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Opinions of Monday, 10 May 2004

Columnist: Yeboah, Hubert

AIDS Scandal: Top Politician Sues Girl Friend ? Rejoinder


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Details from transcripts of a recent publication on Peace FM?s Morning and Lunch Shows require a review by the ethics committee of the Ghana Journalists Associations (GJA) for a possible ethical violation by this station. Furthermore, internal evaluation by the management of this station regarding the skills and professional approach to sound and quality programs will be very helpful.

Barely three days ago, I published a rejoinder expressing opinion on a very unprofessional interview aired by this station?s morning show. From all accounts it appears the host of this show is just struggling for survival and recognition (like the blind groping through the sand for a dropped penny). While I?m a great advocate and supporter of free speech by the media and the people under democracy, I cannot stand on the fence and watch people who have absolutely no skills and ideas on what they do abuse the system to undermine and demean journalism as a reputable profession.

Under democracy, the people have inalienable rights, some which have been surrendered to the government for protection of the people. However, if the given rights are abused by the people, the government has a responsibility to withdraw some of those rights (constitutional law and politics). This is what some of us wouldn?t want to see happen.

This rejoinder is in response to a program aired on peace fm?s morning and lunch show on a scandal regarding a top NPP Politician who?s been accused of infecting a lady with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on February 4, 2004.

Reading through the transcripts I was wondering as to whether the hosts of these programs do really understand what they do for living. First of all, inadequate investigative work was done by the hosts of these programs, most especially the morning show which broke the news on the air. Please note that the morning show ?Kokrokoo? is largely responsible for this irresponsible scandal since only a section of the morning show?s transcript was reiterated on the lunch show.

The Scandal, according to the transcript asserts that the 27 year old lady, Yaa Konadu, went for AIDS test and the results concluded that the Politician infected this lady with the virus. The hosts or presenters of these shows failed to conduct detailed investigations of what motivated the lady to go for the test. What the host and his team failed to investigate before airing this news to tarnish the image of another human being is as to whether this lady was doing it for financial gains or out of jealousy after the break up. In her statement she claimed the Politician was having affairs with multiple partners, mostly from the tertiary educational I institutions. This suggests a motive. Details from the transcripts in my opinion indicate that this lady had two major motives.

1. To bring down this man after he broke up the affair with her.

2. To blackmail him. Few questions bothering my mind which the morning show team failed to ask or investigate either through ignorance or lack of professional judgments are:

a. Why didn?t this woman go for the test while she was still with this man but waited till the relationship was over and the guy had ceased supporting her?

b. Why didn?t she insist on the use of condoms since the man needed the sex so badly from her?

c. Prior to this incident, did she take AIDS test on a regular basis after each affair with any guy and when was her last test before this one? The name of the attending practitioner and copies of all her medical records from this doctor to establish a motive.

Appearing on a radio to make such a blunt statement is very interesting and makes the producer of the show very stupid and irresponsible, without any detailed investigation. According to the producer of the show, Ms. Yaa Konadu underwent the AIDS test at various medical institutions (Nyaho, Police Hospital, and Nuguchi).

VERY INTERESTING! YOU?RE RIGHT. No scientist and an objective thinker will ever accept this as the basis for validity.

Just assume for the sake of argument that the two acknowledge to go for a test and the results prove positive and the virus from both parties happen to be at equal stage of development, how will one infer who infected the other without a prior test or data from either party? Isn?t it possible that this lady may have contracted the virus from else where and wanted to blackmail this poor man? If one party claims to have had a prior data, before becoming romantically involved with each other the question will then be, why did he/she take the aids test? Is taking aids test a regular practice? Why will that party chose to do that if he or she has the habit keeping single partner at all times? Did the peace fm team, especially the host (Kwame Sefa Kayi) consider all these variables before going on the air? This is an example of an unskilled or unqualified individual trying to play a scientist- a territory he has no experience. He is a disgrace and liability to his company. I wonder who at all hired him. What level of experience did he possess in broadcasting that influence the decision to offer him this job? Hmmmm, there are so many of such in our country.

How can the reputation of this Politician be restored?

Who at all asked this host to be the sex Police of Politicians? How will he feel about someone revealing his private life in public. Who monitors his sexual promiscuity? I think he should examine and clean up his closet before defaming others. This show does not have any vision or innovative ideas other than persecuting politicians and delving into personal lives of private individuals which has nothing to do with the public.

This is an example of how most people abuse the system for their selfish interests. Though I do not believe the government should generally clamp down on freedom of speech, I?m of the opinion that individuals who exhibit incompencies and abuse the air waves should be bared.

The host of the morning show demonstrated gross incompetence in preparing for this program and others. Defamation of people?s reputation should carry serious civil damages, determined in the court of law to deter similar future abuses.

Hubert Yeboah
Los Angeles

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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