Media must be objective and professional – Goosie Tanoh

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Mr Augustus Goosie Tanoh, aspiring Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress has appealed to Ghanaian Journalists to be objective and professional by debating issues and policies and not personalities.

“The Media need to be objective and professional by emphasising and challenging leaders to address issues and policies they raise either during their campaigns or when in power and avoid discussing personalities as we hear every day.”

Mr Tanoh who made the appeal during a media interaction in Accra said the thorough probing of politicians and all other office holders would create an impetus for real transparency and accountability and challenged the media to take it up as a special project that would re-awaken office holders to play their roles responsibly.

“As media, you need to avoid double standards for various political parties and give fair hearing to all aspirants with honesty, objectivity, timeliness and good mobilisation skills.”

He said his nationwide tour Dubbed: “organising for Ghana”, would also offer his team the opportunity to engage, listen and share ideas with party members at the grassroots without pomp.

The tour which would begin on Wednesday October 10 this year and end on Saturday, December 29 would take the aspirant through all the 10 regions with intermittent breaks.

He said the Media interaction was to recognise the key role the media played in the development agenda of the country and urged them to remain neutral and make politicians and all Ghanaians for that matter accountable to what they say and do.

The Aspiring candidate indicated his readiness to re-establish relations with people in NDC with trust as he had the demonstrable capacity to mobilise in both the private and public sectors with strict adherence to the tenets of the party.

Mr Tanoh gave the assurance that, if given the slot, he would work hard to eliminate extreme poverty, resuscitate the almost collapsed health sector, revive the economy and make Ghana a powerful and admirable country in the world.

“I will do all these through building productive sectors with universal healthcare, provide real living wages and ensure food security and food sufficiency to reduce perennial importation of food and empower the people by creating wealth through self-help projects.

He advised media practitioners to be objective and professional by debating issues and policies and not personalities as that could be retrogressive.

Mr Tandoh Presented his letter of intent to contest for the flagbearer position of the NDC on August 30, this year at the party headquarters.

Augustus "Goosie" Obuadum Tanoh is a Ghanaian politician and a member of the NDC, whose life-long passion has been the empowerment of ordinary people.

He was a student activist in the struggles against military rule in the late 1970s and a close associate of Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council) and a mentee of Tsatsu Tsikata then an activist and law lecturer at Legon.

He did his LLM at Chicago’s prestigious Northwestern University between September 1980 and June 1982 specialising in Labour Law and International Trade and Investment Law.

Mr Tanoh returned to Ghana in June 1982 to work as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), Flt. Lt. Rawlings, an old political associate. He simultaneously served as a member of the National Defence Committee, the principal political organ of the PNDC, which coordinated the socioeconomic interventions of thousands of “Peoples Defence Committees (PDCs)” and “Workers Defence Committees (WDCs)” (self-organised grassroots organisations that had emerged to fight the corruption and decay that was the legacy of the 1966 coup and the military regimes that followed it). As Head of Projects and Programmes, Goosie oversaw the rebuilding on a popular and voluntary basis of a wide range of community infrastructure and services and the development of rural enterprises.

In 1986, Goosie was appointed as member of Ghana’s delegation to the UN Security Council and a representative at the UN General Assembly for 2 years.

After his diplomatic service ended, he took up the position of Executive Director of Finance and Administration at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Accordingly, when the PNDC decided (at the CDR movement’s behest) to return Ghana to civilian rule, Goosie was invited to represent CDRs in the consultative assembly which drafted Ghana’s 1992 Republican Constitution.

Goosie then left GNPC and worked full time in the Forum for Sustainable Development (FSD), an activist think-tank supported by the Association of CDRs to guide the transition from PNDC to constitutional rule. FSD first conducted an intensive nationwide consultation with ordinary Ghanaians about their hopes and fears for post-PNDC national politics. Based on this grounding, FSD worked through the CDR network with millions of ordinary Ghanaians to constitute the mass base of a new political party that could retain the best of the PNDC while transcending its less desirable attributes (He was at the Centre of the formation of the “Front” and “Development Union” which eventually merged with other groups to form the NDC).

Goosie was one of the prominent founding members of the NDC who openly raised concerns about the lack of internal democracy in the NDC and the resultant watering down of the NDC’s commitment to empowering ordinary people that resulted from the wholesale re-appointment of former PNDC officials into the Rawlings cabinet.

The confrontation over internal democracy, accountability, and direction resulted in their departure in 1999 to form the National Reform Party (NRP) and he stood as the NRP Presidential candidate in the 2000 elections which were won by President Kufuor.

In 2004, President Mills appealed to NRP cadres to return to the NDC and work with him to effect the reforms that NRP had proposed. Most NRP activists accepted this offer and Goosie had since remained out of the NDC spotlight but continued his grassroots political work and cultivated a new cadre dedicated to democratising the NDC and reviving its earlier culture of voluntarism, accountability and transparency and has been a key player in all recent NDC campaigns.

In recent years, Goosie has worked as a consultant and a developer of energy and industrial infrastructure while planning the revival of the agribusiness which has the capacity to transform our countryside on a more democratic basis and define sensible parameters for state investment in rural development

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