Former President John Kufuor has urged the Ghanaian media to eradicate from their airwaves, money spiritualists and ritualists.
“It’s backwardness”, he said, while commenting on the recent killing of a 10-year-old boy by two teenagers in Kasoa, Central Region, for money rituals.
“How could young people [do that?]. What do they know?” he wondered.
“Unfortunately”, Mr Kufuor noted, “you media people, too, you are giving so much exposure to tricksters and fraudulent people promising everything”.
“When you look at them”, he pointed out, “you should know that these are people who are, in fact, just bad and ignorant”.
He said such incidents do not augur well for Ghana.
“That’s not the way for our society to go”, Mr Kufuor said, urging: “So, I think the editorship of your institutions should rise to the occasion and cut out anything that would defraud society”.
“We need to do that”, he stressed, adding: “Of course, the authorities, too, like social and community leadership should come out and tackle all these people who are now virtually hijacking the airwaves with varied promises and trickery”.
“They should be earlier eradicated than even some of the diseases we are talking about”, the former President noted.
The two teenagers have confessed to being inspired to commit the crime after watching a spiritualist on TV talk about how people could be millionaires through such means, the fact sheet of the case has revealed.
The suspects, Felix Nyarko, and Nicholas Kini, allegedly conspired to kill the Class Four pupil of the Maranatha School, Ishmael Mensah, at about 10 a.m. on Holy Saturday.
According to the facts of the case as presented by the prosecutor, Inspector Japhet Agyeman, Nyarko got the idea from watching the TV spiritualist and sold the plan to his accomplice Kini, who said he knew a different spiritualist in the Volta Region who could help them.
The spiritualist they contacted asked them for a human sacrifice and a sum of GHS5,000.
“For some time now, the 1st accused [Felix Nyarko] has been watching Ghana Television channels that entertain mallams and other spiritualists to promote their prowess in making people instant millionaires.
“He informed the 2nd accused [Nicholas Kini] who advised that there is a certain spiritualist in Volta Region who can do it for them.
The “2nd accused, who is not having a phone, provided the phone number of the said spiritualist to the 1st accused, who has access to his mother’s phone.
“After contacting the said spiritualist, she agreed to help if only they can provide a human being and cash sum of GHS5,000 for the rituals,” portions of the police fact sheets revealed.
According to the fact sheet, the teen suspects first planned kidnapping the now-deceased boy for a GHS5,000 ransom from his parents so they could present the money to the spiritualist but aborted that plot.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak, has said the National Media Commission (NMC) and the National Communication Authority (NCA) must take the greater blame for the content put out or allowed on some TV and radio stations that have contributed to the believability by impressionable teenagers that it is possible to get rich via rituals and without handwork.
Contributing to the ongoing discussion on the moral decadence and the get-rich-quick attitude that has permeated the Ghanaian society, Dr Apaak, who is also the Deputy Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and former member of the NMC, noted in a Facebook post that considering the means the boys chose to get rich quick, the NMC and the NCA should take the blame, since they allow content of that nature on radio and TV.
“Put on your TV this evening after 8 pm and flip through the channels, you would be shocked to see the volume of despicable and fraudulent content. The digital channels are even worse, mallams, pastors, priests/priestesses, spiritualists etc., conjuring money. But it’s not just TV stations, radio is equally being used to promote such deceitful deviance in our society.
“On both TV and radio, these so-called money conjurers speak about how easy they can make people rich, they display their contact numbers and provide directions to their locations,” Dr Apaak stated.
He called on the NMC and NCA to sit up.
“These public institutions have obligations to society, including protecting our children from unwholesome, deceitful, fraudulent, deviant and dangerous content. They have the power to ensure that our radio and TV stations don't allow or air foul, fraudulent, despicable and deceitful content. The time is now, NMC and NCA act!” he added.
Below is Dr Apaak’s full post:
The gruesome murder of a ten-year-old by two teenagers in Kasoa area of the Central Region has shocked the nation to the marrow.
Even more insanely disturbing is the revelation that the offenders intended to use the victim for "money" rituals; so they can become rich and wealthy.
Clearly, this is an indictment on our society. We have become a society that worships wealth, riches and never seem to question how people get wealthy. It has become so accepting that even teenagers are willing to kill a boy so that they can gain wealth. What a vain society we have become, shameful. Yet we never cease to profess our religiosity, a so-called Christian nation!
While we condemn this barbaric act, we ought to look at some immediate avenues via which this get rich at all cost and by any means concept or mentality has become pervasive in our society. By what medium could teenagers have become infested or influenced to believe they could get rich by killing and using their victim for rituals?
I dare say that some content put out or allowed on some TV and Radio stations have contributed to the believability by impressionable teenagers that it's possible to get rich via rituals, without handwork.
And this is why the National Media Commission (NMC), and National Communication Authority (NCA) must bear greater blame specifically. Are these not the institutions that control content and licensing?
Put on your TV this evening after 8 pm and flip through the channels, you would be shocked to see the volume of despicable and fraudulent content. The digital channels are even worse; mallams, pastors, priests/priestesses, spiritualists etc conjuring money. But it's not just TV stations, radio is equally being used to promote such deceitful deviance in our society.
On both TV and Radio, these so-called money conjurers speak about how easy they can make people rich, they display their contact numbers and provide directions to their locations.
The NMC and NCA must sit up. These public institutions have obligations to society, including protecting our children from unwholesome, deceitful, fraudulent, deviant and dangerous content. They have the power to ensure that our radio and TV stations don't allow or air foul, fraudulent, despicable and deceitful content. The time is now, NMC and NCA act!
M.P, Builsa South
Deputy Ranking Member On The Committee On Education
Former Member of the NMC