Opinions Sun, 23 Oct 2016

RE: Electoral Commission drags Ayariga to CID

Fellow Ghanaians, we told you so! One of the issues we, Dotse and Tsikata, raised in our investigative report was the lack of trust among our state institutions. The manifestation of this phenomenon exhibit itself in the ways some of our state institutions relate to one another.

The National Accreditation Board of Ghana (NAB), by its legal instrument, designate some institutions as unaccredited and unworthy to issue higher degrees such as PhDs, but the Daily Graphic, another institution of state, finds it worthy to celebrate these individuals and their questionable awards.

When even the editors and the managers of the newspaper are drawn to the situation, instead of apologizing to the public, they continue the act with impunity. The Daily Graphic is not alone. At least in the last few weeks, Joy News, Star FM, and other stations have continued to reference the man, Mr. Hassan Ayariga, as a Dr. What these institutions and their managers fail to realize is the fact that the negative impacts these acts have on our reward and honor systems can be far-reaching.

In our appraisals of materials on Ghanaians who flaunt questionable doctoral degrees, we came upon the Great Achievers Institute of Theology and Seminary, located in Spain (The link available here:

http://achieversuniversitycollege.tripod.com/). From available artifacts, (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga received a doctorate degree (honoris causa) from this University. He also received a PhD from the Atlantic International University in Hawaii (Information available here: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Hassan-now-Dr-Dr-Ayariga-399920).

He insisted in radio and TV interviews to be addressed a doctor. Since honorary doctorate holders are not normally entitled to be referenced as such in public communication, we turned our attention to his so-called earned PhD from the Atlantic International University. Our view was that it must be the institution that gave him the gravitas to insist on being addressed a doctor.

However, this is where the problem is. The NAB declares the Atlantic International University unaccredited to confer doctoral degrees in Ghana. Rightly so, the Atlantic International University is a diploma mill.

Now, for (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga to turn around to say that his PhD in Political Science was conferred on him by the Great Achievers Institute of Theology and Seminary, we can only think of the inconsistency of his own information, first, before delving into issues of accreditation, course content, and the recognition he so badly needs to project himself politically.

While it is a step in the right direction that the Ghana Electoral Commission (EC) has referred this case to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, the “EC MUST REINSTATE” grassroots group that is canvassing for the reinstatement of disqualified presidential candidates for the 2016 elections, should not confuse (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga’s case with the others who might have committed genuine errors in their application forms, a situation that can easily be rectified by the courts. The “EC MUST REINSTATE” should steer clear of the Hassan Ayariga case and allow the investigative wing of the Ghana Police Service to do its job.

The only lingering doubts in our minds about the CID expediting action on this case are in multiple folds. First, does the investigative arm of the Ghana Police Service have the capacity to investigate this issue effectively? This naturally leads to the second question. Even if they do, would the same proceedings apply to its head, the IGP (Dr.) John Kudalor? (Please follow the link to the IGP’s case: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Accreditation-board-surprised-by-IGP-s-acceptance-of-fake-degree-461316).

We are once again calling on the Minister of Education, Professor Agnes Naana Opoku Agyemang, to not sit back and watch the education system get infiltrated with these fake degree holders, especially those who are using the fake degrees to teach and get tenure and promotions as professors in our universities. The price for not acting is too dear for a developing country such as Ghana.

With regard to the person (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga, it is becoming clear that the man must be living in his own reality, a reality constructed on a delusion of grandeur—a psychological state in which the victim entertains false beliefs that he or she possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence and wealth. However, this has only been possible because he has been aided by media outlets that either lack the capacity to research these issues before publication or carry out publications that seek to celebrate what is questionable for economic gains.

As we await the determination of the CID, we will also urge the CID to contact the NAB or contact us if they need help in unravelling some of the hidden aspects of the issues of accreditation and the flaunting of questionable degrees. We believe that the nature of the case, especially being election-related requiring expeditious investigation and determination, will set the stage for the police to begin to look into these issues of fraud. Our investigative report has details about the various issues in it (http://www.modernghana.com/news/711753/the-accreditation-challenges-in-transnational-educational-ec.html).

Prosper Yao Tsikata, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Communication

A. Kobla Dotse, Ph.D. Director, Chemical Research & Development

Columnist: Tsikata, Prosper Yao