I often find Franklin Cudjoe on the right side of most critical national issues. But in this particular instance, his decision to and rationale for weighing in on the side of the unethical leaking of the service condition proposals of the striking members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is one that I find to be unreservedly untenable (See “‘Stan Dogbe Leaking GMA Demands Is Not Wrong’ – IMANI Boss” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/17/15).

Stan Dogbe
Stan Dogbe
For starters, what Mr. Dogbe did amounts to a national security breach, for the culprit did not simply leak the GMA demands to the media, he decided to publish the same on his private Facebook Wall.

Unless President John Dramani Mahama specifically instructed him to do so, what Mr. Dogbe did can open the floodgates to any government insider to “leak” even more sensitive material in the near future. And such leakage may well endanger the Mahama government and the nation at large. The GMA leadership has also been vindicated in its insistent public claim that the government was more intent on subjecting the GMA membership to public ridicule than seriously negotiating with it in good faith. And to be certain, Labor Minister Haruna Iddrisu has publicly and emphatically declared that the government has absolutely no intention, whatsoever, of negotiating with the striking doctors.

What concerns me here, however, is the IMANI think-tank president’s assertion that in publishing the GMA’s service conditions proposals on his Facebook Wall, somehow, Mr. Dogbe, who is a key member of the Mahama staff, was also acting as a “Citizen Journalist.” Well, I teach print-journalism as part of my job description and have been doing so for nearly twenty years now. Trust me, Mr. Dogbe is as farther away from the standard description of a “Citizen Journalist” as the term implies, even in its loosest definition.

Mr. Cudjoe also claims that “everyone knows the terms of even nuclear negotiations.” I suppose this latter reference was to the just-concluded nuclear non-proliferation agreement that President Obama initialled with the Iranians the other day, the terms of which have been met with a firestorm of protest in the United States’ Congress. Yes, in broadly generalized terms, most reasonably well-educated Americans are in on what the agreement is about. But it is about the extent of such public knowledge. In reality, there are other in-depth details of the White House’s agreement with Tehran that are classified, and may not even be readily accessible to most of our congressional and senatorial representatives.

Mr. Cudjoe also claims that the GMA proposals are “economic documents” of great interest to the Ghanaian taxpayer, and thus ought to be made readily available for public consumption because, in the end, it is taxpayer money that would be used to pay the new salaries of the striking doctors, should the GMA propasals meet with the approval of the Mahama government. Well, the key phrase here is the “Mahama government.” In short, if the Ghanaian citizenry wanted our every business and dirty linen washed and dried and ironed out in public, we would not have elected a government and parliament to deal with such matters without our direct participation and/or involvement.

In other words, in apparently and deliberately permitting one of its key operatives to publish the GMA proposals on his Facebook Wall, President Mahama and his Labor and Health ministers are saying to the Ghanaian voters who put them in office that they have made a terrible mistake. The Mahama government may also have set a very bad precedent that the President and his key operatives may soon live to regret. And it has to do with the fact that now it is going to be legitimate for the leaders of any public sector establishment with an axe to grind with the Flagstaff House to curtly, summarily and routinely ignore its main negotiating partner or employer by first putting everything into the public domain before officially notifying the government. Because, after all, it is the Ghanaian taxpayer whose money pays the salaries of these workers, and not “mere contract workers” like President Mahama, in the words of Labor Minister Haruna Iddrisu.

It is also rather logically incongruous for Mr. Cudjoe to claim to have found insults heaped on the striking doctors by government media wags objectionable but, somehow, find it to be perfectly in order for government operatives like Mr. Dogbe to attempt to publicly humiliate and insult the intelligence of the GMA membership. The IMANI boss has to come clean on this matter.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]

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