Feature Article of Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Columnist: Rahman, Shafiu A.

Show us the SADA trees, Kweku Baako!

It is in the best interest of the all-knowing Mr. Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr to stay away from Joy FM’s Manasseh Azure Awuni and his SAD SADA STORY or he gets exposed as a lackey of Mr. Roland Agambire and his gang in their looting campaign against SADA.
Mr. Baako ceases to amaze me. How many times has he raised issues on the many investigative reports his ace investigative reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas did?
I watched him last Saturday frantically trying to cover-up for Mr. Roland Agambire’s ACI Construction on Joy FM News file program.
He tried unsuccessfully to exonerate Mr. Roland Agambire’s ACI from any wrong doing insisting if there is any problem with the tree planting project, then the blame should be at the doorstep of SADA, because they refused to renew the contract of ACI Construction to oversee the survival and growth of the trees.
Mr. Baako was also brandishing a certain University of Development Studies (UDS) report that claimed over 80 per cent survival rate for the trees.
This in my opinion is filthy propaganda from Mr. Baako who for some years now has been battling credibility problems after his near martyrdom during the Rawlings-led P/NDC in the 1980s and 1990s. Kweku was our hero in the 1980s and 1990s when he was fighting the PNDC military dictatorship. He was then doing what Manasseh Azure is doing today. Along the line, Mr. Baako had abandoned his fight against human rights abuses and corruption and now rather leading the fight in favour of corruption and human rights abuse. His refusal to defend many human right abuses under President Kufuor can be cited to support this position. His own media colleague, Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini was muzzled by his employers, the Graphic Communications Group with little or no protest from the crusading journalist. Instead, he led the now defunct Coffee Shop Mafia to use the media as a tool for terrorism with the active support and backing of the state under President Kufuor’s government. Political opponents were then harassed with complicity from the media led by Mr. Kweku Baako. We were all in this country and we saw everything. It was a classic case of state-sponsored media terrorism.
Manasseh has done so well in this report and it could be seen that he has spent so much time and resources to bring to us these stories. So, Kweku Baako cannot sit in the comfort of his office in Accra to try and discredit what Manasseh has done.
If he wants us to believe him, he should come to the North with his recorders and cameras to take a documentary of the tree plantations he is talking about, and we will be ready to watch and make up our minds after he plays it on the national television. The question I want to ask him is; how many times has he visited the northern regions and the savannah zones? And for how long?
Our information is that Manasseh has spent between three to four months in the North to work on this investigative piece. So Kweku Baako cannot sit as an arm chair journalist in the comfort of his office in Accra, take custody of a propaganda report from UDS and try to challenge Manasseh and what he has reported.
Who doesn’t know that Kweku Baako is being paid by Mr. Roland Agambire to always defend him and his business interests? So, just as we see Roland Agambire as an enemy of the North and the northerners, Baako, his apostle is also our enemy, if he continues this shameless defense of the indefensible in this SAD SADA SAGA.
Nobody in his right senses will defend such callousness by the looters of SADA coffers. It is the height of wickedness against the poor people of the North for anybody to jump to the defense of such people. That is why even the rowdy and noisy government communication team is mum on the SADA scandal. The fact of the matter is that there is not and there can never be any defense on the brazen corruption at SADA as reported by Joy FM’s Manasseh. In the first place, did ACI Construction win the GHC 32m (c320bn) afforestation contract on merit? Was there an open and transparent bidding process? The clear answer to the above questions is NO. So, from the beginning, there is corruption in the award of the contract. So what is Kweku Baako talking about!
The plain truth that Mr. Baako and his paymasters must know is that there are no trees anywhere in the North as I am writing this article. This should be on record. If there are, then Mr. Baako should come and show them to us. He should stop that kind of mercenary journalism and give us some breather.
Another question is: Kweku Baako and his New Crusading Guide newspaper and Manasseh and Joy FM, who or which is more credible? Baako should not bring himself. We will not countenance his deception and lies in this matter. He cannot throw dust in our eyes after going home with fat envelop from Mr. Roland Agambire, presumably from the SAD SADA LOOT. WE ARE TIRED OF YOU KWEKU BAAKO!
The vast majority of northerners are behind Manasseh and his good work for the poor people of the North. We adore him for exposing the enemies of progress of the North. In any day, any time and anywhere, I would choose Manasseh above these heartless looters and their defenders like Baako. We are not children. The audit report has spoken. The Manasseh and Joy FM videos have also spoken. Let Agambire, or SADA, or government or even Baako do a counter documentary and play it on the national television. We are interested in seeing the trees not any propaganda report from UDS or whatever.
If Kweku Baako has nothing to say, is better he keeps quiet because we have already made up our minds that SADA has been ransacked and looted by unpatriotic Ghanaians, majority of them are northerners and nothing can change that.

Shafiu A. Rahman
Northern Region