Feature Article of Thursday, 23 August 2012

Columnist: Bannerman, Samuel Owusu

Bature Sowing Seeds of Ethic Conflict

by Samuel Owusu Bannerman, Ethnic Tolerance Ghana (ETG)

History is laden with millions of instances of notoriety attained through mischief than through the pursuit of good deeds. For example few remember a John Smith who braves a burning vehicle to save a woman and her three children, but everyone remembers the troubled teen who shot up half of his classmates. Alhaji Bature Iddrisu appears to be well versed in this unfortunate reality, and is thus bent on achieving fame and notoriety by spreading falsehoods under the guise of “authoritative” reporting.

Back on the 12 of April this year, Iddrisu’s infamous newspaper, the Al-Hajj, “authoritatively” revealed that the Rawlingses have formed a new Party called the National Democratic Party – the NPD. In that publication the former first couple was all over the new party. Eventually the truth came out. Not only did the NDP general secretary Josiah Ayeah debunk Al-Hajj’s claim of his party’s links to the Rawlingses, Electoral Commission’s own records show that Rawlings and his wife are NOT signatories of the new party. Similarly, the Al Hajj “authoritatively” revealed the former first couple’s son Kimathi Rawlings and Nana Akufo-Addo’s daughter Nana Dokuaa were love birds and were about to marry; this also turned out to be an infantile falsehood. As disingenuous as the Al-Hajj reports turned out to be, one could overlook them and characterize them as political mischief on behalf of the NDC, a party that the Al-Hajj almost officially speaks for.

But when Alhaji Bature and his infamous Al-Hajj newspaper cross the line and begin to fuel ethnic divisions among otherwise peaceful Ghanaians, then Ethnic Tolerance Ghana (ETG) cannot continue to sit idly by. So we leveraged our global resources to unearth a few activities of Alhaji Bature’s that we deem to be of interest to Ghanaians. These activities paint a conclusive image of a strong Boko Haram fanatic so impressed with the Islamic influence in Nigeria that he dreams of replicating it in Ghana.

First, for someone whose territorial and journalistic interest is so restricted to political activities in Ghana, Alhaji Bature’s trips to Boko Haram strongholds such as Maduguri, Kano, and other northern Nigerian cities are too frequent unless he hails from there, which ETG cannot yet ascertain. What we can authoritatively establish, however, is a link between Alhaji Bature and the faceless people he funds to flood Kumasi radio stations with calls agitating against Akans voting for a Northerner. Unlike the Al-Hajj that loosely uses the word “authoritatively,” ETG can authoritatively state that one Prosper Oduro is the channel through which the funds began flowing from Bature on August 2, 2012 to the evil serial callers.

Furthermore, several realities cannot be overlooked. First, Ashanti Region delivered over 30% of its votes to Northerner Dr. Hilla Limann in 1979. Second, there are currently five Members of Parliament representing Ashanti Region who are of Northern extraction, including two from the two Offinso constituencies; no other non-northern region can boast of this record. Third, in light of the renewed significance of the vice presidential slot following the constitutional ascension to the presidency by John Dramani Mahama, there has been no call on record from Ashanti Region to replace Dr. Bawumia on the ticket of NPP, which is the region’s favored party. Finally, last week we read reports of a warm welcome for President Mahama in Kumasi. So what really is Bature talking about?

As much as ETG prefers to primarily engage in its core competence of research, and to steer clear of political activities, we feel compelled to come out and call out anyone seeking to conducts mischief with the potential of plunging Ghana into ethnic conflict. We love our nation too much to sit idly by.

Samuel Owusu Bannerman ETG