Joy FM reported over the weekend, the plight of the pupils of Kperisi primary school in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region. The pupils have no furniture to sit on and have to lie on their bellies to write on the bare floor during class hours.

The story broadcast on both television and radio was so pathetic that it touched the heart of Dr. Muhammadu Bawumia, running mate to the New Patriotic Party flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who promised to deliver furniture to the school.

A few hours after Dr. Bawumiah had made the promise, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Alhassan Nuhu Putiaha came out to announce that his outfit was ready to provide furniture to the school and that there was no need for Dr. Bawumiah to honour his promise.

The MCE, after making this pronouncement, reportedly went ahead to threaten the headmistress of the school, Rosina Diedong, with sanctions for inviting the Joy FM reporter to the school to disgrace him (the MCE) and his office.

The poor headmistress has also been tagged to the NPP, but Rosina Diedong has denied strongly her affiliation to any political party. She is now threatening to quit her job if the threats from the community she teaches continue.

“I will stop the job and start selling ice water. I can't risk myself,” she reportedly told NEAT FM in Accra yesterday. Madam Diedong, according to media reports, is also being asked by the Municipal Directorate of Education to apologize to them and the MCE for tarnishing their image.

The Chronicle finds this development very unfortunate and calls on both the MCE and the Municipal Director of Education to cease pestering the poor headmistress.

Alhassan Nuhu Putiaha, as MCE, was obviously aware of the plight of these school children who are the future leaders of this country, yet he closed his eyes as if he had not seen the suffering of the school kids. But within 24 hours after Dr. Bawumiah's promise had been made public, he is ready to supply furniture to the school.

Granted that it was the headmistress who invited the Joy FM reporter to the school, but for her decision, would the children of the school have been promised furniture from the assembly? The Chronicle is also surprised that leaders of the Kperisi community have also joined the MCE in condemning the headmistress and thus making it very difficult for her to enjoy life. To us, the headmistress deserves commendation instead of being condemned for helping the kids in this school to get proper furniture to sit on and study.

The Chronicle also finds curious the attempt being made to politicize an issue that has nothing to do with politics. The fact that the Joy FM report prompted Dr. Bawumiah to visit the school and promising to help the children with furniture does not mean that the headmistress is automatically an NPP member.

Anyway, is it a crime for the headmistress to be a member of the NPP? If the answer is no, then why is the lady being victimized, when she had even denied that she invited the journalist to the school to do the story.

The media play crucial roles in governance all over the world. The media are being touted as the fourth estate of the realm. If the government itself recognizes this, then why should a member of the executive try to punish somebody for the constitutional role played by the Joy FM reporter?

This intimidating tactics being employed in an election year to muzzle Ghanaians from speaking their minds should not be allowed to fester. But for the media, the government itself wouldn't have known the problems confronting most Ghanaians.

The media is also the platform which the downtrodden use to channel their grievances to those in authority. Now that people are being threatened for speaking to journalists, how are government officials going to get feedback from the people they are leading? We insist Madam Rosina Diedong has done no wrong and should, therefore, be spared the threat of sanction.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

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