Happy Belated Birthday! Mr. Pratt

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…May The Good Lord Grant You the Fortitude to Continue the Crusade Against Corrupt Leaders

Last Saturday marked the 60th birthday of Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Managing editor of the Insight.

Comrade Kwesi, I hope you don’t mind if I refer to you as such, happy birthday. May the good Lord continue to strengthen you for the fight ahead, as corruption, greed, and nepotism, continue to prevent us from achieving the things, we set out for ourselves.

This is a note to a true hero, a true hero in a land where they are scarce like essential commodities.

True heroes are rare and hard to find. They are very few and very many among the very few slip daily from ‘hero to zero’ succumbing to the lust of power, the lure of materialism, the tempting of “black polythene” journalism.

Some yield to the forces of power to act against the dictates of their God-given conscience in killing the hero or heroine in them. Yesterday, they were worthy of hosanna but today, they are worthless in character. Whenever we find a hero, we cannot but celebrate him in live; I choose to celebrate Mr. Pratt on the occasion of his 60th birthday. I call on many Ghanaians to join me wish him a Happy birthday, although belated.

Kwesi is a man of distinguished courage and ability, he is admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. He is a model. All he has done and gone through is to leave this world a better place than he met it. He wants to leave his good marks to be judged by posterity and Kwesi is
certainly contributing his quota to the tattered world that he came to meet, despite the setbacks and backbiting.

Kwesi lives, eats, drinks, meet and talk with the corrupt, but he is not corrupted. His sincerity sets him far apart and makes him stand tall among his colleagues in the media fraternity. The modus operandi of present day journalists is comfort at the expense of principles and ideology. Kwesi your footprints in journalism will live long after you are dead and gone.

Your motto, Aluta continua, will see you live long, until we root out the nation wreckers out of our land.

Kwesi, as Bob Marley said, we are going to chase out the crazy bald heads out of the town. Until that time, I hope and pray that you get the strength to continue doing what you have sacrificed your life for.

A hero associates with the power drunk, but remain sober. He has unshakable principled, Kwesi, you are a stickler of principles, and that is why I admire you so much. Every government we have had since we ushered the 1992 dispensation, have felt the blade of your knife. Your principles are unwavering. I can only thank God for your life.

Both former President Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor can attest to that. President John Dramani Mahama, is equally having a fair share of your unwavering stands on corruption.

A hero does not care to belong to the popular side, as long as he is on the right side. He does not join them if he cannot beat them; rather he beats them if he cannot join them, and this you have demonstrated on so many occasions. Talk of the Hotel waa waa, the missing 54 parcels of Cocaine, onboard MV Benjamin, the fat salaries being enjoyed by staff of the Electricity Company (ECG), my God, the list is endless.

I couldn’t help tears rolling down my eyes years’ back, when I heard you narrate your ordeal in the hands of military despots and how many times you were imprisoned.

According to Pratt, save for the efforts of some good meaning Ghanaians and family members, who supported him and offered prayers, he would have died in Prison. life was unbearable, but he never gave up hope that one day things would be better, with the likes Kwesi, the future is certainly going to be better. Our dear nation is only blessed to have people like you.

Kwesi is abundantly affluent in integrity and his words are his bond.

His name is his biggest asset, which is why he never sold his conscience to expand his newspaper.

After twenty years, The Insight is still crawling to make a name. Its foothold on the media landscape is not one worthy of mentioned. It is my hope that the paper does not die, with him.

My hero is an uncompromisingly honest man. His transparency and frankness in a land that distastes truth brought him fewer friends than enemies, he used to dine with members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), when they were in opposition and fighting the Rawlings’ regime. He used to fraternized with members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), during the eight years of ex-President Kufuor’s regime. Today they see him as an enemy, because he has not shifted in his convictions.

Known and avoided by many of his colleagues he fought with, during the days of Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) for his incorruptibility and zero intolerance towards all ‘unheroic’ men, whose shameless love for money knows no bound.

He has led a crusade against corruption many times and sometimes a lone ranger on the right side of truth.
There is nothing wrong in getting rich legitimately, I also pray and aspire to be, as I am leaving no stone unturned in succeeding even financially.

I do know some rich Ghanaians who conscientiously served the nation in various capacities, yet made their money without joining the bandwagon in diverting public funds, we need such men, Kwesi hopes for such men.

I am very proud of Kwesi. Ghana is proud of him and Ghanaians are proud of him.
May the Lord grant Kwesi Pratt Jnr, the fortitude to continue the crusade of exposing public officers, who think the opportunity to serve, is an opportunity to loot and share.

Happy 60th birthday, you have been a blessing to this nation.

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