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Opinions of Saturday, 26 January 2019

Columnist: Alhajj Suleman

Seeing through conspiracy theories - The case of Ghana

A conspiracy theory is defined by wikipedia as "explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy - generally one involving an illegal or harmful act supposedly carried out by government or other powerful actors without credible evidence". A conspiracy on the other hand, is a group of conspirators banded together to carry out an act with ulterior motives of achieving a certain result (in most cases it is criminal).

What sticks out in the definitions supra, is the fact that people engaged in conspiracy theories have no evidence and have ulterior motives behind what they do. A network of people with common interest, are banded together by this interest to carry out their conspiracy. The modus operandi of conspirators in a conspiracy theory, is to chime false alarms. They put out fallacious statements about their object of interest in a sustained manner. They try to piece together pieces of unrelated information in order to create a seemingly 'truthful' story and blow it out of a proportion.

Conspirators hardly hold on to one lie: like a scatter diagram, they splash the space with many lies. So for example, if they say "he murdered an MP" yesterday; today, they will abandon what they said yesterday and say "he is not a lawyer", then tomorrow, they come up to say "he is an extortionist, he is a tax evader", etc. I don't know if any of us has seen a rabbit escaping danger: hop hop hop... So these conspirators keep hopping from one lie to another like a rabbit escaping danger.

What they know for sure is that, they don't need to prove their lies because after all the public has itching ears and always would like to hear something different from the norm (our ears sweet). So when everyone says he is a fantastic investigative journalist: when Kofi Annan, Prez Rawlings, Prez Kufuor, Prez Mahama, Prez Akufo-Addo, Prez Obama and a myriad of watchers hail his excellence, we the public want to hear something different. So we ask: 'is he an angel, maybe he is doing something, well we don't know but...’ Our 'buts', 'ifs', 'maybes' are the only lubricants that lubricates the wheels of these conspirators as they move along with their chain of unintelligible lies.

Another contrivance of conspirators, is 'emotionalism'. You can doff your hat for conspiracy theorists for their melodramatic attribute. Very creative in 'emotionalising' the masses. So for example, when a judge takes bribes such as goats and bend laws for or against people (in some cases putting people in jail and freeing those who ought to be in jail for serious crimes), and these judges are apprehended, a conspiracy theorist will tell you that the judge ought not to have been punished. "Why must a judge who has suffered so many years to become a judge be punished? "Whoever exposed these judges is wicked. He has disgraced the entire country. Ghana is a laughing stock for the world community". For these theorists, damn the evils of these judges. Damn those who have been jailed unfairly. Damn criminals who have been acquitted back into society. Whoever exposed such judges has destroyed the justice system of this country. "See, one judge even has stroke", why?: the conspiracy theorist quizzes. Consciously, a conspirator is well aware that emotionalism is stronger in appeal than common sense, logic and reasoning and they glean the fruits of melodrama thereof.

Can there be truth in what conspirators do or say? Ok, let's judge for ourselves. When you pay keen attention to them, you will see a thread wobbly stories which do not add up. See, a former worker of Tiger Eye jumps on to the band wagon of his co-conspirators and alleges that he has been threatened by Tiger Eye just after the murder of a key investigator of Tiger Eye. In the narrative of this former worker, he is suspected by Tiger Eye to be behind the death of Ahmed. This renegade denies ever leaking information to anybody for the purpose of harming Tiger Eye investigators. But how come this renegade never reported threats from Tiger Eye to the police until the death of hero, Ahmed Hussein-Suale? Is he the only former worker of Tiger Eye? In his own narration, he said there're many former workers of Tiger Eye since most people are contracted on short term basis and others simply can't cope with the dangerous nature of the job. On his part, he said he left the job because he wasn't satisfied with the conditions of service (note: he didn't leave because Tiger Eye was engaged in any criminal activity but simply because his salary and other conditions weren’t good for him). A case in point for him was what he claims ensued in Dubai. Huh! Was he the only member of the team that went to Dubai? Why he was singularly ditched, that's if his narration is true? He mentioned how he loves Tiger Eye and that after he left, he set up his own PI. On one hand, he claims Tiger Eye is not criminal and at the same time, his co-conspirators are seriously trying to tie a criminal tag to Tiger Eye. There obviously is a missing link here.

Then conspirators come up with another theory about the gruesome murder of Ahmed. In a bid to push back after his reckless comments and actions as put by fmr Prez JJ Rawlings, attracted an avalanche of condemnations aglobe, he said Tiger Eye maybe responsible because they fell out with Ahmed. Ok, so why didn't Tiger Eye harm the Tiger Eye renegade (fmr employee) who sold unrelated information to him but rather murdered the hero Ahmed Hussein-Suale who was representing Tiger Eye in court in all the suits brought against Tiger Eye following #12 expos?? How could someone who fell out with an organisation be their lead witness in court? Lies indeed are difficult to defend.

Alright let's move on. Conspiracy theorists mostly are allegers, investigators, prosecutors, and judges in their own cases. How? "I have proven that Anas is also corrupt. That's all that I wanted to prove...” said, one of the conspirators. How did you prove that, we the citizens asked? He said "I showed: 'who watches the watchman' so it means he (Anas) is also corrupt". Heeeyyy!! You see the difference? Tiger Eye after gathering evidence on any matter, puts its evidence before an adjudicatory body so constituted to make final determintions. Tiger Eye doesn't act as investigator, prosecutor, and judge at the same time unlike the conspiracy theorists. When I call Nyantakyi corrupt today, it is not because Tiger Eye says so but because FIFA through its Independent Adjudicatory Chamber says so. On the contrary, if I say Anas is corrupt, it will be because the producer of 'who watches the watchman' says so. You see the difference?

In actual sense, conspiracy theorists can't stand the legal scrutiny of any constitutionally mandated body. Do you remember Anas was taken to General Legal Council and the matter was dismissed? Do you remember Anas caught Eddie Annan of Hot fm on tape extorting money for the purpose of denigrating Tiger Eye and was dragged to the National Media Commission (NMC)? It was a good place for this self-acclaimed investigative journalist of Hot FM to prove his case of corruption against Tiger Eye but this criminal was handed a perpetual restraining order by NMC; so when I say Eddie Annan is a fraudster of a journalist, it is not because Tiger Eye says so but because the NMC says so.

Sequelling from the immediate paragraph above, I can say major roadblocks in the way of conspiracy theorists, are lawfully constituted bodies. They hardly are able to pass that test. Because at such fora, it's no longer about screaming, shouting, and jumping from one lie to the other. It is about proving your accusations with hard facts and evidence, this has been a neck-breaker for all conspiracy theorists around the world. The only benefit these conspiracy theorists get is the inglorious cheers they receive from their gullible and unrepentant followers who would always support them no matter what.

Every right thinking Ghanaian knows that the most failed conspiracy theorist in recent history, is Kennedy Agyapong!



By Alhajj Suleman, Stuttgart, Germany

Issifusulemana@outlook.com