Veteran journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr has said he is unperturbed by the insults being rained on him for defending President John Mahama over the Ford gift saga.
The Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide has come under a barrage of attacks from members of the opposition New Patriotic Party for defending what they term as an act of bribery and corruption for accepting a gift from Burkinabe contractor Kanazoe Djibril.
The latest attack came from a former NPP Okaikoi North Constituency seat aspirant Ken Kuranchie, who has described as embarrassing the spirited defense of Mahama over the Ford gift controversy. Mr. Baako Jnr has rubbished the bribery allegation against Mahama, saying the matter is not an issue. According to him, Manasseh Azuri Awuni’s (the investigative journalist) efforts to get to the bottom of the matter is commendable, but the attempt to link the issue to a bribe could have been better packaged.
“I have a lot of respect for Kweku Baako, he’s one person I look up to in the media, and I would have worshipped him if he were a god. I, however, feel embarrassed at the comments by the man I so much respect passed on the gift saga. The matter is a serious one which should not be brushed aside as the New Crusading Guide newspaper boss is doing. I really feel ashamed at his conduct,” the Daily Searchlight newspaper editor told Atinka FM.
However, Mr Baako Jnr shrugged off the criticism about him. He told host of Accra-based Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana Randy Abbey he is not moved by the criticism by the NPP, except that people who do so must do it fairly.
“There’s no doubt that the Mahama’s are my friends. I have a soft spot for them just as I do for Nana Addo and Kufuor. These are my very good friends. Come on I am human. Can’t I have a soft spot for somebody? It’s normal,” the award-winning journalist said.
“When I defend Nana Akufo even under very difficult circumstances as for that they don’t have an issue with it, but when I do same for Mahama then they have an issue. I think it’s double standards. Anyway like I said I am not worried at all. They can go on. I wish them well,” Baako Jnr opined.
On his part, the aspiring Member of Parliament for Tamale North Alhassan Suhuyini who was also on the programme said the NPP has increasingly exhibited intolerance for divergent views and for that matter has developed the penchant for attacking anybody who disagrees with them.
He threw a challenge to the NPP to come out and state that they have never received a gift from contractors for campaign purposes.
“I know a lot of NPP big wigs even including those who have received one form of gift or the other from a contractor. Does that mean the gifts are meant to influence the flag bearer to give them contracts should he ever become president of this country? Well if that is the logic they are pushing then let’s interrogate and I am ready to do that. But I can assure them that no weapon fashioned against the president shall prosper. The NPP is doing all it can to tag the president with corruption but I can assure them they are wasting their time,” the former broadcaster stated.