Asabee’s Fleeting Glory
Every dog they say has his day, which is why there is a wise saying that if you live in a glass house you should never throw stones. If this saying has any striking resemblance, then the sudden unchartered waters that the former Information Minister, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng (Asabee) finds himself in should serve as a warning to every Ghanaian that there is a time for everything and that every human being has his/her limitations.
Asamoah-Boateng who wants his so-called fans to address him as Asabee came into the Ghanaian political scene not quite long ago but would be remembered for the te rrible negative alcove that he carved for himself. Asabee who is rumored to be the protégé of another terrible NPP character, Kwadwo Mpiani, former Chief of Staff, virtually turned the poor people in Ghana into tattered doormats and walked over Ghanaians with impunity. Even the reputed “Tarzan” Dr. Wereko-Brobby would envy Asabee’s swagger.
At the height of his glory Asabee could say anything that flashes through his stomach and got away with it. He did not weigh his thoughts to see how much they would affect people. He just blared whatever came to stomach out leaving lots of people gasping for breath and in pain. Remember one of his most unpardonable comments in which Asabee bluntly stated that Ghanaians who are hungry should go and eat Kokonte and Gari and leave the NPP government in peace? That was when he earned the “Kokonte Minister” accolade. Some people have short memories otherwise they would not do or say certain things.
It was due to Asabee’s knack to spew political nonsense and venom that the Kufour administration brought him to head the Information Ministry before the 2008 elections. I will liken Asabee’s uncaring and selfish attitude to the greatest Chinese warrior, Confucius, who at the height of his glory stated that “The greatest pleasure in life is to conquer your enemies, seize their goods and horses and hear their women crying”. Such is the terrible mark that Asabee left on the Ghanaian political scene before he was defeated in the 2008 parliamentary elections.
Even long before the 2008 elections was over, there were many Ghanaians who saw and voiced out that the egotism that Asabee displayed on Radio and TV Stations and on the political platforms would eventually turn out to be a big negative and come out to bite the NPP. But the NPP people disgustingly ignored those warnings leaving Asabee to poke his tainted hands multiple times into the eyes of Ghanaians or perceived political opponents with impunity.
After their electoral defeat in the 2008 elections, many NPP diehards did not hide their bitter feelings towards Asabee as some of them openly came out to say that Asabee’s character trait and unguarded utterances also contributed towards the NPP electoral defeat. There were many NPP members who quietly rejoiced that Asabee lost his parliamentary seat.
The loss of his parliamentary seat and his party’s electoral defeat did nothing to change Asabee who put up a huge mansion in his village Abandze before he left office as Information Minister. I will talk about that house another time. Asabee found a new job as a Serial Commentator with Peace FM. This man who has no respect for the poor was always on air lambast ing President Mills and the NDC government. In fact on the day that some NPP members shamefully demonstrated at the gates of the BNI offices following the invitation of Kwadwo Mpiani to testify Asabee was there.
But since every dog has his day, something dramatic happened last week that changed the political landscape of Asabee. It started with a dubious financial claim being detected by the Ministry of Finance about an uncompleted project at the offices of the Minister of Information and his deputies. It was detected that even though work on that contract had not yet been completed the Chief Director of the Information Ministry is requesting the Finance Ministry to pay for the full amount of more than 800 million cedis.
Later in that same week it came to light that the contract was signed by the former Deputy Information Minister, Frank Agyekum. When Mr. Agyekum honoured an invitation from the BNI he spoke the truth by revealing that the contract for that uncompleted work was awarded to Asabee’s sister-in-law. When this bombshell was released it did not perturb stubborn Asabee to tone down on his daily attacks on President Mills.
A day after Mr. Agyekum had testified to the BNI word leaked out that Asabee’s sister-in-law was on target to be interrogated by t he BNI. That was when Asabee attempted to be the ‘artful dodger’ by packing his family’s bag and baggage with the pretence that he was going on a family vacation. Even Asabee's ‘new employers’ Peace FM did not know that Asabee was traveling to the United States on that Sunday. So what does that tell you fellow Ghanaians? That egotistical Asabee who now has his back to the wall was attempting to run away from justice. His cup was about to run over. His talk about going for a two-week vacation is simply bunkum. It’s just a pack of lies. He was sneaking out. Period.
Having been prevented from leaving the country, Asabee was Asabee again. He went on making series of allegations, threats and demands. This former cab driver in London who has no shame and falsely believes that he has the back of Ghanaians arrogantly stated that he would never go to the BNI until that security agency formally writes a letter inviting him to testify. In fact an old dog is always a dog just like a decorated donkey is still an ass. Even when the noose was tightening on Asabee this man did not want to tone down. Do Ghanaians find any similarities? Of course yes. Kwadwo Mpiani who gave a lot of clout to Asabee did the same thing by taunting the Mills government.
The Daily Graphic where Asabee has friends in Ransford Tetteh (Editor) and Emmanuel Amoako (Deputy Editor) gave prominence to Asabee’s hint of a court action against the BNI. There were s eries of Radio programs where ordinary Ghanaians and some so-called social commentators and lawyers shared their views on the on-going saga involving the embattled former Information Minister who used to behave as the Monarch-In-Chief.
However something changed during the midweek when some credible Ghanaians pointed out that Asabee cannot re-write the laws of the country by demanding a formal letter of invitation before appearing before the BNI. This sensible counsel may have changed the mind and heart of Asabee who would go down as one of the most supercilious ministers ever to walk the face of Ghana .
Asabee who told the whole world that he would never go to the BNI offices without a formal letter of invitation and faced a possible arrest, gingerly walked to the offices of the BNI with his wife without any formal letter of invitation from the BNI or persuasion from the BNI. For once Asabee just like King Nebuchadnezzar became humbled and acknowledged that indeed every dog has his day.
Ghanaians are now waiting to hear the outcome of the case. Since every citizen in Ghana is innocent until proven guilty, we are all waiting to hear if indeed the news emerging that the sister-in-law of Asabee knew nothing about the contract is true. If that alleged statemen t from the sister-in-law turns out to be true, then it throws the whole case into another dimension. That is when Asabee has to tell Ghanaians what actually happened. Since the amount involved in the deal is huge we the tax payers want to know nothing but the truth. I want to end by saying that every terrible dog has a day in which he would meet his match. And indeed Asabee has finally met his match.
By Ekua Kwansema
Articles by Ekua Kwansema