The past week had seen some unfortunate incident in our national life. A member of parliament was assassinated in what came across as a shock to many, if not all Ghanaians.
While the nation mourned the fallen member of parliament, some citizens had taken it on their own to muddy the waters of discussion pushing the unfortunate event into a political matter.
A country in which everything from the pulpit to the banking hall is politicized, we could imagine the difficulties allowing such political twists on important security issue could lead us to.
We have seen issues that must receive serious attention from authorities losing their potency because they had taken political twists. We live in a country in which to be able to hide your crimes, you must align with a political party and then, you have your ticket to shout witch haunting.
Events after a suspect of the assassination was picked up and was said to have confessed, was something we must frown at as a nation. The linking of people in the seat of government to this case was sickening.
If for nothing at all, the person in question is a presidential staffer and such baseless allegations on him was to say the least, unfortunate. We have tolerated such irrelevant and dangerous posturing of tagging people to issues they have little idea about for far too long.
In elucidating what made such claims ridiculous, I would pose a few questions. What is Stan Dogbe’s interest in the death of the member of parliament? Has there been any contact with the two over issues anyone knows of? What does the party of Stan Dogbe, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) stand to gain in all of these?
This is a member of parliament from a constituency where no matter the candidate put up by the NDC, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would still win, at least in the short to the medium term.
What then would be the interest for Stan Dogbe to cause his assassination for another by-election that would bring additional burden on the tax payer, a burden that would eventually fall on government of which he is a part.
I have watched the reactions from across the various new media platforms and I could appreciate the damage such attributions, even though false, could have on the persons usually involved.
Speaking to some people, it was the truth. Some colleagues I associate with nearly burst out into tears after hearing the alleged involvement in the case by Stan Dogbe. In fact, one such friends called me and these were her words “ASK, I am really heartbroken this morning. How could Stan Dogbe do such a thing?”
As a matter of fact, I saw a statement released by Stan Dogbe in the morning of that day, but never gave it the attention it deserved because I knew Ghanaians would be able to read between the lines.
My perception about how people consume media had changed almost immediately. I had noticed that, while some have the power and ability to crosscheck and confirm such stories, others are good at analysing the entire issue and getting informed. However, it is not everyone that has the ability to look into the options and to make cogent decisions.
To some, the mere fact that it was released in the media be it social media, or radio as was reported to have been the case with the same Honourable member I took on in my last week’s article, is enough for them to believe.
If people who have the power to decipher between truth and concocted stories are even unable to do so but would allow themselves to be hoodwinked into this quagmire, I can appreciate the need for a release from Stand Dogbe and subsequently from the Ghana Police.
We have a huge task ahead of us. The new media has become dominant, and social media had become the worse form of such community platforms that are supposed to bond us together.
The mediums serves as major tools for us in information dissemination in one breath and a dangerous object, so it appears, on the other hand when not handled well.
If care is not taken, we would be jeopardizing our future. In this specific case of the murder of the member of parliament, the operations leading to the arrest of the perpetrators is expected to be done on the quiet. But, that was not to be. This, we must watch and be informed about.
It is time we take steps to regulate these platforms that seem to provide the space for recalcitrant behaviors. In some jurisdictions access to Facebook is limited to some specific contents. The authorities must consider steps to sanitise our operations on such platforms within the shortest possible time especially as we head into a major election.
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