The National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, has called on the media to safeguard the peace Ghana is enjoying by using their platforms to champion development and unity.
He said the media must not take Ghana’s peace for granted after the terror attacks in neighbouring countries, adding that the Ghana Armed Forces are on top of their game to protect the nation’s borders.
“The media by definition is an independent institution. There is a limit to the role of other accountability institutions but the media possesses the independence that enables it to hold the government to account.
“It is a very important duty the media play, which is why we get concerned,” Kan-Dapaah said at an engagement with the media aimed at sensitising journalists to Ghana’s newly drafted National Security Strategy (NSS).
“That is why it is important that our media men and women don’t play with the security and stability of the country.
“Also, it is important that the media is able to do away with sensational stories that have very serious security implications, and not because it will help to sell newspapers and get viewership,” he said.
“We don’t help ourselves by continually raining down on our soldiers. This is the time we need our soldiers.
“Be circumspect about what you write about our security agencies. We want to build trust with the state security apparatus. It’s not in our interest not to work with you. Help us to [make] the country secure,” the minister urged participants.
The engagement is the first of three sessions, put together by the National Security Ministry and the Ministry of Information, to solicit broad-based input from stakeholders, including the media, on the implementation of the NSS.
Kan-Dapaah said the government is using the engagements primarily to equip the media with appropriate information on the document and how it will be implemented.
He emphasised the need for the Ghanaian media to be circumspect in their daily reporting, especially on issues which have national security implications.
Participants included journalists drawn from television and radio networks in the Central, Greater Accra, Oti, Volta, Western and Western North Regions.
The NSS document
The NSS document was launched on 7 June 2021 by President Akufo-Addo as one of a range of measures to co-ordinate a national response effort which will help to protect and safeguard the country from threats, risks and challenges to its security and stability on the domestic and international fronts alike.
For his part, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, whose ministry facilitated the engagement, underscored the need for extensive education and sensitisation on the strategy’s content.
He said the engagement is important because it will give interested groups the opportunity to deepen their understanding of their roles in implementing the strategy.