Has The Chronicle Gone Back To The Days Of Blackmail

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Like every other concern citizen, who have been following developments in our dear nation, especially, the issue of corruption, and the States complacency in dealing with the menace, I was initially carried away by the sheer depth of the revelations contained in the exposé by Samuel Agyemang on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Subah Infosolutions deal, which was published by The Chronicle newspaper, a fortnight, ago.

However, I have since recanted and completely regained my composure after thoroughly going through the story painstakingly, as well as the available evidence, which points to the fact that the story was misleading and was intended to tarnish the image and reputations of the promoters of Subah Infosolution.

I have also realized the folly and stupidity in my sudden inclination toward believing the unsubstantiated stuff, without given much thought to the nitty-gritty of the whole deal.

The story as majority of the people know very well, dwells on the supposed GH¢144 Million paid to Subah, which has unfortunately turned out to be a palpable lie.

I am not a learned lawyer, but I know that, every allegation, however, weighty shall remain a mere figment of the imagination of those who earlier made it, until proven by an impartial, non partisan and highly qualified entity, like a court of competent jurisdiction.

Based on this conviction, I took the pains to watch the video, listened to the voice over, read the story carried by the Chronicle, listened to the side of Subah, read the press statement coming from the Ministry of Finance, listened to the press conference organized by the Ghana Revenue Authourity, as well as, documents available to me, I was convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that the allegation of corruption and fraud leveled against Subah was false.

Anybody who has followed my writings and especially the exploits of The Herald, would understand, when I say “We never back the wrong horse”. We have never taken a fight bigger than us. Our sense of patriotism is never in doubt, as we have exposed so many instances of corruption happening in both public and private institutions.

On Wednesday, October 30, I wrote an article captioned “Whose Interest is Samuel Agyemang Serving?” I asked that question because the documentary was one sided, the other parties in the whole saga, were not heard, it was as though people have already been pronounced guilty, before they could be heard.

There was nowhere in the article that I mentioned Chronicle, because to me their publication was much ado about nothing.

Unfortunately, they have invited themselves to the meal of the ghost, in that meal you can’t stop eating until it is finished.

On Thursday, October 31, the paper wrote an editorial titled “Don’t Bite More Than You Can Chew, The Herald”.

The paper went ahead to cast aspersions, wrote innuendos, made certain unsubstantiated allegations against The Herald, The Editor and my good self, for no apparent and unprovoked reason, and asked us to bring the fight on.

Our crime I can suffice is that we exposed their lies of the concocted figure of GH¢ 144 million that they had concluded was paid to Subah.
If standing by the truth and exposing falsehood, means chewing more than we can bite, then we ready to have our mouth full.

The paper made allusions to the effect that “something” was chasing Samuel Agyemang that was why he came to our office. In their haste to embarrass themselves again, they failed to verify from the young man, who called us that he wanted to meet us. We never went out of our way to invite him to our office, he came there voluntarily.

It is a sad time for Ghanaian journalism, to think that a newspaper which had built a reputation on lies, blackmail and all the ills of the profession, still haven’t learnt from its sordid past. How far are they ready to go, just to remain relevant in the media landscape?

The game has changed, the old ways have given way to the new ways of doing things, and The Chronicle need to understand and adjust their empty propaganda, because blackmail no longer sell.

How sad can it get that the originator of a story calls to say, hold on, and you still go ahead to publish it in blatant disregard to every ethics in your fibre.

In my article, I wrote something to the effect that Subah is being persecuted because it is an indigenous Ghanaian company. I was misunderstood to mean, a Ghanaian company must be allowed to perpetuate fraud. This is an infantile conclusion from infantile minds.

My conviction is that if it was convenient to focus on Subah, why leave out the telecom companies, who have resisted every attempt to install the ‘props’ into their systems to determine how much Ghanaians are paying as levies to telecom companies for onward submission to the state?

How about GVG, a foreign company, which was monitoring the telecos, until they ceded that responsibility to Subah? Any curious and serious media house will want to find out, how GVG was also contracted by the National Communication Authourity (NCA) to provide that service, and if Subah has no capacity, will they (GVG) engage them?

It is obvious that facts and figures confuse the writers of the Chronicle editorial, how do you come to a conclusion on a figure based on assumptions. Such a weighty allegation and all you could do is conclude on ‘ifs’ and even say that a class six pupil could understand, it is speculative Mathematics.

If The Chronicle had done its homework, they would have known that the Ministry of Finance, had halted payment to Subah since May, and so to calculate the total figure, with an average and multiplying it by three years, was of course Mathematics for a stupid class six pupil.

Since Seth Terkper was appointed to head the Ministry of Finance, The Herald has never criticized him, nor ask for his dismissal. If anything at all, what we have done is praised him for a good job done, and we still think he is doing well. When we disagree with Mr. Terkper, we will tell him.

I could only agree with The Chronicle that President John Dramani Mahama should not reshuffle or sack him.

Another disturbing observation I made in the Chronicle’s editorial was its attempt to introduce politics into the discussion. Why can’t we for a moment just make our arguments without bringing politics into it?

Who is it that is behind The Herald that should call us to order? We believe in our stories, regardless of whose axe is gored. President John Mahama, doesn’t pay a pesewas to anybody at The Herald.

When, he decided to share autographed copies of his famous book: “My First Coup d’etat,” we were not privileged enough, even though we were supposed to doing a hatchet job for his government by slanting things and doing naked propaganda for him.

Instead, Ebo Quansah, head of The Chronicle editorial team and an avowed anti-National Democratic Congress (NDC) critic got a copy of the book.
Again, we don’t get regular Presidential phones calls like some editors and radio presenters in the country. Indeed, no member of The Herald team has been on any Presidential trips, be it local or foreign. To them, we are best at only publishing press releases from the presidency. But we have stayed the course.

We work for Ghanaians, who have faith in us and not politicians. We are not like them who have sold their conscious for a pot of porridge. This gutter journalism that others think we must all engage in is not who we are, what we do, national service is what defines us. In any case, we all write for different reasons and different audiences. Our audiences are discerning and so we won’t feed them thrash and half truths.

In the propaganda battle, truth has always been and will always be the first casualty. Truth is easily disturbed and decapitated. But no matter how slow, how long, and how tedious the journey is, truth will always resurrect and overtake lies and its purveyors.

I rest my case; let those unto whom it is given understand. We are waiting….!

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