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Opinions of Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Is Bobie Ansah a Qualified Journalist?

I felt very enthusiastic when I read the statement issued by Curtis Perry Okudzeto – a deputy Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) with regard to the boycott of political programmes of Asempa FM hosted by Kwabena Bobie Ansah. For many party activists and sympathizers, the noble decision of the party had been long over-due. Although the NPP gave two reasons for its decisive action – the attempt by the station to choose representatives for the party and the perception of bias on the part of the host, Bobie Ansah, for many of us, there are many more reasons to that effect.

The actions, inactions, naivety and pronouncements of Bobie Ansah on his “Ekosii s3n” programme leave much to be desired. Sometimes I ask myself, is this guy a journalist? Indeed, if Bobie Ansah holds a certificate in journalism, then I can confidently say without a shadow of doubt that he is a disgrace to the profession. Bobie Ansah has proven Norman Mailer – an American Author, right on his views on journalism. According to Norman Mailer; “if a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist”. Using the above quote to give a vivid picture of Bobie’s posture, one will not be wrong to state that Bobie Ansah is a journalist by such circumstance.

Although, I am not a journalist and I do not intend to be one, I have learnt that a reputation for accurate and balanced reportage is one of the biggest assets of professional journalism. A journalist should at least show integrity, impartiality, persistence and humility when covering people but Bobie Ansah has failed in this regard. A responsible journalist should allow the reader to judge people with the facts and quotes he supplies and not his interpretations. But this is where Bobie Ansah shows his naivety. He has been so biased to the extent that his readings of postings on his facebook page are geared towards favouring the incompetent NDC. He chooses to read over 70% messages from NDC sympathizers as against other parties and allows panellists to make unguarded statements on his programme. If one continues to listen to the vituperations from nonentities and political amateurs like Twum Boafos, Jihad Jamal, Kwakye-Ofosus, Anyidohus and Batures, the conclusion we can draw is that, Ghana could turn into Rwanda or Kenya sooner than later.

One of the good qualities of a professional journalist and for that matter a host of a political programme is his dexterity in the choice of topics to be discussed. In other words, a journalist or reporter should have an eye for what is newsworthy. As a developing country, Bobie’s programme could better serve the interest of the nation if topics like the mass failure of BECE candidates, one-time premium on health, declaration of assets by government appointees, the abortive STX Korea deal, the two public universities, drastic reduction of fuel prices, 40% ministerial appointments to women and the factory at each district which Mills promised to build are seriously discussed. Why can’t Bobie ask President Mills, his admirer and paymaster, about the extent to which corruption among his appointees, level of violence among NDC foot soldiers, division in the country along party lines, armed robbery cases, filth in our cities, political insults and profligate spending have been reduced to the barest minimum? Bobie, don’t you think a dispassionate discussion on these topics would reflect the true meaning of your programme dubbed “Ekosii s3n”? So ask Prez Mills why he couldn’t put money in our pockets? Ask him why the provision of employment opportunities to majority of the youth, as well as the expansion of all the social intervention policies and programmes left by the NPP has remained elusive?

For a host of a political programme to always disturb the public ear with one baseless and useless question clearly cuts a slur not only on his integrity as a journalist, but also of all journalists and have the effect of damaging the country’s reputation. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been alleged to have taken drugs by Kwesi Pratt – another stomach politician. This was made known by the Wikileaks cables. Kwesi Pratt was contacted to confirm the allegation but he denied ever making such statement. Nana Addo himself has come out to deny such allegations on several political platforms; yet Bobie Ansah in his quest to soil the integrity of Nana Addo and justify the quantum of money given him by his bosses, always poses this question; “who would you vote for – a leader who is alleged to be sick or a drug addict”? Bobie, which of our presidential contendants is sick and which of them is a drug addict? For several weeks this Bobie Ansah has not been able to bring to the fore the kind of disease President Mills is suffering from - whether he has contracted a headache, HIV/AIDS, malaria or mental disorder, nobody knows. Looking at the negative effects of drug addiction vis-`a-vis the political maturity of the various party flag-bearers, which of them could Bobie Ansah honestly say exhibits such abnormal traits?

