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21.08.2005 Sports News

Fianoo should accept responsibility for his utterances

Richard Avornyotse (GNA Sports Desk)

Accra, Aug. 29, GNA - Sometimes, human beings react without thinking about the repercussions of their actions. Many times, people make some pronouncements on the spur of the moment only to realise later that what they had said might contain some flakes, which would be unpalatable to others.

Under such circumstances, while some of the speakers would retract and apologise, others might try to wobble and meander around sensibility and pass the buck to where it does not belong.

The faint hearted duck and dodge responsibility for their negative and misguided utterances and try to blame others for their inability to fire verbal salvos within their effective ranges, while the bold stand up to it and face the consequences regardless of their magnitude. Standing up to accept responsibility for one's guilt does not only portray one as a brave person, but it also spices one's personality with dignity and honour. It is indeed honourable to tell the truth. In striving to blame others for their own mistakes, people would be left with no other avenue than to coin, polish and propagate lies to cover up their recklessness.

Having postulated the above premise, it becomes very necessary to bring into focus a GHALCA reaction to a recent Graphic Sports Comment concerning the GHALCA Secretariat in the face of the proposed renovation work at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium.

The reaction signed by Mr Kudjoe Fianoo, Administrative Manager was trying to blame the tactics of the GNA journalist for his utterances, which the Graphic Sports Comment described as arrogant. Mr Fianoo had said GHALCA would tackle the National Sports Council on all fronts including the law courts if a bulldozer touched any of the walls of their secretariat.

Being the author of the story, which generated the storm, I am compelled to react in order to straighten the lines and expose the dishonesty and falsehood that tainted the Administrative Manager's reaction.

Mr Fianoo's assertion that the first thing the GNA personnel said to him was "I have met Mr Aryeh, the Acting Chief Executive of the NSC and he said he would be coming to pull down your secretariat" was to say the least, a bundle of falsehood calculated to cover up his guilt and tarnish my reputation.

My discussion with Mr Fianoo in front of other members of GHALCA, including Mr Kofi Wonderful Manu, centred on where GHALCA would move its secretariat to, when renovation work commenced at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium.

Fortunately for me, the first question was uncharacteristically written in my notebook and I have ever since shown it to my colleagues in the office.

It was while the Administrative Manager posed and spoke tough that the NSC had not informed them about any plans to relocate that I informed him that I had met with the NSC boss who said they were preparing to relocate to the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex. Mr Fianoo then opened up and told me that the land on which their property was, was leased to them by the NSC for 30 years and threatened to go to court if a bulldozer touched any of the walls of their secretariat.

In another story, which I filed on the same day about the relocation of the NSC, I quoted Mr Aryeh as saying that he was not aware of the kind of renovation work that would be done at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium.

Consequently, it would nonsensical on my part to tell Mr Fianoo that Mr Aryeh said, "he would be coming to pull down your secretariat." Let me also clarify that I saw Mr Fianoo after I had seen Mr Aryeh and since then, my only contact with Mr Aryeh was last Friday when I called him on phone to deny Mr Fianoo's false allegation. Logically therefore, there could not have been any opportunity for me tell Mr Aryeh that GHALCA had sworn to resist any attempt to relocate them.

The other issue, which I discussed with both sides was revenue from bill boards and pitch panels but since I found their positions very wide apart, I decided to shelve the story until they had met severally to iron things out as Mr Aryeh had told me they would do.

It was a volatile issue and if I were not alive to my social responsibility functions, I would have come out with a story that would generate a lot of bad blood between the two bodies.

I did not write because it is usual of me to contribute to national development by tackling topical issues and proffering solutions to them instead of scoring cheap points with stories, which would smash the social fabric of the nation.

That does not mean that I can be cowed and cajoled to deviate from important issues, which are at variance with accountability, probity and responsibility.

My employers and colleagues know my style of journalism and many sports journalists, both within and outside the Ghana News Agency look up to me for direction and guidance. I have earned numerous commendations from the GNA Management and some respectable members of the sporting fraternity and it will be grossly out of place for Mr Fianoo to try to portray me as a crude and incompetent practitioner.

Being in a responsible position, My Fianoo should choose an honourable path to appease those his utterances offend instead of trying to blame others.

He is an important element of GHALCA and his conduct will certainly affect people's opinions about the Association. As human beings we are all fallible but the distinction between honour and dishonour is that the former accepts responsibility with all humility, while the latter resorts to falsehood and arrogance to dodge reality. Keep shooting! 21 Aug. 05

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