A disclaimer is appropriate at this juncture, before I proceed to pour out what is on my chest; the purpose of this article is not to hold breadth for the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Affail Monney, but rather to highlight the apparent lack of secrecy at the Presidency.
Affail Monney’s interview with Mannazeh Azure Awuni, after his meeting with the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, is a proof of institutional dysfunction, he is not only a victim of a mindset, but also a product of a society that doesn’t recognize the importance of journalists in the country, forget that he is the President of the umbrella body of journalists, how can he go begging for auction cars for the association he heads?.
When the Senior National Team, the Black Stars, returned from the Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year, auto firm, Tanink Ghana, donated 30 Grand Cherokees for every member of the Black Stars, as a gift for their performance at the Africa Cup of Nations, as if they even won the coveted trophy.
It is said that, what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander, what is good for the players, is equally good for journalists, who put their lives on the line so that the effort of the players are not kept in the dark.
The Black Stars render a certain service to the country that cannot be underestimated and certainly cannot be quantified; you cannot put money on what the Black Stars bring to the country. The only time, this country is united, is when the senior national team is on assignment outside representing this country. The sense of pride and sense of belonging that the Black Stars ignite is more than anything money can buy.
But having said that, journalists also deserve their due, because they bring the activities of the Black Stars, for Ghanaians to appreciate what they do.
Journalists, have never being appreciated in this country, what we are hearing is that, the President of GJA, went to the Flagstaff House, ostensibly to plead for auction cars for the association, it was in the course of the interaction that, the accident that led to the death of Samuel Nuamah of Ghanaian Times newspaper came up, how pathetic can it get.
This is sad and unacceptable, after more than fifty years of independence and twenty years of practicing multi-party democracy, this is all the GJA, could come home with, auction cars.
This is shows the level of respect accorded us, despite all that we have done in times past and continue to do moving forward for mother Ghana.
Francis Nuamah, although the circumstance of his death is unacceptable, painful, and regrettable and we wish it never happen to any of us, could also be seen as a sacrifice, he made for his colleagues.
His death has brought to the fore, many of the things happening at the Presidency that perhaps, even the President and his Chief of Staff are not aware of.
His colleagues, who escaped death, will henceforth, begin to see the benefit his death has brought to them. Never again, will they be subjected to the painful experience of having to travel in a bus that is not fit to carry a dead body, for even in death, as we say, they is some dignity.
But this is not, however, the purpose of my epistle, my main concern today is, how a journalist got wind of the meeting between the Chief of Staff and the GJA President. The meeting couldn’t have being a secret one, as every visitor to the flagstaff house is documented in a log book, but what baffles me, is people outside getting wind of what was discussed at the meeting.
Affail Monney, will be book to see the Chief of Staff, but the purpose of his visit cannot be adequately captured in the log or visitors book at the flagstaff house, for anybody to second guess him, so who at the Flagstaff House, told journalists, who were not part of the meeting, the extent of discussion, to ridicule the man and the government.
Most often, meetings at the Seat of Government that are supposed to be confidential are in the public domain, official documents or correspondence at the Flagstaff House are being bundled around by journalists, raising questions about the capacity of our government to protect documents.
Anytime a Commission or Committee of Enquiry presents a report, even before the government, will issue white paper report, it will find its way into the studios and newsrooms of media houses.
Journalists are always foraging for news, our work depends on information and like vultures in the air, we go where the news is.
The President must not be sleeping with his legs outside, like we say in Ghana. What mockery is this that Affail Monney was at the Flagsatff House for auction cars, is the seat of government the place for sharing auctioned cars?
The Chief of Staff, has a lot of work to do, he must be able to weed out the Judases operating under his nose.
People’s personal and parochial interest drives them to the point of not caring about the repercussions their actions will cause everybody. It is clear that, somebody or group of people, are scheming against somebody at the Presidency and if not checked, could affect the cohesion and unity, needed at the presidency.
Affail Monney, went to discuss the welfare of members, he was not at the Flagstaff House to further his own agenda, so before we all crucify him, can we pause for a moment and reflect on what he went to do there.
His comments regarding what led to the accident and deciding to side with officialdom, should not take away the efforts he is making for the association.
I support the calls for him to apologise, but can we also cut him some slack and allow him to do that without unnecessarily pushing him, some media houses have are waging a relentless campaign to run him down, washing our dirty linen in public is not the best way forward. We can only achieve so much for members, when we stay united.