By Prince Kurupati
In Ghana in particular and in Africa in general, the name Anas is very popular. Anas (in full Anas Aremeyaw Anas) is a prominent journalist who is well known for his work in exposing corrupt practices in his own country Ghana and also in Africa as a whole. Recently, Anas became a global brand after he exposed corrupt practices that were the order of the day with FIFA officials in Ghana, one of whom was an official selected to officiate at the last World Cup which was hosted in Russia last year.
In his work, Anas is helped by a number of people (mostly journalists). One of these was Ahmed Hussein-Suale, a journalist who was recently gunned down near his home in Kumasi, Ghana.
The murder of Ahmed Hussein-Suale came as a surprise to many considering that he was highly regarded as a champion for human and civil rights. Also, just like his friend Anas, he was a man devoted to exposing the rot in different institutions in Ghana and beyond.
While many were surprised by the murder of Ahmed Hussein-Suale, for a select few, the murder of Ahmed raised eyebrows. This is because a few days earlier (before the murder), a prominent politician and member of parliament in Ghana Kennedy Agyapong had boastfully told a large gathering (at a televised event) that he would reward anyone who does harm to Ahmed Hussein-Suale or any other member of Anas’ team.
One such man who closely followed the statements made by Kennedy Agyapong is Henry Johnson Jr, a US Congressman. In the aftermath of Ahmed’s murder, Henry Johnson Jr had many questions and as to be expected, many of them concerned Kennedy Agyapong, the man who had boastfully urged his supporters to cause harm to members of Anas’ team.
In pursuit of justice, Congressman Henry Johnson Jr decided to write a letter to the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo asking him to take punitive measures against Kennedy Agyapong.
In his letter dated January 18, 2019, Congressman Henry Johnson Jr asks the US Secretary of State to put in place “maximum US diplomatic, law enforcement, and intelligence support for an investigation into the murder of journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale.”
In the letter, Congressman Henry Johnson Jr asks the US Secretary of State to apply “travel, banking, and other applicable sanctions targeting Kennedy Agyapong MP, a Ghanaian who urged violence against the journalist prior to his murder.”
At the time of writing, the US Secretary of State has yet to reply to Congressman Henry Johnson Jr’s letter. However, with evidence in the public domain showing Kennedy Agyapong promoting hate messages against the late Ahmed Hussein-Suale, odds are, Mike Pompeo will seriously consider the advice given by Henry Johnson Jr. On a personal level, the sanctions if applied will hurt Kennedy Agyapong. However, the biggest lesson that comes out of this move is that it sets a precedent for African lawmakers to desist from promoting and propagating hate messages.