Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mid-Week Madness: Re-dux: This is What Young Ghanaian Journalists Should Aspire To; The Inconsistency of Spintex Road Police


Back in 2007, I wrote a blog post, praising Business&Financial Times Journalist Moses Dzawu (now a Deputy News Editor!) who picked up my story of a piece of news I had heard on the radio about Stanbic Bank wanting to take over Ghana's only Agricultural Development Bank. I had spoken with him on Sunday night. By Monday, the front-page of BFT was asking whether ADB was being sold to Stanbic!!

Three years later, I feel compelled to revisit the title, because I think CITI-fm Journalist Bernard Avle (back from studying an MBA at Warwick university in 2008/2009) a couple of months ago and back on the "CITI Breakfast Show" for Mondays-Wednesdays) deserves the accolade for picking up a piece, written by former Deputy High Commissioner in Ghana Craig Murray on his blog a few weeks ago.

The story was on corruption, and how the British government is being hypocritical by not touching on how British companies have been complicit in corrupting Ghanaian officials over a number of deals. I circulated the story last Friday afternoon. On Monday, I saw it in front of "The Insight" newspaper.

After Avle's interview of Craig Murray himself, and a hosting of a panel that included Ghana Integrity Initiative (local chapter of Transparency International)Vitus Azeem, the story has taken somewhat epic proportions. The actual story is here: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/02/the_uk_and_corr.html#comments. I must, in fact, thank my British blogger-friend (since 2005) Daniel Hoffman-Gill, which website I found the link on last week! Thanks Daniel!

Meanwhile, I am getting frustrated in using the Spintex Road as the Ghana Police (motor Transport Unit) continue to show the same inconsistency I complained of in the last post. They simply are not deploying--either on time, or at all--police to stop all sorts of cars creating confusion on the road. When they're there, the traffic assumes a sanity that is refreshing. Refreshing because it is so rare for the road to be sane!

I wasted units calling the National Road Safety Commission hotline on MTN 18001 today. It didn't go through, so I was compelled to call their landline--only to be told that there was an electrical fault.

With a hotline?

Only in Ghana!

Truth be told, yesterday, when I did call, they picked it up and called me back to say that they have informed the Motor Transport Unit of the Ghana Police and they have been dispatched. Need they be told? I wondered. They didn't have an answer for me. This morning, I got the lie that the MTTU had been deployed. We had been on the road since 7.45am and it was as choked as ever, developing multiple lanes thanks to commuters using shortcuts that fed into the road.

I fear what tomorrow will bring, but I ain't giving up calling them, or radio stations to get the message across that Ghana Police are not helping us...
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