Editorial: Government And Amateurish Diversionary Tactics

Lots of things including the use of diversionary tactics are permissible in governance, especially when a system seems to be lacking focus and direction.

In Ghana, diversionary tactics have been used by various administrations with some being successful and others becoming eggs on the face of the system that wanted to make use of them.

The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration is unlucky when it comes to the adoption and use of tactics that would divert attention and offer a breather to the government because those who are to lead the charge are simply not smart.

Amateurish tactics are always deployed making the whole agenda to flop and, in the process, the image of the government gets more tattered as it is being witnessed today.

Last Thursday was no exception, following the arrest of a radio presenter, Kwabena Bobbie Ansah, of Accra FM, in connection with certain allegations he was said to have made against Ghana’s first and second ladies.

The police, in a fashion to satisfy the political establishment, accosted and arrested the radio presenter after his programme and placed him in police custody in Accra.

Two narratives have emerged, one from the police claiming that the radio presenter was arrested in that dreadful manner because he had failed to honour an invitation to assist in investigation.

The radio presenter later came out that he never failed to honour the invitation from the police, as he had a discussion with them and explained that he was out of jurisdiction and would availed himself later.

The police have so far not been able to deny the claims of the radio presenter, who was granted GHC50,000 bail by an Accra Circuit Court, after he appeared before it in connection with publishing false news.

Before the arrest of the radio presenter, two important events had taken place on that fateful Thursday; one was the peaceful and successful demonstration by the youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the E-Levy that has obviously become an albatross on the neck of the government, and the second one was the announcement that President Akufo-Addo was travelling out of Ghana for some 10 days.

The E-Levy demonstration saw many Ghanaians coming out to register their protests over how the country was being mismanaged, and sent out clear signals to the government that all was not well with the country.

Then in the evening of that same Thursday, many Ghanaians on various social media platforms had started bashing the government over the President’s foreign travels via private flights.

The government was in no small way looking bad and something had to be done in earnest to save the situation, and the Accra FM presenter’s issue was handy for the system, and so the security apparatus opted for it and used the police for the diversionary act.

One thing that Ghanaians are not aware of in the matter involving Bobbie Ansah is the complainant, and that is confirming the suspicion that his arrest was meant to divert attention from some issues confronting the government.

The position of veteran journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, suggesting that the First Lady and the Second Lady should go to court for defamation against the radio presenter is the most sensible thing that should have been pursued instead of the police availing themselves of the job that a toddler can notice was a hatchet one and nothing else.

The whole agenda has failed, and even if the radio presenter went overboard with his submissions on the first and second ladies, the manner the police handled him was bad and now it is the government that is seen in an extremely bad light.

People have been called names, songs were composed in the names of others, we have had top politicians calling sitting presidents thieves, we have had presidential candidates accusing a first lady of sharing contracts, but the police were not used against those persons, but today the status quo has virtually changed as the ‘See No Evil, Speak No Evil and Hear No Evil’ is the order of the day.

The government should be bold enough and accept that the modus operandi that it is currently using for diversionary tactics are just not working because Ghanaians can easily read through the lines with cheeky ease anytime it deploys those tactics.

There are many options and techniques available to be adopted, but for now those in charge of diversionary tactics, which is anyway not illegal in governance, should be kind enough to accept that their current game plan is too amateurish and they must move to develop master plans that would be difficult for Ghanaians to detect when rolled out.