I am compelled to write this letter in support of Messrs. Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, Editor; and Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum, Reporter, both of the Modernghana.com media group and website, first of all, because rough patches and publication snags now and then with these fine and hardworking gentlemen, nonetheless, I can emphatically vouch for the incontrovertible fact that it is the Modern Ghana Team of media operatives and publishers who have, more than any other media establishment in the country, demonstrated professionally and consistently that they fully appreciate the inexorable watchdog role of the media in every progressive society.
I learned with great surprise, the arrests of Messrs. Abugri and Britwum just early this morning, at approximately 7 0’clock, New York Time, and was quite flabbergasted by the same because for some 5 years now, Modern Ghana has been the only media website that has been consistently publishing my columns and creative output, mostly poetry, on their website. Indeed, most Ghanaians who are familiar with the vast corpus of my writings, on a variety of subjects and topics, very likely came across the same on Modern Ghana, as the foremost Ghanaian media website has been known for at least a decade-and-half now, by my own count. Needless to say, Modern Ghana was neither the first nor the only Ghanaian media website that I have ever written for; but it is the only Ghana-focused media website that maintains the most comprehensive archive of my literary and journalistic output around the globe to-date.
Now, I am not in any authoritative position to vouch for the fact of whether or not Messrs. Abugri and Britwum may be criminally culpable of the charges allegedly brought against them by operatives of our National Security Agency, that is, charges pertaining to the unscrupulous hacking of the cyber networks of some of Modern Ghana’s fiercest and most formidable competitors (See “Press Release by Modern Ghana on the Arrest of Staff by National Security” 6/29/19). But I have absolutely no doubt, whatsoever, that if any mischievous elements in government or political circles are behind this clearly unsavory attempt to muzzle or muff up the diligent and dedicated operatives of arguably the most innovative and progressive media website or group in the country, that elements of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) would be the least likely to be so mischievously engaged or involved.
Indeed, nearly every incident that involved either the undue delay or the total scuttling of the publication of any one of my columns had had the predictable signature of some key operatives of Ghana’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the details, as it were. For example, several times in the recent past, I have been reluctantly informed by the Editorial Team of Modern Ghana – after repeated rejections of the publication of some of my columns and my repeated presentation of the same to the Modern Ghana Editorial Team for publication, sometimes after five to ten times of our merry-go-round – that the team had been threatened with a massive lawsuit by some key elements from the National Democratic Congress, usually, if any article authored by yours truly had the name of former President John Dramani Mahama anywhere in either its caption or its contents, even when I had staunchly insisted that they go ahead and publish the same because I was ready to meet my political adversaries and opponents in any legitimately constituted court of the land.
Which, of course, is not to either assert or imply that the Johnson Kwadwo Asiedu-Nketia Gang may be smack behind this apparently flagrant attempt to stampede the Modern Ghana News and Editorial Team onto the proverbial gray margins of practical irrelevance. Indeed, in 2005, or thereabouts, when Mr. Nii Ayiku, then resident in Switzerland, earnestly invited me to regularly contribute some of my columns to the then newly created Modern Ghana website, several times when I had difficulty accessing the website, I would be informed that a more experienced rival web operative and competitor who felt threatened by this up-and-running newcomer had deliberately infected the Modern Ghana website with a virus, in an obvious bid to taking the most dynamic, innovative and progressive Ghanaian media website out of business.
Well, I just thought that I should let my readers and followers know the fact that there may very well be far more at stake in the curious matter of the recent arrests of Messrs. Abugri and Britwum than may be readily accessible, epistemically speaking, or may appear on the surface of things and/or events. Goodluck, Gentlemen.
Kwame Okoampa-ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Garden City, New York, USA