The state has failed me – Anas
Award winning investigative Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has said he is undaunted by the failure of Government and state institutions to arrest, prosecute and jail corrupt government and state officials as well as criminals whose evil activities he has exposed in many of his undercover works.
He has declared war on persons he described as “thieves” who have invaded various sectors of the economy and were wrecking the nation.
He warned: “If the thieves out there think that because of the lower scores, I'm going to give up or we as a group of journalists are going to give up, then they should forget it”.
“We are coming at them; we are coming to their door steps,” Anas said in an interview with the Globe newspaper.
For more than a decade now, Anas has been digging deep into the cupboards of many state institutions and exposing the unbearable rot and corruption in such places such as the infamous Soldier Bar brothel for teenagers at the Kwame Nkrumah circle, the Tema Ports and Harbours, The Accra Psychiatric Hospital, cocoa smuggling at the Ghana-Ivory Coast border amongst a raft of other investigative works.
In all his undercover sorties, Anas was always a disguise away from danger and possible harm to himself.
He risked his life and resources to unearth massive corruption and rot in many state institutions through his undercover expeditions which he described as a “weird form of journalism which seeks to name, shame and jail individuals who engage in fraudulent acts that destroy the nation. ”
Anas's works have received international recognition. US President Barack Obama commended his investigative works in a speech to Ghana's Parliament when he visited in 2009.
In spite of his global recognition, Anas told the Globe newspaper that his expectations for embarking on his investigative works are not being met.
Speaking to The Globe in his office in Accra, Anas who is currently working together with the Aljazeera Media network on a series of investigations into corrupt practices in some parts of Africa said “If your expectation is ten or better still eight and you get two or three, you don't have a pass mark.
“But also you cannot underestimate the fact that you have moved from zero to two or three. So in that regard, I can always say that it's not been a 100 percent support and we can't say that everything has been smooth. ”
He said, “I don't think it (the success of his investigations) is also a bleak one. I think that we have made significant progress. We could have been ahead of where we are today. ”
Anas cited his Soldier Bar exposé in 2008 where over 160 young prostitutes, some in their teens, were rounded up by a team of armed policemen in the capital Accra.
He told the Globe newspaper that it is disheartening that after taking much risk to reveal the horrible happenings at the brothel at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle; little had been done to support the victims and punish the perpetrators.
“We were very successful at conducting a raid, arresting all the bad guys and rescuing the innocent kids; the next day not up to 24 hours, all of them were opened. They were all allowed to go; then you ask yourself, was it even worth it? ”
Anas also recalled his expose of virtual torture and molestation of child orphans at the Osu Children's Home in Accra under virtually slavery conditions in 2010.
Although he is disappointed about the level of success, Anas told the Globe newspaper he is happy an impression has been left on the minds of Ghanaians and his little contribution to change the lives of the children in the home has been recognized.