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Opinions of Friday, 25 September 2009

Columnist: Manu, Kwabena

The Africa-America Institute Salutes Ghana NOT Mills

By Kwabena Manu (Pancho), New York September 22, 2009

In his haste to please his master, Koku Anyidoho, Head of Communications at the Castle, Accra sped off an article to the media with the headline: Africa-America Institute Honours Mills.” True Koku did acknowledge that the evening of September 21, 2009 when the venerable and well-respected international NGO - The Africa-America Institute (AAI) celebrated Ghana was an extremely well-attended and organized affair that did Ghana proud. True Koku said that his boss, President John Atta-Mills was a no show and his Foreign Minister, Hon. Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni stood in for him. But Koku betrayed his sense of appreciation when he slanted his report to say that AAI honored Mills. I was there. AAI honored the people of Ghana and the President in his video presentation acknowledged as much thanking AAI not for himself but for Ghana. Oh Koku, don’t put words in your boss’s mouth and don’t twist the truth. Here President Mills was gracious, Koku was reckless and by his act of prevarication, he has slighted AAI that has for more than 50 years given scholarships to at least 20,000 Africans to obtain various advanced degrees including nearly 1,000 from Ghana. Koku, if you want to appreciate the good work of AAI, go and ask the current Finance Minister, Dr Duffuor who received his degrees through AAI’s scholarships. Or ask your old boss, Dr. Obed Asamoah who got his law degree through AAI’s generosity.

I have been to the last six of AAI’s award dinners and all of them have honored the people of the country: Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda and Kenya. In each case, the President accepts on behalf of his people. Sadly, only Ghana’s President Mills has been absent. But we shall not hold that against him. We hold taking the honor from Ghana against Mr. Anyidoho. Hear the MC, Ms. Femi Oke introduce the event:

“In keeping with AAI’s annual tradition of casting the spotlight on Africa- one country at a time- tonight we will salute and celebrate Ghana.” – Koku where is President Mills’ name in that introduction? And then the President and CEO of AAI, Ms Mora McLean said this at the moment of the presentation before Hon. Mumuni received the award for Ghana( and to his credit, he did not say, President Mills thanks AAI for the award given him.)

Ms. Mclean: “Ladies and gentlemen and honored guests, thank you for joining us tonight to pay tribute to Ghana for its steadfast commitment to nurturing democracy and hope since ending military rule, and investing in the Ghanaian people”

You get the point. AAI honored the people of Ghana for nurturing democracy and hope. The award, in keeping with its tradition was expected to be received on behalf of the people of Ghana by its current President, Prof. Mills. He could not make it on account of the Nkrumah centennial so he sent his Foreign Minister to do the honors. He did a great job by thanking AAI on behalf of his boss for honoring Ghana. I have learned the value of taking notes to check truth twisters like Koku Anyidoho.

I spoke briefly with Hon. Alhaji Mumuni and commended him for his good acceptance speech on behalf of President Mills and the people of Ghana and he was very appreciative of the gesture.

Somewhere in the GOOD OLD BOOK – THE BIBLE, I have read, “YOU SHALL SPEAK THE TRUTH SAYS JESUS AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE”.

Koku Anyidoho, kindly spare Ghanaians from your lies because NO LIE CAN LIVE FOREVER.