Indeed, what is nauseating, if Mr. Sulemana Braimah, of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), were to ask me, is him doing absolutely nothing by way of demanding prompt and condign justice when former Presidential Communications Aide Mr. Stanislav X. Dogbe brutally mauled the young broadcast journalist with the state-owned and operated Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) – (See “Delta 8: We’re Not ‘Fools’ – MFWA Boss to Gov’t” Starrfmonline.com / Modernghana.com 5/18/17). The brutal assault was in connection with the highly unnecessary death of the 37-year-old father and husband who worked with another state-owned and operated media enterprise, namely, the Ghanaian Times.
It was very criminal and highly unnecessary because the presidential press corps attached to the Flagstaff House, of which the deceased was a member, that had accompanied Mr. John Dramani Mahama to an Evangelical Presbyterian Church function in Ho, capital of the Volta Region, had been characteristically shoved off their Flagstaff House-assigned minivan and been loaded like cattle onto an unroadworthy vehicle with a novice driver during their return journey. The Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House, as usual, had better use for the minivan than having a bunch of nuisance pressmen and women hog it like parasites. A bunch of hair-lice, maybe. The young GBC reporter had gone to the 37 Military Hospital where the dead man and his injured colleagues had been taken for medical treatment to write and file a report. He had been accused of attempting to eavesdrop on a conversation between Mr. Dogbe and Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, the then-Communications Minister.
Well, as I vividly recall, in the wake of the brutal beating of the young broadcaster, whose state-owned broadcast equipment had been deliberately destroyed by the arrogant assailant in the process, there were widespread calls on the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House to promptly issue a message of round condemnation of the incident, followed by the logical disciplining of the very well-protected and notorious Mahama human bull-dog. A letter signed by a multiplicity of media operatives had also been dispatched by the executive members of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA). Instead, Mr. Mahama’s nose-thumbing response to the media was to promptly offer Mr. Dogbe a promotion at the Presidency. A noncommittal press release would be issued by the Flagstaff House months after the assault.
What message does Mr. Braimah think such an act of abject disrespect sent to both the national media community and the Ghanaian citizenry at large? Let’s talk about real impunity here. The most painful fact of the matter is that the Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa was, himself, an integral part of the problem. I don’t know what Prof. Kwame Karikari thinks today of the man to whom he handed over his pet project. Well, rather than vigorously and dispassionately campaign for justice to be done, Mr. Braimah asininely simply decided to play the role of a half-assed Samaritan by lamely replacing the state-owned broadcast equipment that had been irreparably destroyed by Mr. Dogbe, almost as if to imply that the great pain, humiliation, injury and suffering meted the young reporter by Mr. Dogbe had been inflicted on the bark of a tree or the family dog.
You see, it is quite amusing to hear the MFWA Director wax pontifical and suave on the question of justice and the rule of law, but the fact of the matter is that when these salient elements of civilized mode of human behavior or conduct concern the government of a northern-born president like Mr. Mahama, then these otherwise widely acknowledged sterling qualities of humanity may just as well be chucked to the dogs or the garbage dump. Indeed, rather than deservedly and poignantly castigate the key operatives of the Mahama regime in the matter of Mr. Dogbe’s mauling of the young GBC reporter, Mr. Braimah actually joined the lily-livered President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr. Affail Monney, or some such name, to farcically placate such Flagstaff House operatives as Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah and Mr. Julius Debrah and ended up cowardly consenting to having these political cynics cheaply bribe their way out of this patent case of felonious abuse. Now, let’s talk about law and order.
Needless to say, calling Mr. Braimah a hypocrite would be tantamount to grossly understating matters. It would be the cheap and easy way out. The fact of the matter is that the man is an unconscionable Mahama collaborator who has absolutely no business pretending to be either a media watchdog or a vanguard rights activist. Indeed, it is only ignoble and shameless political toadies like Mr. Braimah who see no difference in ideology, style and practice of governance between operatives of the ruling New Patriotic Party and their counterparts of the main opposition National Democratic Congress.
Anyway, if he really cares to know, the difference between the NPP and the NDC is akin to the difference between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea, and South Korea.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York