11.05.2020 Feature Article

A True Picture of NDC Press Freedom

A True Picture of NDC Press Freedom
11.05.2020 LISTEN

To hear National Democratic Congress’ dynastic General-Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, presume to instruct Mr. Kwami Sefa Kayi, host of the popular Peace FM’s flagship morning talk-show “Kokrokoo,” or “Cocadoodledoo,” how to run his show, ought to give Ghanaians a true picture of what the likes of former President John Dramani Mahama and General Mosquito, the sobriquet or nickname of this recent graduate of the Ghana Armed Forces’ Staff College, mean when they smugly and pontifically brag about having sported the foremost press-freedom record on the African Continent during the four-and-half years that Mr. Mahama held Ghanaians hostage under the Stygian blanket of darkness that came to be globally known as “Dumsor” (See “Sefa Kayi Can’t Select Who Speaks for NDC on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ – Asiedu-Nketia” / 5/9/20).

Now, there is a farcical irony here because it was really the executive operatives of the National Democratic Congress, including Mr. Asiedu-Nketia, who selected Mr. Bernard Allotey Jacobs, the retired Central Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, to represent the interests, aims, objectives and values, whatever the latter may mean, on the “Kokrokoo” talking-heads program. I don’t know whether any clearly defined terms of withdrawal at the time of the appointment of Mr. Allotey Jacobs to the Chairman-General’s program had been initialed by both sides of the contract. Very likely, no such terms of withdrawal had been agreed to by both the management of the Despite Communications Network (DCN), proprietors of PeaceFM, and the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress.

But what is even more at once comical and ludicrous about the entire spat between the Mahama Posse and the Sefa Kayi Group, is the foolhardy declaration by the former to the curious effect that it has an immutable right to instruct the Sefa Kayi Group on how to literally rearrange the proverbial deck of cards of the game to suit the capricious desires of the Mahama Posse. As it is predictably to be expected, the Chairman-General is not budging. He is not backing down. He has already handed down his final judgment to the effect that he does not take Marching Orders from the Faux “Commie” Tacticians of the Jerry John Rawlings-fangled National Democratic Congress or any other gang of political-machine ideologues whatsoever. I also don’t know what fiscal arrangements we are dealing with here, that is, whether any of these political talking-heads are being paid by the Despite Group or it is the movers-and-shakers of the National Democratic Congress who are also the paymasters of the representatives of the NDC on the “Kokrokoo” talking-heads program.

If the Asiedu-Nketia Gang or the Mahama Posse have been paying their pipers on the program, then, of course, it goes without saying that they deserve to be afforded some wiggle room to be able to rearrange the deck of playing cards. But, of course, the Mahama Posse cannot presume to instruct the Chairman-General, as Mr. Sefa Kayi is popularly known, to make the retired Central Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress a “Neutral Social Commentator,” while the Mahama Posse foists a third panelist on the Chairman-General’s Wednesday shows; the Friday shows appear to be perfectly fine with the Mahama Posse. Mr. Asiedu-Nketia claims that his gang of party bullies and political arm-twisters have been negotiating a new contract with Mr. Sefa Kayi and the producers and managers of “Kokrokoo” for some 8 months now, and that either the management of PeaceFM unreservedly accepts their terms of operation or they are literally going to take a hike by way of boycotting the “Kokrokoo” current affairs program altogether.

And to further enhance the free-speech rights of Mr. Allotey Jacobs, one of the most senior members of the National Democratic Congress, Party Chairman Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, currently in court on charges of sedition, has written and published a press release immediately suspending the man who may be nearly old enough to have fathered him or at least been classmates with the father of Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo from the party. Of course, this was the kind of enviable free-speech achievements that Candidate John Dramani Mahama claimed the other day had made Ghana the Number One Press-Freedom Protector on the African Continent during the four-and-half years that the Bole-Bamboi, Savannah Region, native was Chief Resident of the John Agyekum-Kufuor-constructed Jubilee House. So much for NDC-nurtured media freedom!

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
May 9, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]

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