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General News of Friday, 21 May 2021


Kweku Baako replies social media trolls over article on Caleb Kudah's arrest

Kweku Baako Jnr, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide play videoKweku Baako Jnr, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide

Seasoned Journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has shot back at his social media trolls after writing an article on the arrest of Citi FM/TV broadcast Journalist, Caleb Kudah.

Caleb Kudah was arrested by National Security operatives for filming at a restricted security zone at the premises of the National Security Ministry.

He and another Journalist with the aforementioned media house named Zoe Abu-Baidoo were whisked away for interrogation.

Zoe is said to have received files from Caleb causing the security operatives to storm the Citi FM/TV premises to arrest her.

Following the release of Caleb Kudah, the Journalist recounted his ordeal while under detention for hours by the security operatives.

He made mention of torture by some officers and other trying experiences which courted public sympathy for him and ignited a crusade for punitive actions to be meted out to the security operatives.

But Kweku Baako expressed some reservations about the account by Caleb Kudah and how the management of Citi FM/TV handled his issue on Newsfile last Saturday.

To him, Caleb's decision to go home and report to work the following day without first reporting the alleged assault and seeking medical care, could undermine the sanctity of evidence needed to make a case.

Moments after that submission on radio, his critics took him to the cleaners on social media, thereupon the Senior Journalist wrote a lengthy article to further highlight his remarks.

Kweku Baako's Article

Portions of the article read;

''A journalist is released from security custody after 5 hours. He proceeds to his workplace after his release and is instructed to go home by his superiors and return to work the next day. The next day, the journalist is on air (in his station) alleging that he had been tortured whilst in security custody prior to his release. Prior to his disclosure of having been subjected to physical assault/torture, one of his superiors appeared on a major television network to recount what had happened to him (the arrested journalist) and the events which had transpired at the station of the media house (workplace of the arrested journalist) earlier that day. No hint of the reported physical assault or torture was/is communicated to the audience of the program or the nation.

''Apparently, this was because the physical assault or torture was unknown to the superiors of the arrested/incarcerated journalist at that point in time. And this was because the journalist was instructed to go home and rest. And return to work the next day. What if the effects of the reported torture had taken its toll on him the night before?''

He questioned why the management delayed in reporting the physical torture on Caleb Kudah.

''For me, the allegation of physical assault or torture was/is a more significant feature of the unfolding saga. I called the management of the station and indicated that the omission of delayed disclosure could have the effect of undermining the credibility of the subsequent disclosure and provide some skeptics and cynics with the basis to cast doubts on the significant disclosure. The decision not to run with the story of the physical assault or torture timeously was explained to me. I am/was told that there were good reasons for the delay. Emotional trauma among other reasons. I respectfully disagreed.

" . . Going home to bath and report to work the following day or days could undermine the sanctity of evidence needed to make a case! Ask the lawyers!'', the article further read.

Social Media Trolls

Following the article, a Facebook user named Abubakari Sidiq Iddrisu replied; ''Should we also assume that all the alleged torture you claimed you were subjected to in the military era were all fallacy and concocted??''

Another called Ticha Ebbah said; ''Should we by this narrative and logic also rubbish your "I was tortured during Rawlings' regime" story?''

''Blacks and their ways of defending absurdities, they only speak and write english to confuse their gullible people. You think you are the only one who has the reserved rights to defend senseless acts. A lot can do that but their consciences aren't like yours. If this is what you call good conscience and intellectual brevity then sensitive Ghanaians don't need it. You will meet another Rawlings in your life again'', a Facebook user who also goes by the name Heshibalor Nii Amarh-Ashitey Bleoobi stated.

There were many other responses that bashed Kweku Baako over his article.

Contributing to Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo'', Kweku Baako seized the opportunity to clarify his article and also gibed his trolls.

Kweku Baako's Responses

Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi, Mr. Baako replied those who claim his torture wasn't broadcast and slammed him for raising an issue with Caleb Kudah's delayed report on his physical torture.

''Apart from the fact that I was subjected to torture in an open space with hundreds of civilians and Military persons being witnesses on the five/six days continuous, it was open; where was I going to be able to communicate my ordeal at that time? Fifty (50) days, the 25 days that I suffered, how and where was I going to be able to articulate? Where was the channel of communication to me to communicate my experience then? And then don't forget that, after the 50 days, I went to prison for two years from 1982 to 1984. Again I was in prison, where was I going to get the opportunity to communicate my ordeal?'', he asked.

"But the truth of the matter is this, in spite of that, because we had visitors and things, people compiled records, gave it to the Ghana Journalist Association as well as other civil society groups who sent them to Amnesty International. So, those things were published.

"I have copies of the Amnesty International newsletters (they have records they issue with some on an annual and quarterly basis) on the experiences of prisoners of conscience. I was adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, not alone but many. So, our experiences, before we personally individually got the opportunity to talk about them, had already been communicated," he clarified.

"So, if you're sharp and a bit knowledgeable, you will not even ask that question," Mr. Baako further blasted his critics.

He also stressed that he made a critical analysis of Caleb's ordeal ''in good faith and not to attack the gentleman or his story. Look, he's such a young person. I watched him as he gave his narration. Those are people you don't discourage. Those are people you don't take their confidence away from them''.