…Kweku Baako Confesses
Editor-in-chief of the Crusading Guide, Malik Kwaku Baako, has brushed off criticism, and vitriolic attacks on him by his friends in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that he often softens his stance, when it comes to President John Dramani Mahama and his family.
Though Mr. Baako, admits the claim may be true, he mentioned the NPP, it flagbearer, ex-President John Kufuor, and a host of others in the opposition party, whom he had been soft on in respects of scandals, utterances or other matters in which he was expected to damned them in public, but rather defended them, amidst a lot of difficulty.
Mr. Baako, specifically referred to Nana Akufo-Addo; the three times flagbearer of the NPP saying “there are few times I had difficulty to cure some errors he has done, but I do it in a very diplomatic way, don’t I”, he rhetorically asked Randy Abbey, host of the Good Morning programme on Metro TV, yesterday.
He mentioned how he had to many times “wiggle out” his way through some difficult issues about Nana Addo, and questioned his NPP attackers “they don’t see that, they don’t hear that? Is my nature, maybe that is my weakness, but I can live with the attacks let them come, more more I can live with it”.
In his emotional admission, Mr. Baako, suggested that the NPP was the biggest beneficiary of his generosity, even though the opposition party, has many times described him as an unbiased journalist.
Speaking on claims that the Ford vehicle sent to the president could pass as a bribe, the veteran journalist, who had a week ago, said on the same show that the gift couldn’t be described as such, lamented how he had come under intense vitriolic criticism, especially on Social Media by people who otherwise appreciated him for his principled stance.
He welcomed the criticism, since he is only human and not perfect.
According to Mr. Baako, when the news broke and he stated his position that the Ford Expedition car from a Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, couldn’t be a bribe, people started making the claim that he was doing so, because it had to do with President Mahama, and that when it is about that family, he is not as hard as he is known to be.
He said, when people sympathetic to the NPP started the attacks, he tried to rebut as much as he could, he felt fatigued along the line and so he gave up, leaving them to continue.
Mr. Baako, holds allegiance to Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention Peoples Party (CPP), but seem spirited defending the NPP both in government and in opposition.
Indeed, he was one of the best friends of ex-President Kufuor during his eight year tenure. But reports are that he is even closer to Nana Akufo-Addo than the former president. He has admitted to supporting Nana Addo in 1998 as NPP flagbearer, but Mr. Kufuor emerged victorious in Sunyani.
He continuously rates Nana Addo over John Mahama and prefers the former as president of Ghana.
It is, therefore, baffles the NPP when their “best journalist” tends to disagree with them when they needed him most to nail, especially, Mr. Mahama, wife and his brother and businessman, Ibrahim Mahama.
Similar attacks were unleashed on Mr. Baako few years ago, when the president’s younger brother, Ibrahim’s name pop up in the list of customers who owed the then Merchant Bank.
The NPP, had accused the Engineers and Planners (E&P) boss of owing the bank, which had led to it sale.
But, while the party was on it, Mr. Baako, came to his defense and revealed Mr. Mahama was getting ready to pay all the debt owed the bank.
His stance did not go down well with the NPP, especially Anthony Abayifa Karbo and they attacked him and Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe from all angles, including holding Press Conferences targeted at them.
Meanwhile, Mr. Baako, has welcomed attempts by some political parties to have a statutory institution like the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and a bipartisan parliamentary committee to probe the Ford gift matter, saying it will lay matters to rest as was done with the renovation of ex-President Kufuor’s private house and his son’s purchase of Hotel Kufuor.
President Mahama, has given a further clarification on the decision to accept a 2010 Ford Expedition vehicle as a ‘gift’, from a Burkinabe contractor, saying he does not even like American cars.
In his latest comments on the allegations, the President said, “I don’t use Fords. I don’t like American cars. I use Japanese cars. Toyota is my car.”
Speaking during a breakfast meeting with the clergy at the Flagstaff House yesterday, President Mahama, also indicated that, he did not view the gift from the Burkinabe contractor as a gift to the state, adding that, he has not used it for his personal comfort.
“The issue of a Ford Expedition, I have never been under the illusion that, that gift was a gift to the State, and it has never been used for my personal comfort,” he said.
The president also noted that he was aware that some Ghanaians, have petitioned the CHRAJ, over the issue, and he would respond to it in due time.
“It is matter for the Commission on Human Rights. I hear there is a petition there and appropriately, we will respond to it.”
Speaking on the matter for the first time on Wednesday, President Mahama, dared his critics accusing him of corruption, to deal with him using the Constitution if they deemed it fit.
“If you believe I have indulged in corruption, you have the constitutional means to do what you want to do but when you make baseless rumors and accusations, it won’t win you the presidency,” the President stated firmly.