that the President, John Mahama, has granted remission of pardon to the Montie trio, has been received with mixed reaction.
While some have praised the President for the decision to grant the remission to the three; made up of Salifu Maase (also known as Mugabe), Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn, others have expressed disapproval.
The Montie trio were sentenced to a four-month jail term and fined GH¢10,000 each by the Supreme Court for contempt of court.
The President’s decision to remit their sentences on compassionate grounds followed a petition submitted to him by the contemnors appealing to him to exercise his prerogative of mercy, even as they continue to express deep remorse and regret for the unacceptable statements they made against the Judiciary.
The President in arriving at the decision, consulted with the Council of State and exercised his powers under article 72 of the 1992 constitution.
Since the announcement was made on Monday evening the matter has assumed a political dimension steeped in the partisanship for and against.
Typically, those who are speaking in support of the decision are those who are politically aligned to the President and those who are opposed to the decision are the political opponents.
The Times is concerned about the partisanship of the discussions surrounding the decision taken by the President. Our worry is that we are likely to lose the real lesson in the entire matter.
What we have observed is that we are not listening to each other and arguing among ourselves even though both sides may have very solid grounds in the argument.
Those who are arguing in support of the remission have some solid points and so are those who are against it. But because of the deep polarised positions on political partisan lines, the discussion is blurred.
It is completely distressing that we cannot, as a nation, agree on simple issues that confront us everyday.
The Montie trio palaver is yet another case, which instead of bringing us together behind a common position on the role of the media in national development, is gradually drifting away into politics.
It is unfortunate that everyone complains about the performance of the media, and yet when the opportunity, as despicable as it has presented itself, we are about to fluff it.
We cannot continue like this. We must all come together and confront media infraction in a non-partisan manner to ensure peaceful development.
We are not aware of how the decision of the President can be reversed.
He has taken the decision and the rest is for all of us to look out for the lessons in the whole palaver.
The arguments and counter-arguments are unproductive and retrogressive. Ghana must move forward even as we pick the lessons along the way.