OFFICE OF THE ODIKRO
a companion of the black star!
COMMENT: Reckoning With Criminal Political Hoaxes
On The Crime And Punishment of Political Hoaxes
price of liberty, they say, is eternal vigilance. The price of peace is
justice and fairness, and the ability to swiftly deal with offenders.
When people commit crimes and nothing happens, they feel encouraged to
even try more daring stints. It is not impossible to find out and punish
those who take it upon themselves to deceive and deliberately mislead
the Ghanaian public. I am going to show that this is possible by
mentioning names and challenging them to prove me wrong!
personally think the individual who first put up this story on the web
must know something about this forgery. Most of these hoaxes are
individual jobs of party fanatics who think by so doing they would be
augmenting the chances of their various parties and candidates at the
polls. In order to eradicate the canker, we must simply focus at the
source. In today's world such things are so easy to determine.
earliest version of this story I have so far gathered was posted on
October 23, 2012, by omgghana.com, under the title, " [EXPOSED]
President Mahama and Wife Stash $170 Million In Swiss Bank Account � IMF
Threaten To Cut Aid To Ghana". So the simplest thing to do is to ask
the individual in charge of this website how he came about such a story.
is an urgent need for Ghanaians to remove themselves from harm's way by
dealing drastically with such malicious lies. Freedom of speech ought
to be protected. We must protect the ability of every citizen to help
expose corruption. But this type of protection must not be extended to
those who manufacture their own facts and mislead the public into
drawing wrong conclusions. A lie is an injury, and this lie was intended
to injure the judgement of Ghanaians in a crucial electoral year.
is a big deal. Freedom of opinion can never be stretched to cover a
concocted story which has no shred of truth in it, mischievously
attributed to a source that has nothing to do with the story, just to
deceive the Ghanaian public! We do not have any law that protects people
who want to deceive us in our democracy. It is not useful at this stage
to merely speculate which political party is behind this. What is
important is to invite the web-master of Omgghana.com to assist the
police in their investigations.
Towards the end of the 2008
Presidential elections, a hoax that nearly brought the country to the
verge of civil war, took to the electronic and print media. This was a
letter forged to look as though it was a leak from the personal e-mail
of ex-President Rawlings, in which he was purported to have had a
"hit-list" of prominent Ghanaians to be eliminated, in the event that
the NPP came to power.
Even though this hoax nearly threw the
stability of the country into the air and diverted much attention of the
national conversation on it, nothing meaningful came out by way of
prosecuting those who were behind it. This was a monumental failure of
the Ghana Police, whose cyber crime division has not yet been seen to
crack a single crime! That hoax also had a "first time" that it was put
on the web. The earliest source of such activity can be traced to Mr.
Yofi Grant, who was then working in the Communications team of Dr.
Mumuni Bawumia, NPP's Vice Presidential candidate, then and now.
pointed out then, that this was very harmful and dangerous to our
democracy and should not be taken lightly. I also expressed the
legitimate fears that if effective steps were not taken to bring this
under control, they were bound to be even more skilful the next time
around. In any case, why should people who indulge in such activity do
so with impunity? Why is it that there is apparently no fear associated
with such a criminal behaviour?
Here is how the earliest version of the Rawlings so-called "Hit-List" that almost brought our country on the brink of war:
From: "Yofi Grant"
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 09:10:46 -0000
Subject: RE: Could this possibly be true???
whats new? I guess he will try any means possible�� if you live in
Ghana you will understand, he has been up to all sorts of things�.
R. Yofi Grant
Executive Director, Databank Financial Services Limited
crime has no expiring date! The more we punish the perpetrators, the
more certain we can be that we are on top of this dirty politically
motivated crime! I am challenging Yofi Grant to prove me wrong, if he is
not the source of the Rawlings hit list hoax, where did he get his
information from? The same question must be asked of Omgghana.com. If we
do not begin to put some fear of the law into the hearts of these
individuals behind these politically scams and criminal behaviour, we
run the risk of paying dearly for this with the insecurity and
instability that some of these hoaxes are capable of. We have to know
the difference between what is news, free speech, political opinion, and
what is a crime!
Forward Ever! Backwards Never! Long live Ghana!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
Give me a follow on twitter: twitter.com/TheOdikro