Ghanaweb.com Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, KwameBy Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Nov. 21, 2014
The quality of Ghanaian journalism, in general, may not be what it is presently, but it is definitely not for the reason cited by President John Dramani Mahama in the wake of the Heathrow Airport arrest of Ms. Nayele Ametefe, on November 10, for the latter’s possession of 12.5 kgs of commercial-grade cocaine (See “Mahama Justifies BNI Invitation of Citi-Fm Boss” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 11/20/14).
Following the exclusive publication of the Ametefe Scandal, the Station Manager of Citi-Fm Radio, Mr. Samuel Atta-Mensah, and the Editor of the government-owned and operated Daily Graphic, Mr. Ransford Tetteh, were “invited” for questioning by the Rawlings-reconfigured Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), formerly known as the Special Branch of the Ghana Police Service.
Anyway, addressing a national conference on broadcast pluralism, President Mahama lamely and scandalously attempted to justify the BNI’s strong-arming of the two men by faulting Messrs. Atta-Mensah and Tetteh for having erroneously indicated in their several publications that Ms. Ametefe had traveled on a diplomatic passport issued by the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress.
Indeed, if anything at all, Mr. Mahama ought to have commended the two latest victims of BNI intimidation and harassment for their yeomanly performance of the sort of high-caliber journalism that one routinely associates with the practice of the trade in post-industrial democracies like the United States of America, France, Canada and Great Britain. And on the latter count, I base my judgment on the fact that, to-date, the Mahama government has not been able to contradict the substance, or veracity, of the publications by Messrs. Atta-Mensah and Tetteh vis-a-vis the November 10 nabbing of Ms. Ametefe.
Instead, highly placed government officials and diplomats like Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, Ghana’s Communications Minister, and Mr. Victor Smith, the country’s High Commissioner to Britain, have been crawling over one another, literally speaking, in a futile attempt to flatly deny both the Ghanaian citizenship and nationality of Ms. Ametefe (aka Ms. Ruby Adu-Gyamfi), as well as the latter’s well-known connection to key players of the ruling National Democratic Congress, including, of course, President John Dramani Mahama.
It is all-too-obvious that had Mahama pointmen and women at the BNI gotten wind of the possession of the juicy Nayele story, and the logical intention of the Graphic editor and the Citi-Fm manager to publishing the same, they would have swiftly moved in to stifle this media earthquake, although in the protean era of Internet technology, it is not quite certain whether such ham-fisted measure would have succeeded.
And so it is rather pathetic, to speak much less about the patently scandalous and downright unprofessional, that President Mahama would so inadvisably attempt to impugn the credibility of Messrs. Atta-Mensah and Tetteh, by presuming to nitpick at such a minor detail of the story as whether, indeed, the alleged criminal suspect had traveled to Heathrow from Accra’s Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on a diplomatic passport or just an ordinary one.
But even on the latter count, both Messrs. Atta-Mensah and Tetteh stand tall and head and shoulders well above an obviously stumped and addled President Mahama. For reliable sources inside the British intelligence system have reportedly confirmed that, indeed, Ms. Ametefe had departed from KIA through the VIP Lounge, an exit point that is globally recognized as the preserve, or prerogative, of diplomats and high-ranking government officials.
And so, now, the question that logically arises regards the identity of the KIA official who had permitted Ms. Ametefe to emplane to London via the VIP Lounge of Ghana’s main and sole international airport. And this is also where matters get even more complicated, as we further learn that, indeed, somebody higher up in the KIA security system had actually logged the entire enchilada of 12.5 kgs of commercial-grade cocaine on board to an already seated Ms. Ametefe, who had reportedly made absolutely no attempt, whatsoever, to conceal the estimated $5 million worth of contraband.
We have also learned that Ms. Ametefe has in the recent past traveled on passports sporting the name of “Mahama” as one of her legion known aliases. And so, now, concerned Ghanaian citizens want to know, President Mahama: What cut or percentage of the Ametefe-grade cocaine contraband belonged to you? Trust me, Little Dramani, I am not the least bit interested in your job. I am only interested in the truth; that is, if you really know what the truth is.