Bobie Ansah is full of himself and thinks he knows it all but I know Bobie to be a ‘weed’ smoker, a drunkard and a womanizer so I wonder how he has the guts to question other people’s moral integrity. Could Bobie Ansah swear by the Holy Bible that he is not currently dating one Naana - a serial caller of the NDC in the UK? It is a pity to have such people in our midst parading as journalists but covered with political colours. This same Bobie Ansah showed his admiration for and his eagerness to support President Mills’ presidential bid when he was interviewed by Mugabe Maase of Radio Focus – UK. On his way to cover the NDC’s presidential primaries on 9th July, 2011, Bobie Ansah said; “I expect the delegates to reject Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings. President Mills needs a second term in office to complete the projects he has started. Both Rawlings and Kufuor had two terms. Nana Konadu is greedy”. On Rainbow Radio – UK this morning (04/10/11), Bobie just beat about the bush when he granted interview to my classmate Katakyie Kwaku Owusu Frimpong. Bobie is also reported to have said that he did not travel from Mampong (his hometown) to Accra just to have a look at the sea or Gulf of Guinea. For him, in addition to “broadening his horizon”, he is in the capital city to make money because he does not wash his face in the opposite direction. These are some of Bobie Ansah’s answers to the numerous allegations levelled against him for doing the propaganda work of the NDC. So my dear readers, do you call this guy a journalist and if so what type of journalist - a mischievous journalist, an illiterate journalist, an arrogant journalist or a stomach journalist? Your guess is as good as mine. The NPP should note that there are many Bobie Ansahs in Ghana and in the UK because many of the radio stations and their presenters, newspapers and T.V. stations are in bed with some media personnel. It would be recalled that on March 24, 2009 barely three months into Mills’ administration, Mr. P.V. Obeng in his “Enemy Media” memo charged the NDC hierarchy to explore the possibility of sponsoring radio and T.V. programmes, if the party wanted to retain power. The NDC accepted the challenge and began to attack some journalists in Brong-Ahafo and Northern Regions. Besides, a whopping GHC 1.6 million was spent on Christmas hampers for some selected media personnel through Stan Dogbe. This was followed by Baba ‘Jihad’ Jamal, the deputy misinformation minister’s declaration that workers of the Ghana Information Service should describe a black sheep as a white goat. For the past few days, Johnson Asiedu Nketia – the General Secretary of the NDC, a palm wine tapper, a former truck pusher and one of the alleged political ‘thieves’ in the Bui Dam project, has been granting interviews on almost all the radio stations in the UK. He spends not less than an hour on each interview but in all cases, callers were not given the opportunity to ask him questions. For instance, after spending one and a half hours on in the studios of Radio Focus - UK last Saturday October 1, 2011, Asiedu Nketiah lied to listeners that he was attending another important event and as such, he could not answer any questions from listeners. The same excuse was given at other radio stations including Rainbow Radio – UK all because he wanted to dodge questions on his recent acquisition of £370,000 mansion in London and his alleged thievery at the Bui Dam project. Are these not enough evidence to show that most of the media personnel are being influenced by the NDC? In conclusion, I would like to sound a word of caution to Bobie Ansah and his ilk that no matter what they do or say, the NPP is poised to win the next general elections. We as a party will not be daunted by their propaganda work. “Mpanin se, akwadaa obewuo no, wode no hy3 Roman Father boto mu koraa obewu”. The NDC has failed to deliver the goods even with the oil revenue. As the most populous political party in Ghana with many discerning and intellectual expertise, we will remain resolute against such negativities on the part of such stomach journalists. God has appointed Nana Akufo Addo already and the discerning-minded electorates are only waiting for December 7, 2012 to endorse him. Bobie Ansah should be ashamed of himself. He should learn to respect our leaders and the intelligence of peace loving Ghanaians!

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Hull. UK.

Official blog (www.katakyie.com). katakyienpp@yahoo.com 07944309859 “Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success”