If you thought the Judges’ exposé (Ghana In the Eyes of God) was jaw-dropping, then this one is more than mind-boggling and it definitely rocked the world of football and posed questions on what is left of its integrity.
The shock of what I saw on June 6th while sitting in the auditorium of the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) has left me so astonished that I am now finding my words. But before we delve into the core of the matter, let’s go through some of the excerpts towards the build-up of the premiere.
There have been some allegations made by several people with regard to corruption within the Ghana Football Association (GFA) in the past. However, these claims have been vehemently denied by the GFA president (Kwesi Nyantakyi). He even went further to promise a huge amount of money to anyone who is able to come forward with evidence to support the claims. His plan to take over the whole of Ghana was brewing but little did he know that his cup would be full one day.
As the former United Nations Secretary-General (Kofi Annan) said in the promotional video for the premiere: “Sometimes it takes a spark, just a spark… and I think Anas has provided that spark for the whole edifice to blow up…for people to wake up and say: ‘NO MORE! Something has to be done!’
The ace investigative journalist has done it again and I hope Kwesi Nyantakyi got the evidence he wanted.
Several other prominent figures like Ex-President H.E John Dramani Mahama, J.A Kuffuor and the current Vice President of Ghana – Dr. Bawumia, all spoke against the rot in the GFA as seen in the short promotional videos.
Then came a very interesting video of a man collecting bundles of money in an envelope who came prepared with several pockets in his coat and trousers which seemed like they were tailored for the money to fit. This gave rise to the ‘Eddie Doku challenge’ where a guy dressed up similarly to collect money and did well to return the crumpled but empty envelope to its sender just like he saw the originator do. Eddie Doku is Greater Accra Regional Chairman for the GFA.
Then, the video of Kwesi Nyantakyi saying he will take over Ghana one day ‘crowned’ it all.
June 6th or ‘Anas Day’ (as some will call it) finally arrived. Probably the first time a premiere is going to be shown when the actors are not happy to be on screen.
As expected, the venue was packed and as at 1pm, the queue had reached the street (beyond the gate) for a programme that was to begin at 3pm.
Several referees were caught on camera allegedly receiving bribes for as low as Ghc200 and as high as Ghc2000; selling out the ethics of the game and betraying the trust of its supporters.
There were others in positions of power who promised people visas and took ‘gifts’ in exchange.
Kwesi Nyantakyi is also seen to be packing a total of $65000 in his gift bag after which he utters his profuse thank yous, calling the ‘investor’ his brother and tells him to search for him on google. The deal was to create a company (NAMAX) that would receive 20 to 25% as a fee from the GFA and there were also some prospects of money laundering insinuated. He went further to draft a Memorandum of Understanding with the speed of lightning to secure the deal.
If you thought you had seen it all, the story is not done. Kwesi Nyantakyi is seen saying that everybody needs to be sorted out hierarchically and utilizes his Math as though he were using an Abacus to do some swift calculations: “ 5 + 3, 8 + 2, 10 + 1, 11 and another 1,”; coming up with a huge sum of $12million.
Not forgetting the roaring crowd when they heard Kennedy Agyapong’s name uttered by Kwesi Nyantakyi. A little history: Mr. Kennedy Agyapong leveled all kinds of unproven accusations against Mr.Anas and tried to throw sand in our eyes all in a bid to halt the premiere which proved futile.
Scandal of our time
However, the most frequently asked question concerning investigative journalism is ethics and the issue of inducement; the explanation is that both the giver and receiver are guilty of corruption.
Here’s my point of view – there are always going to be questions of ethics and compromises but the bigger question here is : “Could these people be caught by any other means or method apart from this?” If the answer is no or highly unlikely, then your guess is as good as mine and we are better off siding with Mr.Anas who says : “Extreme diseases call for extreme remedies”.
The Ghana Football Association may or may not be dissolved by the government but whichever way it turns out, we risk a ban from FIFA for interference and corruption by those who were once regarded to keep it sacred. In my opinion, I think it is in our best interest to dissolve the organization and rebuild despite a possible ban from FIFA which might happen anyway.
The scenes from this exposé broke many hearts; many dreams have been shattered from the greed of the people in power with some clubs even going into relegation but it is heart-warming to know that there were still a few principled people who stuck to their guns and rejected the bribe. If you talk about induction, all of them may have been presented with the same opportunity to betray the game but they chose principle over expedience.
For someone to put his life on the line to ensure that the wheels of justice get the chance to grind, it means that Ghana has a national treasure we must protect – his name is Anas Aremeyaw Anas.