General Politics

Nzema youth chase Kweku Baako

Some irate youth of Nzema in the Western Region have descended heavily on the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako over his ‘harsh comments’ against their traditional leader for commending former President John Mahama on the Atuabo Gas Plant establishment.

It would be recalled that the Divisional Chief of Nzema Akropong in the Ellembelle District, Nana Adu Kwame praised former President John Mahama during his ‘Thank You Tour’ last month at Atuabo for his vision of establishing the Ghana Gas Processing Plant in the Nzemaland adding that but for him, the project would not have existed.

Nana Adu Kwame said the Chiefs and people of Nzema will therefore forever be indebted to the John Mahama administration for putting the Ghana Gas infrastructure on their land.

“What I want to say is that in time past what your party did for us we appreciate but for you we would not have had Ghana Gas on our soil. You did it for us and today we are seeing a lot of things. You added ENI the other day I met some”, he disclosed during a courtesy call on Paramount Chief of Eastern Nzema Awulai Amihere Kpanyinli III in his Palace as part of a two day thank you tour of the Western Region.

But in a sharp rebuttal, the veteran journalist in a post sighted by the media catalogued the contributions of successive governments before the final implementation of the project which the chief gave the credit to only the former President.

Kweku Baako wrote “…Would there have been the need for Gas Plants (Ghana Gas) without the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities? Second point: Prior to the advent of the Mills Administration, the Jubilee Partners, GNPC and the Government of Ghana had outlined the road map for the implementation of the Gas Commercialization Plan as contained in the Jubilee Phase One Plan of Development (POD)”.

“…They opted for the Chinese option and also changed the location from Domunli to Atuabo. The delay resulted in gas being flared post first oil which wasn’t the intention or policy in the first place. It is undeniable that the Gas Infrastructure Project was initiated and completed between 2011 and late 2015 spanning the period of both the Mills and Mahama Administrations. However, the “vision” or conceptualization including some preliminary initiatives/actions pre-dated the advent of both Administrations! This is the factual sequence of events leading to the construction of the Atuabo Gas Infrastructure and the attendant birth of the Ghana Gas Company!”, he explained.

In a statement issued by these angry youth and copied to Daniel Kaku, they said Mr Baako’s description of Nana Adu Kwame, Divisional Chief of Nzema Akropong in the Ellembelle District as “ignorant”, is a barbaric display of disrespect for their Chief.

The statement noted that “It is undeniable that successive governments played critical roles along the journey to this point of Ghana’s oil story. However, the fact of the matter is that the Ghana Gas Plant was neither constructed by J.J. Rawlings, J/A Kufour or J.E.A Mills. It was constructed by John Dramani Mahama and any attempt to deny or dispute it is either borne out of ignorance or pure mischief aimed at belittling his role in the creation of the Atuabo Gas industrial complex as it is today”.

The statement continued that “For the purpose of public education, the late president John Evans Atta Mills commissioned a “National Gas Development Task Force” in February 2011 to review and make appropriate recommendations for the realization of a national gas commercialization infrastructure system. This was after the Task Force had recommended the evacuation and treatment of gas associated with the Jubilee Field production, in order to prevent waste and forestall environmental risks”.

“…As the succeeding president by virtue of his position as Vice President, John Mahama took over from where Atta Mills left off and carried through the implementation to its final phase, Kweku Baako is an NPP apologist, in spite of his false posture as a neutral “senior” journalist, an accolade commonly used by his admirers, but for which it remains unclear whether that is in reference to his age or his experience. His quick reaction to the Nana Adu Kwame was never a genuine attempt to correct a factual inaccuracy.

It was a spirited attempt to discredit the chief and thereby nullify any political advantage he suspects John Mahama may have accrued from his compliments”, opined.

The statement revealed that “The obvious motive for Kweku Baako’s reaction is his irritation that the chief gave John Mahama credit for a project of such national significance and went ahead to link it to a possible “one touch” victory for him in 2020. His energetic misinformation drive is just another example of the NPP’s penchant for twisting truth and fact to discredit the NDC and present itself as the only party under which any meaningful development project was ever implemented in Ghana’.

The statement chastised “Kweku Baako has the right to belong to any political party of his choice, but he must eschew the shameless hypocrisy that dictates his analyses of events relating to the development of Ghana. For a man who wants to be regarded as a seasoned journalist by all, Mr. Baako would do a lot of good to his own credibility and political clout by being less biased and pretentious towards the NDC”.

The statement, therefore, described Kwaku Baako as an NPP propagandist who has been pretending to be a neutral journalist to make former President John Mahama unpopular.

The statement has called on Kweku Baako to retract his comments and apologise unreservedly to their Chief or face their wrath.

‘We are by this statement demanding an immediate retraction of the unsavoury comments Mr. Abdul Malik Kweku Baako made against Nana Adu Kwame as well as an unreserved unqualified apology by him to our venerated chief, failure to which will compel us to advise ourselves on our next line of action”, the statement concluded.

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