Baby Ansabah, the de facto former Deputy Editor of the Daily Guide who still faces certain expulsion from the paper has admitted to the Heritage, an independent newspaper, over the weekend that he and a friend had made financial demands of up to 40 million cedis from the National Security Coordinator, Mr Francis Poku to establish a newspaper and also made demands of resources from President John Kufuor in his second encounter with the nation's chief executive.
Gina Blay, the Managing Editor and Mr Freddy Blay, the publisher of the paper have been angered by the information that Ansabah has been making forays at the corridors of power, demanding financial and other favours and saying unprintable things about them.
Mr Francis Poku, now the National Security Minster and President Kufuor, both close confidants of the Blays had informed the Blays about their encounters with Baby Ansabah and his demands for favours and financial assistance.
Responding in an interview with the Heritage, the now isolated Baby Ansabah told this reporter that he made the demands of 40 million cedis on behalf of his friend, Mr Joris Jordan, the former editor of the Ghanaian Voice newspaper, who was then making preparations to start a new newspaper.
He said, the national security coordinator could not meet the demands because his friend, Joris Jordan was pressing for a staggering 200 million cedis, an amount he Ansabah thought, was not tenable.
“One Joris Jordan, former editor of the Ghanaian Voice, wanted to leave the Ghanaian Voice and in fact he is my close friend. He came and said that, Ato, I heard that you have close relationship with Francis Poku. I also have close relationship but I want your assistance, if you can 'put your mouth' into it, I know that it I will succeed.
There is something going on in my establishment, so I want to leave and go and start my paper but I cannot do it on my own, so if you can assist…. I said if that is the case then fine, but make sure that it does not appear any where that I am involved, and then he said no problem.
So, we prepared the proposal and then we took it to Francis Poku. As I am speaking now, I do not have the proposal, it is he and Francis who have copies of that project.
Initially, what I prepared, I put an amount of 30 million cedis or 40 million cedis as the total financial outlay that will be needed for such an enterprise. Then he came and said he would need between 100 million cedis and 200 million cedis and I said, Joris Jordan, this is too much from the hindsight… And I think Francis Poku was not too pleased with it.
In fact, Francis asked me whether it meant that I was going to leave the Daily Guide. I said no, I was not going to leave. Jordan also made it clear that Baby would remain at the Daily Guide but would be helping me…as a pseudo-consultant…Friday after my work or Saturday morning I could come and assist.
In fact that is what Jordan told Francis, that when the paper stands on its feet I will leave the Daily Guide but I made it clear that, that was not my intention…Jordan insisted that when the paper survives, I will leave the Daily Guide and come there, I protested in the presence of Francis.
So later the information went back to my employers and they confronted me, they confronted me about Francis Poku's issue, I told them yes, I went there after Joris Jordan has asked me to prepare a proposal for him…I told Gina Blay and I told Freddy Blay,” Baby Ansabah told the Heritage.