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General News of Thursday, 23 May 2019


Tribute to the late Ameyibor by Boakye Dankwa Boadi

The late Edward Ameyibor The late Edward Ameyibor

Every knowledgeable Ghanaian is aware of the following celebrated declaration by President John Evans Atta Mills: "You saved this country! You saved this country! Especially the timing! Especially the timing. I will not in the pursuit of my political ambition to become the President of this country, do anything that would lead to the shedding of the blood of any Ghanaian."

President Mills made this declaration, when he chanced upon a Ghana News Agency (GNA) Managers Conference at the Greenland Hotel, Agona-Swedru, Central Region, in 2003. He was on a campaign trail for re-election as the Presidential Candidate of National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2004 Presidential Elections.

He made the declaration while shaking hands with this Writer, who whispered to him that he was the one he sent his concessionary statement to, after the 2000 Presidential Election Run-off.

Yes, President Mills was right, when he said that this Writer saved this country because he worked very fast on the story and put it out. The British High Commission called him and asked for confirmation. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the world's foremost broadcaster, picked it as breaking news. When BBC announced that the then Vice President Mills had conceded defeat, soldiers, who had been assembled at the Efuah Sutherland Park, Accra, getting ready to be deployed to go and seize various radio stations, were asked to return to the barracks.

However, a bigger credit should go to Mr Ameyibor, who decided to recall this Writer from leave to come and take charge of the coverage of the 2000 Presidential Election Run-off.

Mr Ameyibor was a totally de-tribalized Ghanaian. He recommended for promotion, Journalists, who excelled, irrespective of their ethnicity.

While this Writer was confined to Northern Ghana for 12 years, he kept on reminding the Management on the need to bring him down to Accra. This Writer was told that at one of the Management meetings, when Mr Ameyibor brought up the issue of the transfer, the then General Manager retorted that he would rather transfer him to replace this Writer.

When the General Manager realized that this Writer had been informed about the episode, he called him and told him that a good general would always put his best commanders far away because he knew that he could not go there regularly to supervise.

Eddie, as this writer called him, with the support of Friedrich Egbert Foundation, organised training programmes for GNA Stringers and journalists from other media houses.

He was affable and mentored many journalists. The only time this Writer saw him angry was when a Reporter he was giving 50 cedis to go on assignment, rudely rejected it, saying it was insufficient.

Eddie retorted: "I am also living in Ghana. I know what 50 cedis can do. Shut up and take it."

Goodbye, My Big Brother and Boss. We will meet again in eternity.