Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has decried the ‘winner takes all’ system of government in the country, citing it as a threat to peaceful co-existence and development.
He said the system has exacerbated the already existing acrimonious politics resulting in an erosion of the country’s political and economic gains.
“The winner takes all system is exclusionary and serves as a potential source of threat to peaceful co-existence, development, efficiency and equal distribution of public goods,” he added.
Speaking at the 24th edition of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards in Accra on Saturday, Dr Bawumia called for a reasoned solution from all stakeholders, particularly political parties, to tackle the canker for the country’s common good and posterity.
The event, which was to climax the platinum anniversary celebration of the GJA, was on the theme “Democracy, Freedom and Independence of the Media in Ghana: 70 Years of GJA’s Contribution.”
It saw six journalists of the New Times Corporation (NTC), publishers of Ghanaian Times and The Spectator, scooping various awards while Doreen Hammond of the Junior Graphic was adjudged Best Journalist for the year 2018.
In all, about 60 journalists and media organisations were awarded while about 113 individuals and institutions who have championed media freedom and growth of the profession in the country were honoured with special awards.
The Vice President called on Ghanaian journalists to practicse the profession in accordance with its ethics which was pillared on truthfulness, loyalty to citizens, discipline of verification, independent monitor power, independence and creating a public forum for criticisms.
He urged journalists to eschew acts that devalue the profession and does not seek the general wellbeing of the populace and rather embrace journalistic ethics.
To be able to provide the citizenry and the world informed and initiate policies and programmes that would inure to the benefit of the people, Dr Bawumia said government values the strong relationship it has with the media and was committed to support the work through a capacity enhancement programme and ensure the safety of journalists.
“The need to have a coordinated mechanism for the safety of journalists has gained prime importance in the world following rise in attacks on journalists.
“Additionally, the need to have media function exceptionally in our democracy has birthed the capacity enhancement programme. These interventions are being designed by the GJA and the Ministry of Information. It is my expectation that these interventions will serve us all very well,” he added.
He implored journalists to use their medium to promulgate development-oriented news, provide constructive criticisms and proffering workable solutions to build the country.
Mr Roland Affail Monney, President of GJA, called on Ghanaians to help fight against intermittent attacks on media freedom and disturbing cases of assaults on journalists.
He explained that the situation has contributed to undermining of press freedom in the country leading to Ghana dropping from first to third in Africa on the World Press Freedom Index by Rapporteurs Sans Frontiers (RSF).
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS