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Opinions of Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Columnist: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku

Ghana; a land of hypocrisy and dishonesty - Part 1

I was in Rwanda this past April, and I have been writing about my experience in that country which came out of a civil war a little over 2decades ago. Tales of destruction visited on the country during that civil war is well-chronicled and can be readily accessed on the internet.

Rwanda experience

The reckless behavior of selfish and irresponsible characters who orchestrated the genocide in Rwanda, were under the illusion that their bread was being buttered and therefore had to do anything possible to maintain the status-quo,even at the peril of a whole ethnic block. But the people of Rwanda, under the able and visionary leadership of His Excellency Paul Kagame, have been able to pull themselves out of that bitter ethnic fissions and fast-transforming their country into an enviable global showpiece by way of socioeconomic advancements.

While in Rwanda, I visited many places of treasure, pleasure and leisure. I visited the now very famous ‘Hotel Rwanda’, which is actually known as hotel Mille Collines, where brutal massacres took place during the genocide. It has been restored into an impressive edifice where I found many westerners hanging out.

But the point is, Rwanda has been able to pull-out of such a tragic history but we might not be that lucky, should we find ourselves in such situation. This is why I would love to recommend what is known in medico-psychology as “shock therapy” for some of our nation’s broadcasters, social commentators, carrier opinionated noise-makers masquerading as senior journalists and serial callers who are nothing but dogmatic bigots.

I visited the genocide memorial in Kigali, Rwanda, and the experience is still very vivid on my mind. This is the kind of experience I wish majority of Ghanaians will get the opportunity to have.

Institutionalized hypocrisy

Speaking the truth and ensuring equity in a society is the practice that makes things work. Naked pretentiousness and shameless double-standard which any society desirous of making strides in the areas of peaceful co-existence, must vehemently eschew. Now, when sane minds in the Rwandan society had stood up and spoken against wayward elements who used the power of radio, incited wicked hatred amongst ethnic blocks, the now infamous genocide would have been prevented. Oftentimes, such societal miscreants have powerful individuals behind them. Such powerful hands, who are often within the political class, who, with looted wealth from state coffers, provide their proxies with pittances to do their bidding.

These people will jubilate over unwarranted vilification of their political opponents but will quickly turn round to complain when the same dose of medicine is dished in their direction. I very much remember the days of NPP administration where characters as Nana Oye Litor, Kwesi Pratt etc. were so vociferous with their criticism. Nana Oye, for instance, portrayed herself the world’s most workaholic human/gender advocate.

She could swiftly travel to communities in the Volta region to pin-point those that were causing trouble in chieftaincy crisis, and even able to tell, without a doctor’s autopsy report, how a victim had died from a gunshot, the type of bullet it was, the gun from which the said bullet was fired, and even the very minute the bullet was fired. This particular miracle of Nana Oye was performed in the Volta region when confusion over ascension to the Awemefia was at its peak. Deliberate attempt was made by the likes of Nana Oye to twist it.Today, this very person has turned round to literally be torturing her two deputies at her ministry.

Hannah Tetteh had her son engaged in illicit sexual activity with a girl in a car, recorded the act and splashed it on social media. Such act, morally, is the most despicable manner a woman’s dignity could be debased, yet, there was not a whimper from her. She rather made desperate efforts to have the video blocked from being further circulated on social media. Today, such a person has found her voice and taken to social media to hypocritically condemn Hon Kennedy Agyapong for making an allegation against an individual.

A serious allegation of importation of ammunition into Ghana to trigger a civil war and overthrow the NDC government, on or before the November 7 elections, was made against Asamoah Gyan, by Salifu Maase and his assigns of foul-mouths, on ‘Montie FM’. But there wasn't a whimper from Ghanaians in condemnation of that senseless accusation, and Asamoah Gyan has now proceeded to seek redress in court.

