Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin
Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin

Purge toxic political space - Afenyo-Markin urges media

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has called on the media to throw their weight behind national efforts to detoxify the unhealthy political atmosphere in the country to aid the course of democracy.


He said the present environment was “too toxic, especially in an election year”, stressing that the media must prompt politicians to be mindful of pronouncements that undermined peace and stability.

“If we do not get pinned to do the right thing, we may think that, for the sake of votes, we should say whatever we want to say, and these do not help democracy,” he said. “We have gone far, but we can do better if issues of impunity are all addressed, and you, the media, will lead the charge and push us to do the right thing,” he added.

Be objective

Speaking during an engagement with the management of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) in Accra yesterday, Mr Afenyo-Markin said “media platforms such as the Daily Graphic should rise up to the occasion of telling us straight in the face to do the right things, and you will receive my support”.

He was accompanied by officials, including the Research Associate, Ahmed Rufai Adamu, and Bilingual Secretary, Raissa Enyonam Amessofe. The Majority Leader was received by the Managing Director, Ato Afful, who was supported by the Editor, Graphic, Theophilus Yartey; the Director, Marketing and Sales, Franklin Sowa; the Director, Finance, Samuel Essel, and other officials.

“We may think that the media are too objective, but what we as a political class are forgetting is that it is the objectivity that will aid us, and we should have a heart for constructive criticism.

Any malaria drug is bitter, but it is that which will heal you,” he said. The visit allowed the Majority Leader to deliberate with the company’s management on ways the media could help to promote peace and stability in the country ahead of the December polls.

It also allowed the Leader of Government Business to learn at first hand the diverse operational processes within the state-owned media. 

Discourage antagonism  

The Majority Leader said since 1992, Ghana had successfully organised electoral polls and urged the media and politicians to be constructive on the issues they raised and discussed.

“Ghana can only develop if we focus on the issues; I do not believe that a politician should mount a political platform and attack another politician as a means of winning power.

“We should table our agenda for transformation, and that is what will help. I would, therefore, encourage you in the media to also act in a manner that will discourage unnecessary antagonism and tension because a lot of time, tension emanates from what is disseminated,” he said.

Urging the security agencies to remain firm in the enforcement of the laws, Mr Afenyo-Markin appealed to the public to have confidence in the institution that had the responsibility to run elections.

“We should constructively criticise them on things they do wrong and commend them when they get it right,” he said.

National successes

On development, Mr Afenyo-Markin said within the sub-region, Ghana had chalked up some appreciable level of successes in the areas of sanitation, education and private sector growth that would help address the unemployment situation.

Describing the Daily Graphic as “a noble newspaper” that best told the stories of what happened in Parliament, Mr Afenyo-Markin commended the company for projecting issues that positively impacted the lives of the people.

“I, in particular, think you have done so much for my constituency; but for your publications, people will not know what I am doing in Effutu, and I want to say a big thanks as I appreciate that.

“Let me commend the company highly for all that you are doing for our democracy,” he said.

Accurate information

The MD of GCGL said there would be concerns about accurate information in the election year as misinformation and disinformation might heighten, particularly across digital channels that did not have the editorial controls and systems that the Daily Graphic had, saying individuals or publishers who had access to devices could “say anything, write anything, post anything without being challenged”.

Mr Afful said as a media organisation, GCGL had a responsibility to report accurately on issues, emphasising that it was not interested in the negativities, but rather in the issues that would serve as the building blocks and pillars for the country.

“We commit to do our best, holding on to the company’s mantle of ‘Truth and Accuracy Every Day’,” he said. He said the company was leveraging its national archives to fact-check itself on a day-to-day basis.


“Graphic has seven-and-a-half decades of accurate, well-researched news literally bordering on contemporary history of the land, some preceding Ghana’s formation, which we have digitised, and this serves as a bedrock for fact-checking some of the developments that happened in our country on the day-to-day basis. So, what happens today will be in the records, and would be available for search. So accuracy is very important to us,” he said.

Company’s duty

Mr Afful said once history was recorded daily, the company held it as a duty not to report on issues that were untrue and could hurt the Graphic brand “and I believe that when we are aware of this, we cannot go out to be making pronouncement that do not sit truthfully to this brand”.

“For those of you who are serving this land at that level of importance, we expect from both sides of the house to be factual and accurate in providing information. The good people of this land look up to you,” Mr Afful said.

He said the media were partners in the nation-building agenda, and that Graphic had its teams in the regions and on the ground to provide information about issues concerning the people.


“When we see things and bring to the attention of duty bearers, it should not be seen as criticism, but rather intelligence,” the GCGL MD said. He said if the government, politicians and parliamentarians saw the media as partners, they would get the necessary information for national development.

He supported the view of the Majority Leader that most media practitioners, especially with the state-owned media organisations, needed to be exposed to important training and opportunities that would build their capacities.

“When you do not build the capacity of the company you own, what outcome would you be getting? This institution is yours, you do not need permission to use it. You can only get the best of it when you have also helped to shape and to grow it,” Mr Afful said.

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