Mr Baako Deserves Honorary Doctorate Degree

Fri, 4 Mar 2011 Source: Sakyi, Bediako

Since the introduction of the 4th Republican Constitution and the realization of some semblance of democratic rights, press freedom and freedom of speech, Ghana has witnessed the emergence of increasingly powerful, young and dynamic journalists who have contributed in no small way to our democratic culture. Their analytical views are interesting to behold due to the pluralisation of the media landscape. Their views are usually in support of one political party or the other with a small percentage standing neutral. Irrespective of this phenomenon, the content of their analysis is what whips up that interest in my soul. A certain culture seems to have been established where one cannot do but to listen to some of these informed journalists every morning. Journalism has assumed its proper place in our society as a respected profession.

Among these experienced journalists/political activists are: Messrs Kwesi Pratt, Alfred Ogbami, Kwame Sefa-Kan, Lawyer Faible, Lawyer Okyere Darko, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, Ken Koranchie, Randy Abbey and Adom Okyere, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, just to mention a few. Aside these journalists, we also have young enterprising presidential spokes persons and ministers who entertain us on the waves. Mention can be made of personalities like Okudzeto Ablakwa, Kofi Adams, Kabila, Ursula Owusu etc.

Of the journalists however, two journalists from the print media seem to me to be very outstanding in their chosen careers. Incidentally, they are all from the New Crusading Guide.

(1) Abdul Malik Kweku Baako

(2) Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

My narration so far seems to have nothing to do with the title of this article, but wait just a bit.

My knowledge as far as Universities are concerned, is that these institutions are research areas where issues that affect us and the environment are researched into in order to find cure for those challenges for the onward development of our society. Many personalities have been awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees for the contribution in their areas of specialization and the society in general. Names that readily come to mind include our own first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Sam Jonah, Dr. Mensa Otabil, His Excellency Dr. J.J Rawlings, and Dr. Spio Garbrah etc.

Of the two journalists mentioned above Messrs Kweku Baako and Anas, my main interest is in Kweku Baako.

Since the 1970’s this gentleman has been involved in the political struggle of this our great country. He has been at the receiving end and on few occasions suffered imprisonment. He has been in the streets, agitating for the right things for mother Ghana. He is outspoken and fearless in expressing his opinions. This man stands for the truth. Of all the attributes to Mr. Kwaku Baako, three qualities stand out.

(1) I want to believe that he started investigative Journalism in Ghana. (I stand to be corrected).

(2) His in- depth knowledge of the political History of Ghana is vel primus vel cum primis.

(3) His ability to undertake research, analyse and communicate effectively with the listening public.

Let me quickly emphasize that I’m baffled as to how he readily makes reference to his cherished documents. Kweku, how do you keep your library to be able to readily retrieve information? I want to know.

These attributes stated above have revolutionalised the way politicians and especially journalists practice their profession in this country. The idea that one has to double cross-check the authenticity of his/her facts before it goes to the publishing house is gradually taking root in Ghana. He backs his arguments with documents which are usually genuine and undisputable. His command over the English language is impeccable; hardly does one hear Kweku stammer for short of words. There are no em’s and aah’s in his speeches. Among his investigative achievements are

1) The Jack Bebli Incident

2) Kumi Preko Demonstration

3) The Vodafone Deal

4) Ghana’s 50th Anniversary Saga

5) The Scancem Deal

6) The Nsawam Cannery Saga

7) The Killing of the three judges and the ex-military officer.

Listening to him, I believe there may be other information’s bordering on security which he does not usually divulge in the public domain. The fact that the great Anas under-studied this man speaks for itself. When Anas was asked in an interview if he was not afraid of repercussions for revealing certain corrupt practices in the country, he replied “Kweku Baako has taken that fear out of me long time ago”

As a political animal, Kweku has proven beyond all that doubt he is a force to reckon with. I’ll like to quote him verbatim on a Metro TV program hosted by the affable Randy Abbey “there is nobody in Ghana dead or alive that me, Kweku Baako cannot debate”. This was said when Honourable Afriyie Ankrah was late to the program but said on arrival that somebody called him to hurry up to the studio because Kweku was having it easy there.

I want to believe that this statement is true and that many Ghanaians will not disagree with me. On several occasions colleagues on programs with him have had to turn to him for confirmation when it comes to historical facts. For those of us who are students of history, it’s so refreshing when Kweku is in his elements. I dare say that Kweku is among the very few scholars in this country why the political history of this great country cannot be distorted. As a CCPist you don’t hide the bad side of your party but allow it to inform and guide our political future. Some of us are anxiously waiting for the launch of that book written by the Abdul Malik on the political history of this nation. I cannot imagine the cross-checking, double checks and the triple-checks.

As one of the best communicators of our time I dot my hat for you. Issues that look complicated are simplified and denied sophistication by the Malik. Just like Pastor Mensah Otabil, I consider you a great teacher.

You research into issues critically before you make your public pronouncements and so even your political opponents agree with you. I dare say that research is an aspect in academia and you’ve conquered that aspect. Let the universities established to promote and enhance knowledge take note. Abdul Malik deserves an honorary doctorate degree. I say this with no doubt in my mind that you indeed deserve such an honor. I recollect on one occasion on Metro TV a minister now in government admitted that “once Kweku has said it who am I to challenge him”. I thought that was a compliment for an ace journalist.

Hello, Vice Chancellors of the universities, aside his research capabilities and communication skills the sheer weight of wisdom mixed up in his submissions cannot be overlooked. His influence in Ghana is in no doubt so his submissions on radio and television definitely affect the decisions of others. One can cite his submissions on the STX building project and the alleged sickness of the president and the ecominy saga.

Mr Vice Chancellor, Madam Vice Chancellor, I hereby end my submission on this academic giant. I believe there is much more that others can add to this piece. Let any university worth its title take the up the challenge and I believe, that university would have enhanced its own image beyond the four corners of mother Ghana. In my candid opinion His Excellency the former President Agyekum Kufour did no wrong in awarding Kweku with a state honour.

As a fan of this great man, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are days of information retrieval from the past, the contemporary and the future. For the universities that will not heed to my plea, they should note, this can lead to an unmitigated academic disaster. Perhaps the authorities are academic illegalities. They would have indeed bastardised the academic forward march of our generation. These expressions are typical of the Malik. I rest my case.

Your humble servant

Bediako Sakyi


(a k a, Malik Bediako)

Adisadel College

Cape Coast

Columnist: Sakyi, Bediako