Major Albert Don Chebe
Major Albert Don Chebe

The newly-appointed Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) was recently reported to have bitterly complained that the continuous televising of the Akufo-Addo Revolution is apt to take a heavy financial toll on the coffers of the government-sponsored broadcaster (See “GBC To Halt Live Telecast Of Election Petition” Citifmonline.com/Ghanaweb.com 5/31/13).

This plaintive observation by Maj (Rtd.) Albert Don-Chebe is rather amusing, in an inescapably annoying way, because it also clearly hints at the fact that the relatively humongous cost of war – in both economic and human terms – is not something that this Mahama appointee learned at the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College, or whatever they call that hitherto coup-prone institution these days.

One thing, however, is clear: unbearable cost is not what Maj. Don-Chebe’s complaint seems to be about at all but, really, the fact that the Akufo-Addo/New Patriotic Party (NPP) petition is increasingly becoming a great source of annoyance and embarrassment to the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). For, since its establishment by the erstwhile British colonial regime in 1935, largely as an overseas outpost of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the GBC has not been any remarkably associated with the hard-nosed profit-making business.

Rather, it has been functionally and primarily envisaged and operated as a non-profit public-service enterprise, with the indisputably noble objective of sociocultural and political enlightenment of the Ghanaian citizenry. Thus in consenting to televising the Akufo-Addo/NPP Election 2012 petition, the GBC is essentially performing the task and objective for which it was established.

There is also no gainsaying the fact that if the Corporation wisely used the period during which the Supreme Court proceedings are not being televised, it could amply make up for any remarkable losses that the GBC may be allegedly suffering presently. Of course, another intelligent alternative could be having ten or fifteen minutes per every hour that petition proceedings are being televised devoted to prime-time commercial advertising. Were this t be done, the Corporation could easily rake in more financial resources than it had done prior to the decision to televise the petition.

At any rate, I am appalled by Maj. Don-Chebe’s complaint, since his is a government that until very recently saw absolutely nothing wrong with the reckless and rampant payout of the public dole in the immitigably reprehensible name of “Judgment-Debt Payments.” As of this writing (6/1/13), for instance, President John Dramani Mahama was widely reported to be in Japan ravenously soliciting monetary aid for the administration of his visibly embattled and battered government.

Maybe some insider ought to apprise Mr. Mahama of the imperative need to resolving the crisis of his leadership legitimacy by adequately funding the GBC before presuming to set the national economy on an even keel, as it were, his largely propagandistic overtures on the latter front notwithstanding.

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*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

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