By Margaret Jackson
I stand to be corrected. Never in my little over 40 years on this our planet earth have I seen a shallow-minded columnist like Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh feel so threatened and tuck his tail right in the middle of his thighs after writing a controversial column which some well-thinking people have roundly condemned. Columnists throughout the world are heavily opinionated. They write their columns and leave readers to decide. Some of their readers tend to side with them whilst others condemn them through rejoinders, but they continue to write. They know that not everybody will side with them. Even Jesus whom we just celebrated His birth received multiple opposition throughout His ministry, but he never wavered. Jesus continued to soldier on.
Again, never have I seen a columnist write an article which some people have condemned and had him use his or her next column to justify or defend what he or she wrote previously. In fact, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh in my estimation will be the first to defend his previous column. After reading his latest column published in the Daily Graphic on Thursday January 5, 2012, I shot out the words: What was Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh thinking? If you do not believe what you are writing or do not want what you write to go through the knife of public opinion, Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh you have no business to tuck your hands every week under the eyes of President Mills and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
What was Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh thinking were the words I immediately shot out of my mouth. Did Boadu-Ayeboafoh thought that everybody in Ghana or to put it mildly all his readers will side with his one sided heavily laced opinionated unscientific analysis of President Mills Administration in 2011? I am at a loss and do not know what to say because even in Boadu-Ayeboafoh’s own household not every member of his family will agree with him all the time on issues otherwise his so-called democratic experience which he always trumpets in his weekly column is just talk.
Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh is currently the General Manager of Newspapers at the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), a position he covets a lot. Why wouldn’t he if you were him. In fact those who know Boadu-Ayeboafoh extremely well will testify under oath that he loves to be recognized. To put it more strongly, Boadu-Ayeboafoh loves to be in the spotlight and he is heavily ambitious and power drunk. So ambitious that he resigned from the GCGL and took a position as the Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC) when he realized that he was not going to be made the Editor of the GCGL. Perhaps Boadu-Ayeboafoh at the time thought that position at NMC was going to give him the prominence or recognition he so desires in Ghana. But he was wrong. That position did not give him enough swagger so Boadu-Ayeboafoh beat the retreat.
When President Kufour came to power and the then Editor of Daily Graphic, Mr. Elvis Aryeh was removed under strange circumstances and the position became vacant, Boadu-Ayeboafoh went and lobbied at the National Patriotic Party (NPP) corridors of power so when he interviewed for the position he was handed the editorship under a silver platter because they thought he was going to deliver the NPP agenda at the time. But unfortunately for Boadu-Ayeboafoh, he became a one-term editor as his contract was not renewed because his NPP masters felt that he did not play ball enough. But to compensate for Boadu-Ayeboafoh ‘faithfulness’ in the NPP in the past they ‘promoted’ him to his current position.
But since a leopard’s skin never hides even under the cover of darkness, Boadu-Ayeboafoh is much known at GCGL and the media circles that his ambitious goal is to become the managing director of the GCGL. It is one reason why he rushed to the law school thinking that English and Law will be enough compensation for him to head the GCGL. Which is why Boadu-Ayeboafoh who does not know anything about real management or what 1+3 means in the financial world has interviewed for the managing directorship position of the GCGL twice but on each occasion during the interview, the panel of interviewers have found him speaking just English but did not come across as someone who has any plans to take the company to the next level. As a result, go-getting Boadu-Ayeboafoh has on each occasion had his nose rubbed in the mud by way of being denied the managing directorship position because his skillset for that position is adequately hollow.
Now read some of the garbage Boadu-Ayeboafoh wrote under the headline “Better Ghana: My assessment on Thursday December 29, 2011. He wrote, “They are only going to paint me in party colours and say I am anti-government and anti-NDC, yet if you ask them for proof, they would cite refuted claims in the past and can never offer any justification”. Liar! This is the biggest lie of all time, because many people at the editorial department of the GCGL know very well that Boadu-Ayeboafoh wanted to contest the NPP parliamentary primary in 1996 but only chickened out and gave the lame excuse that he was related to Albert Kan-Dapaah, the Member of Parliament for the Afigya-Sekyere West who was also then contesting. If Boadu-Ayeboafoh claims he is the man who he is and he is a very decent, honest and truthful person who should be believed as a genuine Ghanaian wishing nothing but the best for our dear country he should be bold to come out to confirm this claim.
