30.09.2022 Feature Article

From Government Agents to Mafia Thugs

From Government Agents to Mafia Thugs
30.09.2022 LISTEN

Ghana may be Kofi Adoma Nwanwani’s country of birth and upbringing all right. But the foolhardy notion that merely because Ghana is his beloved country, therefore he can literally throw all caution to the wind, as it were, by insisting on putting himself in harm’s way, is one that defies common sense and the primal principle of self-preservation. As a family man, at least from what yours truly has recently learned, with multiple wives and concubines and an unspecified number of children, Mr. Adoma has a bounden obligation to keep himself alive and well. But the operatives of the taxpayer-salaried establishment of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) also have an obligation to track down and to ensure that the alleged perpetrators of the near-fatal mischief reportedly sprung on one the most popular and crowd-pulling journalists in the country are apprehended as expeditiously as possible and brought to condign justice. In short, no individual or group of individuals has a right to threaten the life of another (See “ ‘Ghana Is My Country’ – Kofi Adoma Rejects Calls to Remain in ‘Exile’” / 9/26/22).

The anatomy of the historical persecution of Ghanaian journalists goes as far back as the very inception of the postcolonial era and the transitional period immediately prior to the latter period. Indeed, it used to be almost the exclusive preserve of the government of the day, primarily because in those days, the mass communications machinery, with the exception of newspapers or the print media, was owned and controlled by the central government. Since those days, that is, in recent years, with the firm establishment of constitutional democratic culture and the neoliberal market economic system, there has emerged a seismic paradigmatic shift in the media sector which has resulted in the proliferation of media establishments, largely in the private ownership sector, a salutary development for both democratic governance and the Information Age. With the latter development has also implied humongous wealth or amounts of money to be made, and with it the logical emergence of Mafia thugs who are very strict and methodical in their demands for their fair share of the market gains.

Plus, with an exponential increase in the country’s population and the conversely precipitous neglect of our national security apparatus by the Central Government for most of the years that the Rawlings-led junta of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) and the Rawlings-founded and led National Democratic Congress (NDC) held the reins of governance, immediately after one another, there has occurred the sort of vacuum on the national security front that has made possible the sort of threat faced by popular and prominent and, for the most part, relatively well-heeled media operatives like Mr. Adoma. And on the latter score must be promptly underscored the fact that there exist in Ghana even more prominent and well-heeled broadcast journalists of far greater reach and influence than Mr. Adoma.

But, of course, the critical question here also boils down to one of the genre or subgenre of one’s journalistic practice and also whose toes a particular reporter of media operative may have stepped or may be stepping incautiously. It also goes without saying that media freedom comes with its own practical strictures or limitations, none the least bit of which entails the bounden obligation of the practitioner to deftly balance professional standards and personal safety, for there are reputations to be made and broken here, which means that sometimes treading the media ropes, as it were, almost verges on matters of life and death. It is a sort of Golden Rule or Karmic Law here, as “Watchdogging” or “Dogwatching” cannot all be a one-way street. The preceding is, of course, further complicated by the increasing globalization of crime commission or perpetration in both the ECOWAS subregion and the greater global community at large.

In Ghana, for example, these days, the crime statistics indicate that the overwhelming majority of the most heinous crimes are being perpetrated or committed by nationals from Ghana’s West African neighbors, with one particular country in the neighborhood topping the list in ways that far outdistances all the other countries. The same country, by the way, also tops the list of criminal suspects of Continental African descent domiciled right here in the United States of America. But even as a very close relative of this author reminded yours truly while he was preparing this piece for publication, these days, it is locally brewed thugs who conduct most of their foreign-born counterparts on criminal expeditions around the country. So, in short, any attempt to separate or differentiate the two groups can only be strictly or purely arbitrary.

These days, when even invested traditional rulers and ordained Christian pastors have been caught in barbaric and immitigably savage acts of ritual murders and other forms of human sacrifice, any forensic or clinical attempt to differentiate between foreign-born or foreign-descended criminal thugs and their native-born professional counterparts is apt to be reckoned to be, at best, tantamount to the cliched attempt of picking a needle from amidst a humongous bundle of hay. Nonetheless, throwing up one’s hands in resignation or capitulation risks making matters even worse. So, I suppose the endgame here is to simply send an unmistakable signal to these nation-wrecking reprobates that the child that would not let its mother have a wink of sleep at night must also be prepared to stay awake all night.

*Visit my block at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

September 26, 2022

E-mail: [email protected]