One of any diplomat’s most important mandates is to present her or his nation in the best light. On this score, Jon Benjamin, British High Commissioner to Ghana, is the quintessential anti-diplomat.
In the typical pomposity that reigns with the Whiteman, who thinks he is superior to the Blackman, Jon Benjamin parades himself as a nuisance, given his recent activities and utterances.
In recent days, the media in Ghana, as well as various social media sites, have reported on the diplomat’s behavior, regarding happenings in the various sectors of the Ghanaian society.
A close scrutiny of British role since 2000 in the sustenance of democracy in Ghana, would suggest an appalling track record that is at variance with the sugar-coated diplomatic discourse emanating from the staples of Jon Benjamin.
The way Jon Benjamin is going, if we do not tell him to slow down, his next stop, will be to meddle in our politics by taking sides. He wouldn’t be the first to do that, we witnessed appallingly, the active involvement of British diplomats in the election in 2000 that saw the defeat of the
National Democratic Congress.
No Ghanaian diplomat, no matter how many gallons of the local gin, called Akpeteshie that he drunk, could have the presence of mind to meddle in the local affairs of Britain or any other country for that matter, not even in Africa.
I hope that, it is not only his mouth that he does not keep shut, but other parts of his body, is not also abused.
The fact that, freedom of speech is tolerated doesn’t mean anybody, most especially a diplomat, who enjoys some immunity, is allowed to open their thrombosis to comment on issues that do not concern them.
Maybe he was not in the country, when our late President, John Evans Atta Mills, told us ‘Dzi Wo Fie Asem’, to wit mind your own business.
Ghanaians in the United Kingdom (UK), are minding their business that is why they are not commenting on the over pampering of a future King of England, who is barely a year old.
Of all the things we can tolerate, Mr High Commissioner, your undiplomatic utterances and write-ups are becoming too much.
From sports to entertainment to religion, Jon Benjamin, always finds time off his busy schedule to poke his nose into.
I must commend him for not only wanting to represent his country, but his new found love for our country and want to be heard on every issue, but it is becoming one too many.
Many diplomats representing their countries are hardly in the news, but not Jon Benjamin. When I googled his name without adding the British High Commissioner to Ghana, the first Jon Benjamin that popped up was an American comedian and actor, I immediately asked myself whether they was a
relation, between them.
Ghana Football Association (GFA)
Last year in October, Jon Benjamin appeared on Sports Xtra, a magazine show hosted by Thierry Nyann on Viasat 1, to discuss his love for club football with emphasis on African players in his native England.
Speaking personally as this is not the view of the British government; Jon Benjamin said he had some questions about Kwesi Nyantakyi’s use of the funds he receives from FIFA.
“Six months ago the President of the Ghana Football Association said he was fully behind (Sepp) Blatter but a couple of weeks ago he praised FIFA for suspending Blatter and that’s contradictory.
“But as I understand it, the thesis of him and the GFA is that Blatter should be supported because of what he’s done for African football which I understand and think is right that Africa was given more places at the World Cup.
“What I have seen is GFA officials in very expensive SUVs and land cruisers. What I haven’t seen is really good pitches at grassroots level for the ordinary Ghanaians.
“I apologize in advance if I have missed and I would like to meet them but if this FIFA money coming through the GFA, then it should be promoting grassroots football.” This is what he had to say.
The GFA was compelled to issue a press release to clarify issues and used unprintable and regrettable words to describe a diplomat, representing no less a country than the United Kingdom.
A statement by the GFA said, Jon Benjamin’s comment “suggest that the President of the GFA Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi personally uses FIFA funds for personal gains.”
The statement added that, “Mr Benjamin’s comments are at best stupendous ignorance or, at worst, sinister.”
Ibrahim Sani Daara, went on to say that Mr. Benjamin was sacked from Chile, an allegation he later denied saying “contrary to that claim, coming to Ghana was rather a promotion because Britain’s relationship with Ghana is of higher priority than Chile”.
Was all these necessary?
Jon Benjamin Insists Ghana Is Still A Corrupt State
Mr. Benjamin is reported to have lamented about the spate of corruption in the country.
“If you ask if my views have changed…no, it is a societal issue that needs to be worked on but it is something we are willing to work with the government on,”Jon Benjamin revealed.
These comments were after the corruption expose by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas on the Judiciary.
Mr. Benjamin must learn to draw the line between what is allowed for a diplomat to say and what he is not in the best interest of his country. He is here representing the Great Britain, so how he comports himself, would have an effect on his country. Some things are better left unsaid.
Bishop Daniel Obinim
Jon Benjamin seems so fixated with Obinim, of all the personalities in Ghana that he has taken a jive at; Bishop Obinim is leading the pack. I am not a fan of Bishop Obinim, I do not subscribe to his style as a pastor, but I think the good diplomat is also taking it too far.
I read somewhere sometime ago that, people never do anything with so much conviction, as when they are doing it from the religious point of view.
Religion they say is the opium of the masses. Bishop Obinim regrettably has a large congregation, the more the diplomat goes on with this, the more he is angering his flock. The country would be blamed for not doing much to protect you, should any radical and hoodlum, decide to attack you.
Jon Benjamin never hesitate to mock Obinim, He dared the preacher sometime back to turn into a snake on live TV for all to see when he made comments to the effect that he could metamorphose into a snake.
Obinim’s crime was, when he claimed that, he could transform into any animal, a ludicrous and laughable claim, but hey, that is what he is feeding his congregation and they believe him.
Jon Benjamin, has since dedicated his twitter handle to the poor pastor, even his dressing attracted a comment from the diplomat.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Mr Benjamin, mocked Bishop Obinim’s purple suit, saying: “…you won’t catch me wearing a suit that colour. Is it snakeskin?”
Last week when the National Media Commission (NMC), closed down some nine television stations, including OB TV, Jon Benjamin quickly took to twitter to write, “Oh no – Obinim’s TV channel has been taken down? Maybe he can reappear in animal form on discovery channel?.”
Is the Commissioner a fan of the man of God, or he despises him.
Dear high Commissioner, please next time when appear before your officers to apply for Visa to UK, I hope you won’t tell me to go Bishop Obinim.
This is a just a harmless article, after all we live in a democracy, right!