10 May 2014

President Mahama's controversial Kumasi tape: Police shouldn’t waste our time - Malik Kweku Baako Jnr

Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Malik Kweku Baako Jnr is forseeing a cul-de-sac as police investigate the so-called doctored tape of President Mahama and has therefore admonished the police to abandon any further inquiry.

Speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme, Newsfile hosted by Sampson Lardy Ayenini, Mr. Baako was convinced the investigations will travel the same course as an alleged doctored tape of former President Rawlings in 1999 – it died at the BNI Annex, he said.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has commenced investigations into a tape recording on which President John Mahama is alleged to have accused people of Kumasi of ingratitude when he visited the Ashanti regional capital last week.

Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga disclosed on Newsfile that he personally asked the police to investigate the doctored tape.

The rationale, he explained, was to establish which of the tapes in the public domain is authentic as well as who doctored the original tape and for what purpose.

The government is placing emphasis on the value of knowing the truth to exonerate the president who has been cast in bad light as vilifying a group, so that the matter would be put to rest, he said.

He said the government would not shy away from what President Mahama said was the in-built culture of people not recognizing the good sides of their opponents.

But Mr Baako stressed instituting investigations into the tape is “misplaced”, pointing out that this would be “an exercise in futility, they are chasing a mirage”.

He explained, the police cannot be the first point of call in such a matter. Mr. Baako was certain that no journalist will tell the police where he or she got the so-called doctored tape.

“It is a wild goose chase by the police, they shouldn’t waste our time…the police have got better things to do,” he emphasized.

He also alleged that his personal investigation into the alleged doctoring was hampered by a television station, he refused to name, whose management has authorized against the release of the video of the event as was captured by them.

In his view, whether doctored or not, it was not right for the President of the nation to target any group – be it the beneficiaries or persons outside – in his comments.

He stated that the doctoring by an unknown media could best be described as unethical. Even that the police cannot be the first point of call, he said.

The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide also reminded President Mahama that he was elected to deliver goods and services to the nation made up of various communities, districts, regions. The president therefore has “no business making suggestion to the effect that some are ungrateful, cynical, skeptic…” Mr. Baako asserted.

"Development projects do not necessarily lead to votes, people votes on various reasons", he submitted.

Whatever projects one does, the people whom thoseprojects were meant for should be allowed to be the judge, he advised.

Weighing in on the matter, former Executive Director of Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko maintained “whether doctored or not the value is the same”.

He thinks what the government suggests is the original tape is rather the “suspect”. He charged government to move away from the argument and rather focus on the “doctored competence they are giving us in government”.

On his part, Benjamin Arthur a labour expert suggested that the government should have rather lodged a complaint with the National Media Commission instead of the police.

He believes the comment made by President Mahama was a slip of tongue and believe the president will reconstruct his words when given another chance.


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