When Baba Jamal Uses State Resources To Campaign For Mills

Propaganda Chief Baba Jamal, who has been given the deputy portfolio holder�s job at the Ministry of Information, in order to use state resources to propagate the so-called ideals of the Professor and his divided party, was at his lying worst at two separate meetings with the media in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions. The man, who declared a Jihad in a bye-election involving six polling booths at Akwatia, and caused the spilling of innocent blood in 2009, told newsmen in Kumasi that there is no political prisoner in Ghana at the moment, because President John Evans Atta Mills has ushered in a new dispensation that frowns on political persecution and prosecution. Yesterday, The Chronicle captured the Deputy Minister in Kumasi telling newsmen that the President believes that the trend, where political opponents are persecuted, arrested and prosecuted for political reasons, must stop. At the time Baba Jamal made that statement, he knew that political persecution and prosecution ended the moment the Government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Mark One of Jerry John Rawlings, during which the current head of state sat at the Castle as the constitutional Vice-President of Ghana, ended, and ushered in the administration of ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor. Unlike the Rawlings regime, when state resources were used to prosecute Abdul Kweku Baaku Jnr. and Alhaji A.R. Haruna Attah on behalf of the former First Lady and thrown into jail, there was no persecution of that nature under the regime that took over from Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings. Under the eight-year administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), no one was thrown into jail for his political belief. That is in sharp contrast with the arrest and detention of young Odartey-Wellington for suggesting on a television programme that Jerry Rawlings was a con man. There were prosecutions of some former office holders in the NDC administration. Former Minister of Finance Kwame Peprah, his deputy, Victor Selormey, now deceased, one-time Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Daniel Abodakpi, one-time Minister of Agriculture Ibrahim Adam and Tsatsu Tsikata, one-time Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, were tried, found guilty and jailed on matters pertaining to misuse of state funds. They were not tried for their political beliefs. In any case, since this administration took charge of governance, some leading members of the former administration, including ex-Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Kwadwo Mpiani, ex-Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority, Charles Wereko-Brobby, former Foreign Minister Akwasi Osei-Adjei, former Minister of Information, Stephen Asamoah Boateng and his deputy, Frank Agyekum, have all been arraigned before court for allegedly misusing state funds. What then is the difference between what pertained in the Kufuor era and the current dispensation? If none of the former NPP officials is in jail, it is simply because the prosecution has so far not been successful in securing convictions at the various courts. It is never because of the magnanimity of a President who has so-far exhibited the tendency to protect agents of the NDC from prosecution, while throwing political opponents to the wolves. The Chronicle could vouch that Baba Jamal�s tour of the regions has everything to do with the internal wrangling in the ruling party, leading to the challenge posed by Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings to unseat the sitting President. It would be in the interest of Baba Jamal himself to stop using state resources to campaign for Atta Mills, and more especially, resist from telling naked lies in order to make the presidential aspirant he supports attractive in the eyes of the electoral college of the NDC.