Kwesi Pratt retains the barest minimum of media-credibility capital, as far as I have been able to studiously track the same on Ghana’s media landscape for some 30-odd years now. Which was why I was quite a bit flabbergasted by the fact that I had actually saved the news article captioned “Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Kwame Sefa Kayi Argue Over $45,000 DK Poison Debt” (Ghanaweb.com 10/7/20). The heydays or best professional moments of Mr. Pratt are well behind the man. By my personal playbook, as it were, Mr. Pratt hit his prime in the 1990s and the early 2000s. he is decidedly a has been. You see, I actually thought that I had saved an article capturing a peak moment of the debate on the DK Poison Loan Question between Messrs. Pratt and Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako.
Obviously, my motivation had been to see the editor-publisher of the New Crusading Guide calmly and deftly put Mr. Pratt in his place, that is, on the margins of relevant mainstream journalistic culture. I respect the man popularly called Chairman, I suppose, the popular host of Peace-FM’s flagship breakfast program by the avian name of “Kokrokoo,” but I was not really looking forward to drawing down or drawing out his thoughts on the present subject, on which yours truly has written and published at least two columns within the past couple of weeks. I much prefer to see Mr. Sefa Kayi presiding over current-affairs discussions with the confidence and comportment of the veritable Chairman that he clearly appears to be. Well, in the aforesaid debate with Mr. Baako, The Chairman said all the commonsensical things that I expected him to say, although I did not the least bit agree with him that every single authentic agreement has to be written or documented on paper or in print.
“Truth be told: If you go into law, it’s not a legitimate transaction. No paper exists to prove that government took the money from him. An agreement made with government by word of mouth does not hold water in law. How do you justify the [re-]payment of $45,000, plus interest, on a loan that was/is? Done in 2020 with no paperwork?” I don’t know which law school The Chairman attended or graduated from, neither am I a lawyer myself nor graduated from any by accident or design. But I am very certain that the law, wherever it exists around the world, makes provision for the validity of Oral Agreements within certain parameters, such as the presence of witnesses. But even more significant ought to be underscored the fact that the Gen. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong-led junta of the Supreme Military Council (SMC-I), originally named the National Redemption Council (NRC), was not a regular or the sort of government that our Founding Fathers vigorously bargained for with the departing British colonialists.
There is absolutely nothing fundamentally legitimate about a military dictatorship, even a “benign” military dictatorship, such as the Acheampong-led junta was popularly and routinely described by many a Western political scientist at the time. As with all military dictatorships, Ghana’s so-called Third-Republican Constitution had been promptly and summarily suspended. So, really, Mr. Sefa Kayi could not legitimately talk about the administration of any respectable legal system here, although the Supreme Military Council, both the one led by Gen. Acheampong and the one led by Gen. FWK Akuffo, had permitted the judiciary to proceed with business as usual. But it must also quickly point out that this was the junta that abolished the Supreme Court, as Gen. Acheampong implicitly observed at the time, “The Ghanaian Horse of State cannot be ridden by two ‘Supreme’ commanders.”
The only “Supreme Anything” permitted to operate within Ghana’s territorial boundaries, as it were, was the IK Acheampong-led Supreme Military Council. Now, where my beef with Mr. Pratt comes to the fore, regards the fact that the editor-publisher of the so-called Insight newspaper has long known about the DK Poison Loan Question. And during most of this period, it was left-leaning and left-thinking faux-socialist Ghanaian citizens like Mr. Pratt himself who ran our national affairs. In sum, if he sincerely cared about Mr. Poison’s right to be reimbursed the full amount that the then 25-year-old World Featherweight Boxing Champion had loaned to the country, to the last pesewa, Mr. Pratt could have lobbied his cronies and associates of the Jerry John Rawlings-led juntas of both the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), as well as the democratically elected Nkrumah-leaning Hilla “Babini” Limann-led People’s National Party (NPP), for Mr. Poison to be repaid his loan.
Now, picking on the democratically elected Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party, with all this nonsense about loan repayment with interest, makes Mr. Pratt sound like the morally reprehensible charlatan that I have always known this diarrheal foul-mouth local Ghanaian media fixture to be.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
October 18, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]