Boadu-Ayeboafoh is nationally known not as an NPP sympathizer but as a deep-seated member who has voted for the NPP since 1992. What I do not know is if he carries the NPP membership card but he is a member of the NPP. Therefore, it is very dishonest on the part of Boadu-Ayeboafoh to state that people who have accused him of being an NPP member have no proof. I challenge him on this: Did you Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh ever state or have you ever stated that you wanted to contest the NPP parliamentary primary in 1996 but for the fact that your relative Kan-Dapaah was also contesting under the same party? Wonders, they say will never end.
I personally have no beef against genuine but not fickle minded people who offer productive criticisms on issues of national concern because constructive criticisms in general help us to steer to the right courses. But when it comes to Boadu-Ayeboafoh, I must say that I have a bigger beef because he does not have the country at heart but just out there to run the NDC government and the party down. His agenda every week since the NDC came to power is to punch holes in everything that the Mills administration either stands for or has done. I will explain why. Boadu-Ayeboafoh at one point during President Kufour’s administration was the editor of the Daily Graphic and later became the General Manager in charge of Newspapers. But this man who is uncut when you meet him for the first time never wrote a single article when the NPP was in power, yet he started writing biting articles the moment President Mills was sworn into office. Kufour was in power for 8 solid years and yet there was not a single article from Boadu-Ayeboafoh.
If such a person like Boadu-Ayeboafoh tell Ghanaians that he writes based on knowledge, experience and understanding of what development is all about, my take is, did he not find anything worth writing about during the 8 years of the Kufour regime? Graphic has virtually been turned into an NPP extension courtesy Ransford Tetteh (Editor), Kobby Asmah (Political Editor) and to a large extent Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh. If you do not believe this just open to page 16 of the Daily Graphic edition of Thursday December 29, 2011 and you would understand what I am going to say. In that edition was the Vice President John Mahama grieving with the bereaved families at Senya Beraku. You will see Stephen Asamoah Boateng’s also in one of the pictures consoling the bereaved families. But just take a cursory look at the pictures. It happens that the picture of Asamoah Boateng who is just an ordinary citizen today was much bigger than the Vice President of the country. This confirms the buddy-buddy relationship between Ransford Tetteh and Asamoah Boateng. Fast Forward. Just look at page 13 of the Daily Graphic edition of Thursday January 5, 2012 and you will again see a big picture and a ‘huhudious’ story about Asamoah Boateng ‘intensifying’ his campaign. Is this the balance Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh is trying to preach to Ghanaians? I am afraid I am not buying this trash from him.
During the time President Kufour was in power Mr. A. B. A. Fuseini was part of the Radio Gold “Alhaji & Alhaji” programme, but Kufour used the management of the GCGL at the time to pass a regulation banning employees of the company from going to Radio Stations to comment on political issues. To this date Mr. Fuseini whose critical analysis on the programme put President Kufour and the NPP on tenterhooks is barred from going to the “Alhaji & Alhaji” programme. Now my question is if employees of GCGL are barred from commenting on Radio on political issues, why is Boadu-Ayeboafoh allowed to use the Daily Graphic to lambast the current government? Is it not the same thing? Someone cannot go on Radio but another can use the company’s own daily to do the same thing. Ghanaians should decide.
Mr. Boadu-Ayeboafoh currently holds four positions. Did I just say four positions? Yes, he holds four positions. Apart from being the General Manager of Newspapers at the GCGL, he also lectures at the University of Ghana (Legon), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi) and the University College of Education in Winneba. This means he shares his man-hours between all these engagements. What comes to mind is whether this man is doing any proper general managerial duties at the GCGL. How on earth can one person work at four institutions. Does the GCGL not have any policy to curtail this? Why does management of GCGL allow one person, just one person to use the company’s precious man-hours to teach other institutions which does not bring any benefit to the company? I strongly urge the new Managing Director, Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey as a matter of company urgency to look into this.
People who live in glass houses have been told not to throw stones. But unfortunately and funny enough most of them including Boadu-Ayeboafoh have found themselves on the wrong side of this sage adage. Boadu-Ayeboafoh lost his dad on December 25, 2011. May his old man’s soul rest in peace! It was five clear days after he had lost his dad when Boadu-Ayeboafoh wrote the column declaring President Mills ‘Simpa Panyin” and putting his integrity into question. Boadu-Ayeboafoh did not know then that he was mourning his dad but when his irresponsible comments drew fire, he wrote his column again in the midst of mourning but pleaded with people from attacking him. Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, my take on the whole issue: You have lost it so wise up because every single article you write going forward would be critically analyzed and rebutted. You will not know any rest if you do not resort to responsible journalism. My condolences!