In much the same way, HON. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong (M.P. Assin North Constituency) has made an allegation against Charlotte Osei, but instead of the latter being encouraged to seek redress in the law court, Ghanaians have rather found their voices of condemnation and claiming what HON. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong (M.P. for Assin North Constituency) said was tantamount to denigration of all women. But in case of Asamoah Gyan, Ghanaians never overstretched accusations leveled against him to all Ghanaians male footballers. Indeed, Ghana has now become a land where principles, truth and equity have been chucked out-of-the-window, and in their place, have we planted lies, dishonesty and hypocrisy.

Irresponsible media

For ages, some selected radio stations have made it their agenda to tarnish the hard-won reputation of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. For such radio stations, the valuable commodity of airtime is dedicated, solely, to tarnishing Nana Addo’s image. Their programme doesn’t have any laid-down format and intellectual indpeth.Discussants are free to say whatever they like while the hosts actively participate in such mindless verbal pornography. All kinds of frivolous and malicious allegations have been peddled about him to the point where a man who has laid down his entire adult life to expanding the frontiers of our democratic governance.

A man, who, any family on earth will be fortunate to have as a member, has now become the most insulted, abused and vilified in Ghana’s political history. Now, those engaged in such foolish enterprise, boldly say to the whole world, on whose behalf they do such things but everybody has turned a blind eye and mounted a corked-ear. On the other-hand, the media is quick to jump at the throat of Nana Addo, even when he coughs.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the most vilified, insulted, abused and disrespected politician in Ghana's history, yet, the media never taken to task, those engaged in such shameful enterprise. The man has been groundlessly accused of all kinds of misdeeds by NDC people, yet, the media neither takes the perpetrators to task, nor, a call is ever made on John Mahama to call such social misfits to order. Such social miscreants sit on radio to issue death threats to judges of the apex court of Ghana, and all only governmental action was a damn hoax of a cozy invite being extended to them.

But following Kennedy Agyapong's latest pronouncement against the EC boss, Charlotte Osei, hell has broken loose, with the media going agog and providing NDC societal miscreants to spin totally out of control with cacophonous verbal masturbation.

Even the Ghana Bar Association has found it necessary to issue a statement in support of Charlotte Osei, and condemn Kennedy Agyapong, because the former is a member of the association.

But, there is a radio station here in Accra, called ‘Montie-FM’, where the only topic always on their agenda is vilification of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yet, there hasn't been a whimper from GBA, though Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is an accomplished legal luminary and a member of the association. National Peace Council, social interest groups and individuals who are up in arms against Kennedy Agyapong, and unjustifiably roping-in Nana Addo, are very much aware of how the latter has been the target of relentless insults in the media, but have always turned a deaf-ear and maintained super-glued mouths. In 2008,another NDC-biased radio station, Radio Gold, which I have fittingly christened Ghana’s version of Radio Rwanda, was use to spew a lot of garbage and potentially explosive messages into the system. Private conversations of Ghanaians were tapped into, recorded and broadcast on this radio station. I personally fell victim to that illegal act. There was this late-night program, “Election Forensics’” hosted by Raymond Archer; and the main objective of that program was to demonize EC and playback on live radio, audio tapes of private conversations of Ghanaians they have recorded.

Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa and James Agyenim-Boateng actually sat in the studios of Radio-Gold and called on NDC followers to besiege EC offices with any weapon they could lay hands on, because their mandate was being stolen.Okudzeto-Ablakwa boldly announced on air,that,all our nation’s borders had been closed in order to prevent corrupt NPP government officials from running out of the country.Today,these people who engaged in that irresponsible behavior have been rewarded with ministerial appointments are being called “honorables”.

Alhassan Suhunyini who provided such miscreants the platform to engage in those acts of utter lunacy, is today a board member of Ghana Civil Aviation which has made him so solvent to the point where he now has the financial capacity to contest a parliamentary seat; and should he, in the unlikely scenario that he wins, such a character who has gotten to where he is, through irresponsible behavior, will unfortunately be sitting in the august House and making laws for decent and responsible Ghanaians.Now,these people did all these, only 8years ago, but the whole country never condemn them at the time, and we now seem to have completely forgotten about what they did.

Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei E-mail: