How Nii Arday Clegg pummelled Adom Otchere to pulp

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Fri, 30 Sep 2016 Source: Francis Doku

By Francis Doku

Robert Nii Arday Clegg has been hosting the morning show on Starr FM for about a year now.

He is the second host of the two-year-old programme, having taken over from the maiden host Kafui Dey last year.

That would be the second time Nii Arday would be hosting a morning programme on Accra radio. He had hosted a show in the morning on Radio Gold in the early 2000s where he asked hard questions and interviewed the big name newsmakers of the time.

This was however on Saturday mornings and his show would be “killed” when the need for a tough no-holds-barred political show led to the creation of Alhaji and Alhaji. Or so it seemed from the outside. He would go on to earn a law degree and be called to the bar.

Clegg later owned and hosted a television talk show known as Inside Out and on it he again asked hard questions of his guests on varied topics. As the pioneering host of Joy News on Multi TV’s current affairs programme PM Express, Robert Clegg won the RTP award for Television Current Affairs Host of the Year 2012.

He has also had the opportunity to appear on television, Metro TV and Multi TV to be precise, to talk about football on many occasions. From African Cup of Nations, through FIFA World Cup to UEFA Champions League, he has done it all and then some.

In spite of this extensive experience spanning more than a decade and half in the media (along with his law studies and practice), Robert Nii Arday Clegg was a novice on daily weekday morning show at the time of his appointment to handle Morning Starr in September last year. How he has fared so far will be subject for another discussion on another day.

My focus for today on the spat that he has had with host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, Paul Adom-Otchere over comments the latter made when he appeared on Bola Ray’s Starr Chat on Starr FM last week Wednesday. This is of course a flogged subject as many have taken a bite of the cherry both online and elsewhere.

Adom-Otchere was offered the opportunity by Bola Ray, through a mystery question, to choose who he considered the best morning show host between Bernard Avle (Citi FM), Kojo Yankson (Joy FM) and Robert Nii Arday Clegg (Starr FM).

In limiting the choices to three he wanted to let listeners know that the competition for morning radio in the English speaking market was among only three stations. Forget all others. It’s subtle and you have to look well to see. Masterstroke, but that’s not why I am here today.

Paul could not bring himself to say who he felt was the best among the three. He mentioned the fact that he helped set Bernard’s morning show career up at Citi FM and so it was difficult for him. Let me say that Bernard started hosting morning shows on Radio Univers on Campus Express with the likes of Nana Tawiah Okyere, Shamima Muslim and co, but that’s beside the point.

Paul said because of this he could not choose Bernard. Then on Clegg he said they had been friends for long and so it would be unfair to the others for him to mention him as the best.

In his effort to emphasise the extent of their friendship however, he committed the error that will come to bite him hard in the bum: he claimed to have been helped by Clegg when he wasn’t available to write an Interim Assessment (IA) and the former had written it for him when they were both studying political science as undergrads at the University of Ghana. Bombshell!

The following morning was hell on Morning Starr. To be honest, hell is an understatement, but let’s use it like that for the purpose of this discussion. Clegg had taken a huge exception to what Adom-Otchere had claimed he did for him and the vehemence with which he expressed himself could push Won Won (the giant who knocked down the gates of Winterfell) to the ground.

He was so livid he went for Paul Adom-Otchere’s jugular and he made sure there was no jocularity about his intentions to make Paul pay for his “crime”. I did not listen to the show, but I have since listened a few times to the 14-minute long tongue lashing on YouTube and I am yet to listen to someone so livid on radio since Jerry Rawlings announced the 1979 coup on GBC.

He made it clear that what Paul had said the night before was a lie. He made the case that Paul had imputed criminality to him. He made it clear also that although Paul had apologised to him in both SMS and voice call, the latter was avoiding his call to, as he promised, speak to the matter on air.

Look, let me share another Game of Thrones example. You recall during the Battle of the Bastards how Jon Snow deflected all the arrows aimed at him by Ramsey Bolton and then he caught up with the Bolton bastard and pummelled the living daylight out of him. Clegg did more than that to Adom-Otchere. He punched and punched and flayed and skinned and finally skewered him and fed him to the dogs!

When he had completely finished with him he had Paul on the line. We cannot say from the tape if Paul called in or they finally got through to him, but he was on the line. But Clegg was not done with him yet; he was like a wild dog, which unlike other predators won’t give up until they have caught up with their prey.

Bruised all over, Adom-Otchere said what he had said about Clegg and the IA the previous evening did not happen and he apologises. Well, Clegg was still not done. It appeared the humble pie Paul had bitten wasn’t big enough for him so he stuffed him with more:

Robert Clegg: “Where did that even come from?” Paul Adom-Otchere: “It didn’t occur and I apologise for it.” It was excruciatingly painful listening to Paul Adom-Otchere (THE PAUL ADOM-OTCHERE) take such a beating in such a humbling manner.

I would not wish what happened to Paul on my worst enemy. But it happened. I honestly think every man should be able to clear his name from any lie that is told about them, which has the tendency to ruin their hard won reputation. However, I felt and still feel that the hammer used by Clegg to “kill” Paul was way too big.

I don’t know if he could have done it another way to clear his name and still be chummy about it. After all the two of them had referred to each other as going way back and are friends. Unless of course as Clegg said, Paul had done or said other things and this was the last straw.

The lesson from this though is that we need to be careful what claims we make when we are in public as that which is wrongly said, against the wrong person, would bring our reputation down like a deck of cards. Will that be the end of the friendship that has lasted for almost 20 years? It most likely seems so.

Columnist: Francis Doku