Feature Article of Friday, 21 September 2012
Columnist: Alfa, Abdur Rahman Shaban
The letter ‘A’ is the first letter of the English alphabets and a vowel in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is more often than not associated with excellence and distinction especially in academia and in several other fields of human endeavor.
In Ghana and outside the jurisdiction, several sons and daughters put in tireless efforts in their respective fields, all aimed at projecting a good image of their motherland and by so doing touching the lives of others.
Be it in academia, sports, entertainment industry, trade/commerce, public service etc. there are nationals replete in these areas making positive marks, blazing their trails and shining lights upon the paths that they tread.
One such known yet unknown person, who has left an indelible mark in his chosen field is the man referred to by his professional body – the Ghana Journalist Association – as a ‘Bastion of Investigative journalism.’
A multiple award winner [local and international], a critically acclaimed writer, an actor in no need for a cameraman as he comes with his own camera – almost always on REC [recording] mode for as long as corruption and social injustice is on display.
He is the permanently faceless co – publisher of the New Crusading GUIDE Newspaper and Chief Executive Officer of Tiger Eye PI: one of the continent’s foremost investigative firms: with all his initials starting with an ‘A’ – Anas Aremeyaw Anas he is.
In the preceding paragraph, the man is mentioned or partially defined along with his major weapon in the course of his job [as he has admitted for the umpteenth time] his facelessness. But for the ‘A’ effect in this piece; let’s use the word – Anonymity.
Permit me to cite an instance where he made such pronouncements, just for the purposes of emphasis, as they say; so that we can hear it from the horse’s own mouth or is it read it from the donkey’s own words. [Forgive my crude sense of humor]
As per the voice over of ‘Fools Gold’ Anas after revealing his nominal identity goes on to say: “… my anonymity is my secret weapon and this time I am using it against a new enemy; gold scammers …”
Of his ideals, he sees corruption as an extreme disease for which reason his ‘name – shame – jail’ principle stands as an equally extreme remedy to social n=injustice and brazen rights abuse of others. And by the many documentary films he’s churned out, it’s clear that ‘Mr. Undercover’ is committed to the fight.
In the latest piece from his outfit titled ‘WILD GHANA’ which was a collaborative effort with Joy News Channel on Multi TV, he heads a team that provides a platform of self assessment of the society touching different strata.
He however leaves arguably the best act for the last [climax] of the approximately 40 minutes piece: the story of Universal Mission Clinic and its leader a certain ‘Dr.’ Joshua Drah under whose tutelage abortion met a hot sexual bout midway.
The known [or is it] natural turn of events has been how sex has led to conception/pregnancy [be it of women, young girls even teenagers] then further on to the often criminal option of ‘deleting’ fetuses, all things being equal.
With his hidden cameras and ever zealous yearning to expose wrongdoers he has more often than not ‘set the agenda’ for public debate. Thanks to the current exposé, abortion is up for national debate and the discourse is well situated within contexts of medicine, religion, social/moral/cultural and legal perspectives.
Indeed, aside the Rambo style arrest of the self anointed ‘Dr.’ Drah by the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) cum Panthers Unit, the bigger question that arises is of how victims of Drah’s abortion ‘sexcapade’ [sexual escapade] would be feeling by now.
The mental torture, fear of being caught on camera; first having gone in for an illegal abortion [frowned upon by the larger majority] and excruciatingly yet, being lured to having sex whiles indulging in the illegality.
The exposé may have been tremendous but the burden of guilt by females who went through the Drah module would, shall and ought to be of such gargantuan proportions. In comes self – pity; and trust me that ‘pity-party’ could last a lifetime with all its psychological trails.
I personally hold different views about Drah’s actions (sex in the middle of an abortion). At one time I find it simply incomprehensible, disgustingly despicable especially with the lies he told to secure tacit sexual consent – which I doubt would stand in any court of law.
All of that, laced with his denials of the crime, as we are told by Anas Aremeyaw Anas in his New Crusading GUIDE publications at his ‘clinic’ and at the CID Headquarters, makes for a shameless and unconscionable description to the Joshua Drah person.
The big question to be asked going forward is of what clearly is a systemic breakdown of some institutions financed by the tax payers’ funds. Answers must be sought from the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and other agencies under them of how clinics can operate for this long without licenses.
If Drah’s actions were a slap, smack, slight and smudge in the face of womanhood: its dignity, sanctity and nobility; it is because some people failed to clamp him down decades back.
There is a Maternity Homes Board under the Ministry of Health which is supposed [all things being equal] to be the licensing body for clinics as that of Drah and several others littered all over.
According to the Private Hospitals and Maternity Homes Act (1958) Section 7, “no person shall establish or conduct a private hospital or maternity home unless the private hospital or maternity home is registered under the provisions of this Act.”
The Act goes on further to define a private hospital as “building or other premises where provision is made for medical attention or nursing facilities gratuitously or for reward, and used or intended to be used for the reception of persons suffering from any sickness, infirmity of injury.”
A definition that hardly covers Drah’s Universal Mission Clinic especially as he confirms that since he submitted his papers 15 years back to the MOH, they are yet to give him certification of any kind.
And so; a human rights group as the ‘Human Rights Advocacy Center, HRAC’ catalogues reasons for which a person as Drah’s kind of ‘curative therapy’ could have thrived for almost a decade and half.
The first reason the HRAC puts down to ‘lack of options’ when it is that a lady becomes pregnant. This reason is allied to having knowledge of what to do within the legal regime – which most women do not know about sadly.
Nana Oye Lithur, HRAC’s Executive Director states thus: “without education about their options, women will remain vulnerable to men like Joshua Drah ... there are safe and legal abortion services available to women for these cases – the problem is that there is a lack of knowledge of them.”
Morose Drah, aside his own admission to being a ‘medical assistant’ and his confession to having conducted abortion and had sex with some of his clients; still remains a ‘suspect’ till such a time that the legal processes initiated by the State ends.
The letter ‘A’ stands for ace Ghanaian investigative journalist [Anas], for his secret weapon [Anonymity] and the sexy component of his latest piece [Abortion].
The latest piece; ‘WILD GHANA’ aside the sexy Drah component allows for an introspective look at ourselves and harsh reality of social failings and occurrences that would normally not make the news: a must have DVD and a must – watch documentary if you ask me.
God bless our homeland Ghana.
Abdur Rahman Shaban Alfa