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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Columnist: Boateng, Kofi A.

Osafo Maafo ?Please Say Yes Or No Yourself

The Ghanaweb.com has created a community that is linked electronically and has instant access to information about our dear Ghana. Ghanaians living abroad, estimated at nearly three million find this ?Ghana Homepage? particularly useful to quickly peruse reports of the goings-on in Ghana and stay current. Reports on the political landscape tend to dominate the news, especially in an election season. Even in an off season, special attention is paid to reports about political personalities on account of their influence on affairs relating to Africa?s economic development.

Say what you want, Mr. Francis Akoto has to be commended for creating this website of consequence. As the saying goes, you can?t please everyone and Mr. Akoto and his site come in for frequent attacks for unfair reporting.

A current case in point is the storm over the alleged award to Ghana?s Minister of Finance, Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo by the World Bank as Africa?s best Finance Minister. We have read of those who have congratulated the Honorable Minister but more of those who have questioned that the event and honor ever took place. Sinister and self serving motives are implied and attributed to the current NPP government for staying with the story.

Awards of such significance are rarely done secretly and often the photographers? flash bulbs bear permanent witness. It would be nice if Mr. Osafo Maafo would share his story and pictures with all of us or in their absence, write a simple letter to the newspapers in Ghana and the Ghanaweb to categorically deny the award and event. In this case, the Minister would simply thank his well-wishers and disavow the source of the story. Another Honorable Minister, Mr. Kwame Addo- Kufuor took a similar path of picking up pen and paper when he felt that he had to distance himself from a wrongful accusation. Ghana has a lot more important things to occupy its attention than to fight over whether or not an award was given. President Kufuor and the Honorable Minister have achieved far more commendably than to be distracted and impugned by something that a yes or no can put to rest and set us back on course.

While we are at this, the NPP personalities should be in the habit of quickly writing rejoinders to set records straight before a wrong information festers and the messenger is held to blame. When fingers are pointed at you, that is not the time to keep yours in your pocket and your lips sealed. Honorable Osafo Maafo- please say yes or no yourself. Either way, you will be honorable.

Kofi A. Boateng
New York.

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