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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Columnist: Baidoo, Justice

Et tu, Kofi Jumah!

Justice Baidoo

Politics in Ghana has taken quite an interesting turn lately. Of course that’s to be expected, every Tom, Dick and Harry is readying himself for this year’s election barely ten months away.

Language in our everyday national discourse is continuously getting fouled, almost always by the usual culprits.

Last week, one of such tantrums was thrown by a supposed member of parliament at the least of provocation towards a broadcast journalist in the chamber of parliament, in the process insulting members of the inky fraternity.

Maxwell Kofi Jumah, M.P for Asokwa told Citi F.M’s parliamentary correspondent Richard Sky he was “a stupid fool” apparently infuriated by what the reporter said was an in-depth question he posed to him in an interview.

Jumah launched a scathing verbal attack loaded with a barrage of deadly insults on Ghanaian media professionals, calling them a group of “dirty” illiterates who do not know their left from their right.

He is said to have described Ghanaian journalists as a bunch of useless fools led by “Under achievers and school dropouts”. Kofi Jumah boasted of being better than the entire journalists in Ghana put together.

Indeed he said the entire journalism work is a useless one.

This was the same man who described a former mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Patricia Apiagyei as a slot alleging she had earned herself the position by making sexual offers to some big men in government at the time. Mrs Apiagyei’s only crime for coming under such demeaning barrage of attacks from her fellow party man was to have contested him for the Asokwa seat on the NPP’s ticket.

This is the man representing no mean a constituency than the good people of Asokwa. I’m not the biggest fan of Citi F.M, indeed I’m not putting together this piece because of the personality involved, but in defense of the entire fraternity which has been trampled upon for far too long by politicians.

It is worthy of mention that the many journalists who have decended into the gutters lately have largely done so under the influence of these same politicians and I’ve been one of the people who argues that the growing number of charlatans in the field of journalism is the single most deadly threat to the survival of this job. I emphasized that in my last article about journalists published in the Daily Graphic.

It is however worthy of note also that just as every other profession has its imposter’s i.e medicine, law etc, so is journalism.

Some of us have spent the last four years of our lives studying to make a life out of this same job and would guard its integrity jealously against such attacks from shameless leaders as Maxwell Kofi Jumah- who themselves have nothing to show for their years in public service.

We guard it against Maxwel Kofi Jumah’s likes, who on the floor of parliament barely contribute anything meaningful to serious national discourse but find their insulting voices only when they are on radio.

Maxwell Kofi Jumah had better known that just as it is possible for the “stupid fools” he refer to, to have infiltrated the ranks of the Ghanaian media, it is so possible as well that someone like him should not have been in the Ghanaian parliament speaking for no mean a constituency than very distinguished citizens of Asokwa.

It is highly possible, and in Kofi Jumah’s case very true, that his becoming a Metropolitan Chief Executive and subsequently a Minister of state was a mistake. With his major proving to be his ability to spew insults, he possibly could not have earned it because he had something meaningful to offer. These are not my insinuations, it’s only a dose of the ‘Honorable’’s own medicine. Self defense is nature’s eldest law! Our people say that if you have cotton wool in your buttocks, you don’t contemplate skipping fire. The next time he decides to he decides to extend his foul venom on any other Ghanaian; he should have it at the back of his mind that the pot has no moral right calling the kettle black!

It’s been almost a week since Maxwell Kofi Jumah visited those filthy words on a journalist who was just going about his legally mandated job. The silence by civil society and particularly our own Ghana Journalists Association is scary to say the least.

The last time I wrote about anything that had to do with parliament, it was about the member for the Assin North, who just got into the news again by calling the president “the number one thief”. In that piece I chronicled all his foul deeds and called for his head at the December polls.

I’m the number one fan of parliamentary democracy-at least it’s the closest we’ve come towards good governance. But the deeds of some men who have found their way into our house of legislation make some of us miss the revolutionary stories when we are told youth mobs angered by deeds of some politicians, were storming parliament to crush tea cups of M.Ps.