By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Folks, we continue to notice many issues that confirm our poor opinion about public discourse on happenings in the NPP camp. Not only are that cabal’s main actors making outrageous public utterances to worsen their party’s credibility problems, but they are also being actively supported by their lackeys in many departments of national life to shoot themselves in the foot.
The latest instance has come from Malik Kweku Baako, Junior, who is no stranger to us as far as the discourse on Ghana’s development challenges and the head-butting between the NPP and NDC are concerned. He is reported to have insulted Ghanaian chiefs, telling them that those of them endorsing the President of Ghana are not wise (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Chiefs-who-endorse-presidents-are-not-wise-Baako-432446).
His insult came in the wake of the endorsements being given by President Mahama by prominent chiefs in the areas he has visited during his “Accounting to the People Tour”. Of particular mention here is the pronouncements of the Acting Kwahumanhene (Nana Agyemang III) and the chiefs of the Krobo traditional area, among others, who couldn’t hide their appreciation for President Mahama’s provision of mu8ch-needed development projects to their communities.
In fine, Kweku Baako’s insulting language is understandable, given the fact that he is unhappy at the massive show of appreciation for President Mahama as he interacted with the chiefs and people benefiting from his government’s development projects. I don’t pity him at all; instead, I laugh him to scorn. As the Propagandist-in-Chief on the media scene for Akufo-Addo, he is no doubt alarmed at happenings, fearful of the fate of his sacred cow at Election 2016.
Could he have chosen a better way to show his disapprobation for what the chiefs are doing? Yes!! He could have said in a simple language that it was wrong for the chiefs to endorse the President instead of hitting them hard as he did. How does he understand the implications of the words “wise” (used positively) and “not wise” (used negatively) to avoid coming across as petulant and dragging his idol (Akufo-Addo) into it? After all, once he is bracing all odds to propagate Akufo-Addo, anything coming from him will be placed in context for analysis as such.
The history of chiefs’ endorsement of our leaders is long and can be told somehow to place Kweku Baako’s invective in its proper context. The truth, though, is that nothing can prevent any chief from expressing opinions about leadership issues for as long as governance is concerned. In our time, the barring of chiefs from participation in partisan politics has its limitations.
Why should the constitution pinpoint only the chiefs and not all others occupying positions of influence such as journalists, leaders of religious sects, civil servants, civil society groupings, or any other association that is not affiliated to any particular political party? The principle or rationale behind the constraints imposed on chiefs may be good but in reality, they aren’t. After all, we all know how politicians snuggle to chiefs to seek their blessing. By so doing, they have already established the symbiotic relationship that the chiefs cannot sever.
In the days of the Great Osagyefo, he moved fast to tame chiefs who opposed him, warning them that they would run away and leave their sandals behind. He took steps to destool recalcitrant chiefs and to replace them with those seeing eye-to-eye with him to uphold his ideals for national development. Whether for good or bad, it happened.
The trend remains that chiefs and politicians cannot be separated. Over the years, chiefs have been members of government teams and appointed to head state institutions to work with politicians. Inevitably, then, chiefs have a political role to play and should not be insulted for doing so.
Now, let’s turn to Kweku Baako himself to say why we condemn him for being abrasive and disrespectful to our chiefs. A functional journalist worth his sort won’t portray himself as Kweku Baako does yet turn round to insult traditional leaders exercising their right of freedom of association. The constitutional constraints notwithstanding, our chiefs are not a-political. After all, human beings are nothing but political animals.
To me, he is more unwise than he has accused the chiefs of being. He is a known die-hard supporter of the NPP cabal (dating back to the rule of Kufuor and his avid support for Akufo-Addo). He was one of the recipients of the national awards conferred by Kufuor on himself and other NPP stalwarts just before he left office. Kweku Baako was honoured, not for his accomplishments in his chosen field, but for ardently playing the leading role of propaganda for Kufuor and his NPP, which he has persisted in doing to date.
No holds barred here. Kweku Baako was the only “serving” journalist to be awarded as such. What for, he himself cannot tell us. But we can infer from happenings that he was favoured for defending the NPP’s cause anywhere he was and still is. Why? He turned coat as a CPP adherent to join the gravy train being driven by Kufuor; and he hasn’t regretted doing so. A journalist who should have known better not to openly display political bias and subservience to the one buttering his bread.
Ghanaian journalists of repute would look up to the national event when the Ghana Journalists Association would recognize their accomplishments and honour them for their professionalism; not for being ventriloquists of a political camp for which they might have fought tooth and nail to whitewash, even against the flare and swing of glaring reality. Don’t tell me that Kweku Baako has ever won that award.
Kweku Baako is what he is because of the complicated circumstances wrought for him by those handling him. He will be foolish to attempt denying that he is being manipulated. He calls himself a journalist and manages the New Crusading Guide newspaper. He has been embroiled in many controversies that are common place. As if not satisfied with all those controversies, he has stepped further into the dung to insult Ghanaian chiefs. His insult reflects his own lack of political maturity and a pathological bent for political mischief.
When the Asantehene told visiting Akufo-Addo that he knew both belonged to the Oyoko family and that as the head of that family, wherever he (the Asantehene) went politically, there would his Asante and Akim Oyoko relatives go, was Kweku Baako alive? That veiled endorsement of Akufo-Addo by the Otumfuo was roundly condemned by those who saw him as endorsing Akufo-Addo for the 2008 elections. What6 happened when Akufo-Addo lost?
The very NPP people who sided with him then have turned round to accuse him of being in the pocket of the NDC, which accusation pained him and forced him to declare that he is a-political. Can any human being ever be a-political? I wonder!!
By insulting Ghanaian chiefs this way, Kweku Baako has added more weight for Akufo-Addo to carry. Will he now go a-begging to undo this harm? Of course, Kweku Baako’s insulting comments came on the heels of the endorsements given President Mahama by prominent chiefs acknowledging the good work of his administration. Does anybody think that the chiefs and their supporters will take the insults slightly or gloss over them? It isn’t an easy thing to do.
I shall return…
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