I have read the rejoinder written by Mr. Alex Seshie-Vanderpuije, public relations officer of the United Kingdom and Ireland branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), vis-ŕ-vis the Baba Jamal episode, and could not help but snort with contempt (See I Will Fire You, If You Undermine Government Asamoah Boateng Tells ISD Staff Modernghana.com 8/10/11).
About the only logical conclusion that the critical thinker reaches is that the key NDC operatives are fully aware of the nationally known fact that they are a bunch of unrepentant rascals who have absolutely no intention of mending their ways. This conclusion is reached because nowhere in his badly written and poorly edited rejoinder does Mr. Seshie-Vanderpuije attempt to grab the proverbial bull by the horns.
Instead, the NDC-PRO childishly resorts to fishing for a similar blunder committed by members of the now-opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) when the latter party was in office. In this instance, rather than frontally clear Baba Jamal of any wrongdoing, in the alleged intimidation of the staff of the Information Services Department (ISD) by the Deputy Information Minister, the NDC-UK and Ireland PRO chooses to direct his readers to the Ghanaian Chronicle website and a report alleging that then-Information and National Orientation Minister under the Kufuor government, Mr. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, had also intimidated ISD staff by threatening to fire anybody who attempted to deliberately undermine the government.
Granted the fact that Mr. Asamoah-Boateng had not creditably deported himself as a cabinet minister with supervisory powers over the ISD, the fact still remains that, indeed, Mr. Jamal had called a conference with the staff of the ISD and not only cautioned them against any attempt to undermine the Mills-Mahama government, but actually strong-armed the ISD staff, or rather forcibly attempted to orient them towards serving as a propaganda wing of the ruling National Democratic Congress.
Needless to say, there is a stark and objective difference between Mr. Asamoah-Boatengs cautioning of ISD employees against any attempt to undermine the Kufuor administration, on the one hand, and Mr. Jamals clearly unscrupulous and downright roguish attempt to coerce ISD employees into routinely and deliberately orchestrating and disseminating abject mendacity on behalf of the Mills-Mahama government. For nowhere in the Chronicles report, unlike Baba Jamal, is Mr. Asamoah-Boateng alleged to be specifically ordering ISD employees to magnify the activities of NPP operatives over and above the reality, while, for instance, the former Deputy Eastern Regional Minister is clearly heard on an audiotape telling ISD employees to say that the government has just purchased a cow when, in reality, it was just a sheep which the government just purchased.
Going by the preceding logic, one can aptly and readily conclude that to the likes of Baba Jamal and staunch defenders like Messrs. Felix Ofosu Kwakye and Johnson Asiedu-Nketah, for example, it would be grossly tantamount to capital criminality, or even high treason, for a government-salaried media operative to simply report that the government just succeeded in having a bill requiring the purchase of five military aircraft of diverse make passed by parliament. Instead, the government-employed media operative, to maintain his/her job and livelihood, would have to report that the government just succeeded in having a bill requiring the purchase of ten space-shuttles passed by parliament.
What is also curious and unique about the Jamal episode is the fact that the Deputy Information Minister had earlier on vehemently denied (you guessed right) another audiotape alleging the bribing of journalists of various shades and stripes across the country. However, clearly caught with his proverbial pants down at his ankle and his hung in full public glare, Mr. Jamal and his cronies smirkingly claimed that it had all been a jest taken the wrong way.
Well, some well-meaning Ghanaian voter had better tell the Jamal Circus Act, that this latter joke is not funny at all.
Source: \Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and au
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