Fair-minded journalists are becoming rare - Rawlings
Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has in a tribute to the late Kwadwo Asare Baffour Acheampong, popularly known as KABA, observed that journalists with a fair-minded approach to issues and with a good sense of balance in terms of objectivity are becoming rare.
He said, “A few too many media personnel are serving one purpose or another which seems to undermine the integrity of the profession. And indeed when somebody like this (KABA) dies then we must consider it a serious loss.”
The former President made the assertions when a delegation including the family of the late Asempa FM broadcaster and some staff of the Multimedia Group called on him to formerly notify him of KABA’s demise and outline arrangements for his funeral.
The delegation which was led by Nana Ansah Kwao IV, Akwamu Adumasahene and Nana Oteng Bosomprah, told Flt Lt Rawlings that KABA had served his country in a public capacity hence it was proper that they officially apprise statesmen about his demise.
The former President noted that though he did not personally know Kaba, he related well with his office staff and was pleasantly surprised to see many political leaders sign the book of condolence.
He made particular reference to the fact that former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, broke down when it was his turn to commiserate with the family and colleagues of the deceased. “It’s a pity I did not meet him (Kaba),” Ghana’s longest serving Head of State said.
Mr. Rawlings took the opportunity to again deny a trending publication on social media that claims he had referred to pastors who had no day jobs as thieves.
“People are taking undue liberties. I said no such thing. It is most unfortunate. But that is not to say that some of them are not unqualified to be holding bibles and preaching and misleading people,” he reiterated.
The former President also expressed his displeasure at the fact that what was originally established as a national monument for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had been reduced to a family burial place by the reburial of Madam Fathia Nkrumah under the same monument.
Describing it as a deliberate political mistake, Flt Lt Rawlings said, “Nkrumah like a good number of patriots on the continent, had his enemies who disliked him with passion. He was not perfect but it’s a wonder he survived as long as he did with both internal and external enemies after him. He is the founder of the nation and does not deserve to have a degraded mausoleum”.
He wondered how persons claiming to be believers of the Nkrumah’s ideology looked on as his monument was desecrated, stating that the late First Lady could have been buried anywhere else on the grounds aside the actual monument where President Nkrumah was buried because it was a special national monument not meant to be shared or downgraded into a family burial place.
Members of the Rawlings’ office present at the meeting were Kobina Andoh, Dr. Donald Agumenu and Elikplim Katahena. Also present was Jesse Shipley, a visiting American Professor.
The funeral of the late KABA will take place at the forecourt of the State House on Saturday December 16. He will be buried at the Osu Cemetary.