He is either too humble for his exalted place in Ghana’s political and media history or he plays on the minds of naïve or unsuspecting panelists.
When discussing some of the most controversial topics in the media, his most famous preamble is “I am not a lawyer,”… “I am not an economist,” …“I am not an architect.” I am not this or that…But in the end, and in many discussions, he leaves many lawyers on the other side gasping for words; economists crunching in vain for figures and architects clutching to straws in arguments that have no foundation.
As for politicians, he picks and chooses which one to strip naked in a discussion and when you are in his bad books, only few are, you had better come prepared, or you would leave a discussion table looking empty and exposed than you were before you came on it.
A regular panelist on a political show that is not for substandard panelists, Kweku Baako Jnr, joined the list of profound, enviable and accomplished Ghanaians to have delivered the annual Kronti ne Akwamu lectures organized by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Thursday.
As was expected, the man paid profound homage to the men who had before him taken the same stage- Kofi Annan, Justice VCRAC Crabbe, Justice Emile Short etc.
Kweku Baako wondered what he was doing up there, doubted why he was chosen to deliver on a topic that touches on the very core of Ghana’s democracy- Accountability- but in the end nailed it in a way no other person would.
His theme was “Search for Accountability Government Under the fourth republic” and who better to speak to it than the pocket lawyer, a vanguard for political accountability; a school drop-out who many famous and accomplished lawyers take free lessons from on coherence of argument; an editors’ editor and a journalist whose art and success were neither crafted nor linked to the four walls of a classroom block. He lived his profession the jungle or rather the Bombay way.
During the culture of silence when the guns ruled and many were quiet, he rose, he wrote and he spoke against the powers that be at the peril of his own life, all in the name of accountability.
He was jailed a few times first for 24 months and then for another month in different epochs of Ghana’s political history.
Surprisingly, the most painful, for him is the one month jail term he received not under the reign of the culture of silence but under a full democracy in which he was found guilty of contempt of court.
Noted for his truck load of documents that are packed and offloaded in brief cases during discussion programmes, Kweku Baako Jnr attempted to package his reservoir of knowledge on Ghana’s political accountability in a 48-paged document part of which he delivered in less than hour at the Kronti ne Akwamu lectures.
This 48 paged document should hopefully herald the famous (auto)biography of the man Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, a book many are waiting to read but have been starved for long.