Among the now 54 nations on the African continent, Ghana is fortunate enough to be one of a handful that is taken seriously by the international community. Visitors to our country point to our warmth, our tolerance, and our generally serious approach to nation building as attractive qualities. Sadly, these very attributes that are inherently Ghanaian are being* *continuously jeopardized for political expediency under the current NDC administration. NPP-USA calls on President Mills to arrest this deteriorating situation with immediate effect. He can begin by asking for the resignation of Deputy Minister of Information, Baba Jamal.
It may be recalled that leading to the 2009 by-election for the Parliamentary seat of Akwatia in the Eastern Region, Baba Jamal, then the Deputy Regional Minister, was the NDC candidate. Given the immense popularity that the NPP enjoys in the area, which rendered that seat a strong one for the party, the outcome of that contest was hardly in doubt. Yet, Baba Jamal publicly declared “Jihad”? against his opponent and proceeded to use regional resources, over which he exercised control by virtue of his position, to visit violence and mayhem on NPP supporters. Clearly, the declaration of “Jihad”? was not a joke.
After his defeat, not only did President Mills not fire him from his position, he actually promoted him to his current position of Deputy Minister of Information to team up with Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, who also has a shady record on integrity. NPP-USA would like to draw attention to Baba Jamal’s utterances since assuming his current position.
Baba Jamal’s voice is heard on a taped recording offering stipends to journalists who work for news organizations in the private sector as an inducement to lie about the NDC government’s failing record in office. When the NPP broke the news to the public, Baba Jamal quickly came out to deny that the voice on the taped recording is his, and proceeded to serve notice of a court action he intends to pursue. So far, that court action has not been initiated.
Barely one week later, Baba Jamal’s voice is heard on a separate recording instructing workers of the Information Services Department (ISD) to either make the government look good or risk being terminated from their employment. To underscore his point, Baba Jamal told the workers to report that the government purchased a “white cow”? for a gift even if what the government purchased was a “black sheep.”? In addition to the offensive connotation of black being inferior to white by a government official who is a black person, the clear directive he is giving runs contrary to the ethics * *and job responsibilities required by his position. Sadly, Ghana has been reduced under the Mills and Mahama administration to a level where a minister of state thinks media accuracy and journalistic integrity is a JOKE.
Ironically, this is the same Baba Jamal who only two months ago challenged members of the ISD to intensify their information dissemination role, to educate the public about government policies and programs. If Baba Jamal’s idea of educating the public is to misrepresent the facts, report black to white, and making the government look good, then he is not fit to continue to hold the position of Deputy Minister of Information.
NPP-USA wants to further draw attention to another minister under the Mills-Mahama administration. At a rally in Kumasi last year, former Ashanti Regional Minister Kwadwo Manu told NDC supporters many of whom are already rowdy and violent people, to “slap”? anyone who criticized the NDC government. Although he was eventually removed during a later cabinet reshuffle, the trend of violence-inciting and facts misrepresenting ministers hardly reflects the persona of a president who came into office calling himself “asomdwehene”? or king of peace.
Not lost on many Ashantis is also the fact that the woefully few Ashantis in the Mills cabinet are apparently held to a different standard as made evident by Mr. Manu’s firing for inciting violence, but Baba Jamal’s promotion after declaring “Jihad”? and following it up with violence.
Overall the standards for government officials have fallen low enough. We call on President Mills to terminate Baba Jamal from his current position with immediate effect. Our nation is risking the eradication of an awful lot of goodwill that years of hard work has earned for us. If everyone is taking us seriously, it is time for us to take ourselves seriously. Ghana can be better served with more mature ministers than the Baba Jamal type who sees paid journalists blatantly feeding lies to tax payers as a joke.
Source: NPP USA