“Who knows himself a braggart, let him fear this, for it will come to pass that every braggart shall be found an ass”.
William Shakespeare: ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’
JUNE 4TH AND JUNE 6TH are very close dates and on June 4th this year, J.J Rawlings was on the platform chiding members of his party, NDC, and calling on them to “Organis (e) Towards The Core Values”.
This time round, he did not wear “the lean and hungry look”; rather, he looked plump, chubby, rotund and buxom. The people who had suffered his bastinados have their stories to tell, but historians and political scientists may have to do” investigative journalism” to explain how he, as an apostle of ‘incorruptibility’ ended up collecting Sanni Abacha’s $2 million (or was it $ 5 million?). The 1979 ‘house –cleaning’ exercise led to precipitous deaths and J.J. calls it, ‘sacrifices.’ He was egged on by people who thought he had come to save them from the corruption of politicians– Junior Jesus. .
It was ‘one step forward and two steps backward’ in our political march. And some students had wanted to see more “blood flow.” The nation stood bewitched, No one dared to criticize JJ who was the Messiah, and the cadres would pounce an anyone who sought to break the ‘culture of silence’. Oh, Professor Adu Boahen!
At this year’s commemoration at Madina, Rawlings would not look at the face of Anita de Sosso, not least listen to her plea for forgiveness. He rather chose to upbraid her for lightening her skin, in his humdrum speech. Anita de Sosso could not be his daughter—neither Zanetor nor Amina; neither Yaa Asantewaa nor Ezenator. He noted: “We cannot continue to celebrate opulence and mediocrity and count ourselves as a viable alternative to the current government. A unity drive should not widen the cracks and alienate many of the valuable talents we have in the party that can help to elevate it back to the heights that our rivals were envious of.
Comes on (or in?) June 6th, and all things being equal, the nation is likely to have seen the premiering of the Anas’s expose of corruption dubbed ‘Number 12’. Anas Aremeyaw Anas and the Tiger Eye with two decoys have done things in the past that had earned them many accolades. Some Ghanaians have hailed the ‘secretive justice crusader’, Ghana’s ‘James Bond’ for his work that exposed the abuses that go on in the orphanages; biscuit making factories with worm-infested flour; abuses at the passport office ; police accepting bribes; security agencies allowing the smuggling of cocoa going outside this country, not the one coming in; child traffickers; prostitutes …et cetera .. and of course, the big one: the corruption in the judiciary.
But are his modus operandi sacrosanct? Some people have no problem with his getting employed as a worker in a biscuit factory and seeing live and exposing what goes on there; posing as a mental patient and using the opportunity to tell the world what transpires in the Mental Hospitals.
But why is it that in the case of the Judiciary, he rather set the judges up and induced them to agree to accept pre-arranged gifts of yams, goats and the like and then got them caught in the video? A better case could have been made against them, had they been caught flagrante delecto (red-handed).
The Code of Ethics of the Ghana Journalists expects journalists to obtain information, videos, data, photographs and illustrations only by honest, straight forward, fair and open means unless otherwise tampered by public interest considerations.
So, Anas could put a mask on his face, and do his investigation by luring his victims with a bait and had his victims named, shamed and sent to jail!.
Anas should not lie ensconced under the President’s averment of using Anas’s Principle to rid the country of corruption. The President would pick the positive elements in the Anas’s Principle” that is naming, shaming and getting wrongdoers jailed. No one would expect the President to carry filming and videoing gadgets and go to a judge’s house with yams and goats to tempt him.
Some snippets of the video on Kwasi Nyantakyi must have been watched by the President who had reported Kwasi to the CID, for possible investigations. Why would Kwasi use the names of the President, the Vice President and other officials to extort money from Arab businessmen– defrauding by false presence? And why would Kwasi brag that he has got the President in his pocket? Time was when Kwasi Nyantakyi’s braggadocio was becoming too much. He had been the longest serving President of the Ghana Football Association, the acting WAFU President, CAF Executive Committee member and FIFA Council member. He had been the President of GFA ever since he won the elections in December 2005, snatching it from Ade Coker and Kojo Bonsu. His administration was even compared to Ohene Djan’s and H.P Nyametei’s.
Meanwhile, Anas’s methods have attracted a huge backlash. Unlike the previous times when people failed to closely look at how he had induced the judges and lured them to “take” non-descript, infinitesimal, negligible items as gifts, this time round, people are serious about Anas’s own lifestyle. Kennedy Agyapong, for example, has levelled many charges against Anas and some people are anxiously waiting for evidence of corruption against Anas.
The GJA has rallied round Anas and has called on the police to give him, his family and his property 24/7 protection. Who does not need protection? One cannot tell whom the odds seem to favour. The social media is, however, awash with accusations and insults against anyone who says anything against Anas.
Like JJ of 1979, any small criticism of Anas is met with blows of gargantuan proportion. So, Anas is a saint or God? Or are people just afraid of him?
In discussing the role of Anas vis –a vis the judges, some time ago, a veteran columnist of the Chronicle intimated that judges who wield authority to commit people to death should live above board. Some of us do not think people would challenge this. They may, however, add that the person who behaves like a peeping Tom, and gleefully takes pictures of people in a sex act should himself lead an impeccable life.
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodies” is a Latin phrase in one of the first century satirists, Juvenal’s ‘Satires’ and literally translates as “Who will guard the guards themselves.” The common English translation is “who watches the watchmen”. One of the maxims of equity is that: “He who comes into equity must come with clean hands”. Or: “He who seeks equity must do equity”. How clean is Anas?
Anas may have gained international awards for his investigative journalism; he may have been hailed locally as Best Journalist or Journalist of the Year but he still needs advice from well-wishers and cynics. He cannot deceive Ghanaians by the face he showed on BBC. That is not the face the Old Vandals saw at a meeting at IRS Guest House at Nima. Some people suspect that he wore a sheet mask completely soaked with concentrated serum, Anas has changed faces for almost one hundred and fifty times; one day, it will be unmasked.
Once again, Ghana stands bewitched. Anas is, after all, human– a ‘homo sapiens’. He has the characteristics and attributes that all humans have. Better he be advised now rather than push him unto the precipice, and then when a calamity befalls him, everyone including those who canoed and crooned ‘Alleluia’, ‘Hossana’ will bellow ‘Crucify Him’. By all means, let’s see Number 12.
Africanus Owusu – Ansah