The Minister for Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has urged the media to be careful about how they report security issues in the country in order to prevent the creation of fear and panic among citizens.
He made this statement in a phone interview with Okay Fm’s Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie on the political show Ade Akye Abia on Thursday.
As monitored by ghlinks.com.gh, the minister made reference to a past news item involving a Yu-tong bus and one Amina, saying the media blew the whole issue out of proportion and that up to date, that said issue hasn’t been fully resolved and has completely been forgotten.
He noted that reporting security issues without getting the facts right creates unnecessary fear and panic in the country. “If you report an issue and you don’t get your facts right, you create fear and panic in society. How does the press report these issues without creating fear and panic?”
Moving forward, the minister urged the press to give assurances when reporting on such issues as it calms society down. “One thing is security assurances. Outside Africa, when the issue occurs, there is an update on ambulances, fire fighters and all of those. That gives viewers and listeners some form of assurance and creates calm in society”.
Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah responded to the on-going National security talks and said this wasn’t the first time the sitting government was having these talks. He said the government has had previous talks and is keen on having more of those to help improve security in the country. “This is not the first time we are having national security dialogues. Since the president came to power some two years ago, this is the fourth time.”
Responding to who the stakeholders were, he said it includes security agencies, civic society groups, security experts and government officials and that this time, they are discussing at length the issue of vigilantism. “Security agencies, civic society groups who have knowledge of security issues, security experts and government officials involved in security sat to discuss issues relating to national security”.
He noted that the issue of security has improved over the years but more can be done to make security better in the country. “we have improved with the issues of security. For the fact that there are stakeholders’ meetings going on nowadays gives a clear indication of progress. We have a couple of things to do though. We have to equip security agencies with their needed materials to help make their works effective”
The information minister disagreed with the notion that the dialogue was being held this time because of the issues that arose at the Ayawaso bi-election and said coincidentally, these dialogues come when there are security issues going on in the country. “it collided with the current issues we have at the moment. The last time the talks were held, the issue of mobile money theft and all of those were going on”.