I was contacted by someone who had read an article I wrote recently entitled: “THE GHANAIAN MEDIA MUST BE FAIR TO PRESIDENT MILLS.” (It was posted on my two web-blogs on Tuesday, July 27, 2010.) The said gentleman wanted to know why I felt that a section of the Ghanaian media were not being fair to President Mills – and why Ghanaian democracy would not survive if his regime failed. I told him that as a result of separate conversations I had with Mr. Kweku Baako and Mr. Kabral Blay-Amihere, shortly after President Kufuor’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime assumed power in January 2001, I came to the conclusion that their resolve to help ensure that the negativity in the media, which contributed to the fractious political atmosphere in the country that made it possible for Flt. Lt. Rawlings to stage the 31st December 1981 coup (and succeed in holding on to power for so long after that), would not be repeated under the Kufour regime, made perfect sense: and that one ought to be part of the effort to help prevent what befell President Limman’s administration from happening to the Kufuor regime too. My difficulty today, with influential and fair-minded journalists such as the Kweku Baakos and the Kabral Blay-Amiheres, is why they have not taken the same approach with President Mills – who without a shadow of doubt is the most honest leader we have had since the overthrow of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) regime of President Nkrumah in 1966.
To the great surprise of many, he has not turned out to be a puppet of Flt. Lt. Rawlings – as many in the NPP predicted he would. Despite the opposition of many in his National Democratic Congress (NDC) party, he has, for example, refrained from allowing the destruction of the businesses of a majority of those who prospered as a result of the patronage of the NPP regime – as happened under President Kufuor. He has also not allowed the wholesale dismissal of those appointed to senior positions in the public services by the NPP – again, despite the fierce opposition of hardliners in his party: who want the NDC to follow the NPP's example. Yet, as we all know, today many in the pro-NPP media are playing an active role in undermining the Mills regime’s “Better Ghana” agenda. President Mills has also shown all honest and independent-minded Ghanaians that he is a tolerant individual and a leader who actually cares about the plight of ordinary people (as opposed to paying mere lip-service to it – as many of the members of our political class are wont to do!). Who does not see his clear commitment to due process and the rule of law, I ask, dear reader? So why should the media not be fair to him for the sake of our country: so that he can stand up to the hardliners in his party effectively – in the absence of the pro-NPP media’s outrageous negativity?
On the economic front, almost all the relatively well-educated members of the “Enkoyie-Brigade” in the Ghanaian media are aware that if the NPP had been returned to power after the December 2008 elections, we would be facing exactly the same problems we are saddled with, today. They are also aware that like Ghana, a majority of the wealthy nations of the Western world, are facing austere times: as their governments’ battle to reduce huge budget deficits – and that as a result their citizenry are struggling to make ends meet: as unemployment rises and stares many of them in the face. Are many of them not aware of the difficulties many people in Ireland; the UK; France; Iceland; Latvia; Greece; Spain; and Portugal, face on a daily basis? Yet, the NPP's praise-singing media persists with the fiction that if the NPP had been returned to power we would be experiencing a booming economy – because the NPP were apparently better managers of the national economy. But who in Ghana does not know that during President Kufuor’s so-called golden age of business, the bubble economy of that period was underpinned largely by corruption and criminality: on a scale seldom seen in our nation’s chequered history? If they were not involved in the illicit drugs business (and its attendant crime of money-laundering!), were many of the thousands of crooks who mushroomed in the Ghanaian business world at the time, not dodging import duties by diverting goods ostensibly in transit to neighbouring countries to our second city, and selling same?
Were scores of them also not dodging both corporate and personal income tax? Was the National Health Service (NHS), for example, not simply an instrument for the ripping-off of Mother Ghana, by sundry service-providers who did not know the meaning of corporate good governance principles – and participated in the orgy of larceny that occurred on such a massive scale under the NPP: as fraudulent transaction upon fraudulent transaction made it possible for them to constantly siphon off money they did not deserve from the national treasury? What sense did it make, dear reader, to issue sovereign bonds (to the tune of some US$750 millions!) overseas – and use it just to pay salaries and fund other non-productive activities? Were the foolish forays into the piranha-infested waters of the capital markets of the Western world not driven by the unfathomable greed that tainted almost everything that the NPP did in its eight years in power – and was the mountain of debt they got us into not driven mostly by the desire for kickbacks: paid directly to the numerous offshore vehicles set up solely for that purpose? Did they not kill off Ghana Airways so that they could asset-strip it? Incidentally, one wonders what be revealed if an investigation was carried out by the UK'S Inland Revenue and Serious Fraud Office, into the US$1.5 monthly government of Ghana subsidy paid to fund the wet-lease arrangement, which kept that international airline industry equivalent of a Dodo, Ghana International Airlines (GIA), operating during the Kufuor era. It will be interesting to see whether a similar investigation by our own state agencies would reveal if there had been any asset-stripping at the Volta Aluminum Company Limited (VALCO).
In view of all the above, the question independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaian must pose to the most influential of the pro-NPP media folk is: If they truly believe in protecting Ghanaian democracy, why are they allowing the outrageous attempt by their mostly-unprincipled acolytes to undermine a selfless and humble president who is seeking to ensure that the roots of Ghanaian democracy are deepened even further? Do they not understand that there are some Ghanaians who might even go as far as accusing them of abandoning principle for political expediency – and looking on unconcerned as the NPP's nation-wrecking “Enkoyie” propaganda proceeds apace: as we approach the 2012 elections? The fact of the matter is that today most Ghanaians do not want our nation to fall once again into the grasping hands of politicians from political parties that are dominated by a few powerful tribal-supremacists – the kind that once in power, proceed to use the entire machinery of state to promote the foolish and treasonable ambitions of their tribal Chiefs: whose delusions of grandeur makes them think they are sovereign rulers in what is a unitary Republic of diverse-ethnicity. The media ought to concentrate on ensuring that those who divided our nation with their absurd ethnocentric-triumphalism never control the destiny of Nkrumah’s Ghana again – as Ghana will descend into chaos if they get another opportunity to gang-rape Mother Ghana. Our homeland Ghana should not be destroyed for such selfish and greedy folk – and no patriotic journalist who believes in democracy ought to be part of any effort to return them to power again.
Let all such journalists pause awhile and ponder the fact that given the miasma of cynicism that is slowly engulfing our society (the vast majority of Ghanaians having now become thoroughly disenchanted with a democracy that does not benefit them materially –as a result of the unfair and unjust system now in place), there is a real possibility that if chaos were to break out in the aftermath of the December 2012 elections, precious few Ghanaians would lift a finger to resist, if another crop of young military officers were to strike and sweep away the corrupt and inefficient 4th Republic – in order to usher in a new 5th Republic: that will be underpinned by the national interest (i.e., the will and needs of the ordinary people of Ghana – as opposed to the selfish interests of our political elite; and that of their family clans; as well as that of their cronies). Let them mend their ways before it is too late – as in the event of any military uprising a "house-cleaning" exercise will be undertaken – and the zillions of old cedis that the Kufuor regime paid its favourites in the Ghanaian media will be exposed to the world: as their erstwhile paymasters desperately attempt to save their own skins. A word to the wise…
Tel (powered by Tigo the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109 & the not-so-hot and clueless Vodafone wireless smartfone: + 233 (0) 30 2976238.