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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Columnist: Nii Addo Quaynor

Open letter: No thanks, Kwesi Twum; I asked for dismissal not suspension

Dear Kwesi Twum,

I hope all is well with you and your family. Let me begin by apologizing for conveying yet again another message to you through this medium. If I had any other practicable and convenient channel of communicating with you, I would have graciously explored it. Accept my sincere apologies if you are discomfited by my resort to public engagement through open letters.

Sir, rest assured, before writing this long innocuous letter, I had dispassionately reflected over the possible consequences of an ‘ordinary’ citizen like me complaining about the most abusive and sarcastic employees of yours who only take delight in insulting everybody, the president no exception, at the least or no provocation.

Despite the insults and threats on my life for daring to counsel a successful business mogul of your caliber to purge your once esteemed media outfit of the present hawks with large wings using it to fulfill their cherished political agenda, I have to communicate my concerns once again to you.

My intention is not to bore you with further complaints. I have taken this position because your reaction to my first letter, at least per reports that you have suspended Kojo Yankson for two weeks, suggest to me and many others that you are startlingly conformable with the tattered image your employees are carving for your station.

Sorry to disappoint you Sir. I am least pleased with media reports on the action your management team has taken. Of course, you don’t work for me so I don’t expect you to please me. I prefer to treat news about Kojo Yankson’s suspension as meager and not commensurate with the grievous ‘offense’ he has committed. If your action was intended to bait some of us into believing that you despised what he did, then sorry Sir, you have instead poured petrol on the long smoldering embers of the jaundice journalism being unleashed on Ghana’s fragile democracy by some of your employees.

I don’t’ need a soothsayer to knock into my head that you were unwilling to penalize Kojo Yankson for calling President Mahama an “armed robber.” I have no doubt that you patted him on the shoulder for a good work done, and probably applauded him for outweighing the likes of Ato Kwamena Dadzie, Anny Osabutey, Sampson Lardi Ayenin, Joseph Opoku Gakpo and others in the “President insulting contest.”

If you had desired to send clear message to the other foul mouth colleagues of Kojo Yankson to restore JOY FM’s long lost pride, you would have handed him outright dismissal and not the face saving action you took.

In case you are not aware, no Ghanaian today, I mean the discerning ones, is pleased with the arrogant, rude and abusive posturing of some your key on air presenters. Many have said that your employees are pandering to your whims and caprices to achieve your desire of seeing an Akufo Addo government after this year's election.

I am not a believer of this, but sadly you have just confirmed it. You had the opportunity to clear your name but unfortunately you have just justified claims that you have a sinister agenda against the NDC and President Mahama.

Multimedia Group, particularly JOY FM, today, has become hotbed for breeding journalists with questionable characters. I need not to remind you of some of the unprofessional conduct some have engaged in over the years.

Sir, I will be surprised if you are oblivious of the fact that if Kojo Yankson had done what he did in countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Turkey etc, he would have been languishing in jail by now. You and your all-knowing employees, like every other Ghanaian, are required to respect and observe the laws of the country. The tyrannical empire you have built which is now serving as a conveyer belt for hate speeches cannot and must not be allowed to thrive in Ghana.

Maybe you are busking in glory that Ghana does not have draconian laws for dealing with politicians in disguise masquerading as journalists in your organization. We were all witnesses to the dark days of journalism in this country and if it is your wish that Ghana reenacts what happened in the past then continue to condone what your platforms are being used for.

It is not for nothing that Justice Adjabeng once said “one of the mistake journalists make in a democracy and a free speech society is that they think they can say and write whatever they like”. I entreat you to mull over this. Nobody is stopping you from pursuing your NPP agenda. What I am against is the constant denigration of the President and his appointees.

Again Sir, if it is your thinking that we are living in a free speech society for which reason you have emboldened your employees to go after the President and his appointees in such despicable manner, then gird your loins to face the consequences in the foreseeable future.

This is an election year; your impulsive attitude will no longer be tolerated. Some of us are running out of patience and very soon we may be forced to react in equal measure. Your employees have chosen the microphone as a destructive tool; we may not be privileged to have access to the microphone, but I can assure you that we may use a different strategy which may be probably deadly than yours. I pray we don’t get there.

If you had appreciated the fact that dismissing Kojo Yankson will clear your name as not doing the bidding of the NPP, you would have won my respect. The action you have taken does not amuse me.

You have suspended Kojo Yankson and many are calling on me to applaud you, but NO THANKS SIR; I ASKED FOR DISMISSAL NOT SUSPENSION!

Yours Truly,

Nii Addo Quaynor