Edward Adeti, an undercover investigative journalist with Media Without Borders, has roasted Ebenezer Bognaab, the current Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Shaanxi Mining Company Limited now called Earl International Group Ghana Gold Limited, saying he is rather fit to be at the gate of the company as a security officer.
Recently, the investigative journalist wrote a story exposing the company’s dismissal of an employee and how the relation of the employee, Charles Taleog Ndanbon, filed a court case at the High Court ‘1’ in Bolgatanga over the dismissal of his brother, Benjamin Ndanbon.
The story also touched on how a High Court judge, Justice Charles Adjei Wilson, recently dismissed an application filed by Earl International Group Ghana Gold Limited against Yenyeya Mining Enterprise, a small-scale mining company owned by Ndanbon.
Bognaab reacted to the story, saying it was false and vindictive. He also sought to discredit the stories Adeti had been writing on several human rights abuses associated with the Chinese company.
Adeti, in his response, described Bognaab as an overfed juvenile who, unlike his predecessor Maxwell Wooma, had been running away from questions posed by the media concerning mining accidents recorded so far in 2023 in the company’s yard. Adeti said Bognaab did not have even a quarter of the qualities Wooma exhibited as a public relations officer and, therefore, suggested the company should not sack him but redeploy him to the gate as a security officer. He also gave reasons why he said Bognaab should be reassigned to the gate. However, Adeti made it clear that he did not mean that Wooma himself was innocent or perfect.
Below is the full response from Adeti:
SHAANXI RATHER NEEDS EBENEZER BOGNAAB AT THE GATE AS A SECURITY OFFICER
I trust this message finds you well. I was about to go to bed on Friday, 22 September 2023, when a friend gave me a call and asked me to check a message he had sent to me on WhatsApp. Before he ended the call, he laughed derisively.
And when I checked, a piece of garbage said to have been scribbled by an overfed juvenile who took over from Maxwell Wooma as your public relations officer, perhaps for want of a suitably qualified successor, was what I found.
After sparing some time to glance at the content, I concluded it was not worth a second look. It was then I realised why my friend ended his call with a laugh.
When I was just about to fall asleep, another friend called. The call was on the same subject. And he laughed, too. But unlike the first caller, he suggested I respond because my response may serve you good as a company. I wrote a story about you (Shaanxi) and your “public relations officer” just today. The laughable stuff was what he wrote in response.
So, this is my response to that response. It is a piece of advice, or an opinion. And I hope it serves you some good. Of course, I am not oblivious to the fact that my right to offer you any humble advice ends at your right to reject it.
At present, you do not have someone you can call a public relations officer. You may think you do have. But what you have, as we speak, is a public relay-race officer. An officer who runs away with a baton of contempt to dodge when the press want answers from him on serious developments that happen in the company. That is what you currently have in Ebenezer Bognaab as your public relations officer.
Your company has been recording tragedies with casualties this year. When a call is placed by the press to the person you pay to speak to these developments on your behalf, he refuses to answer. And when messages are sent to him on WhatsApp, he reads them (as evidence shows on my phone for example) but he declines to reply.
He is not a quarter as smart as Wooma, his predecessor. When Wooma was in charge as public relations officer, he understandably preferred to see the press turn a blind eye to any accidents recorded in Shaanxi’s yard, but I do not remember even one occasion where Wooma ignored a call or a message from any journalist regarding any accident that was linked to the company. It was rare.
Even in the wake of the worst ever mining disaster in 2019, where sixteen people died from an explosion for which Shaanxi was held responsible by the government of Ghana, an overwhelmed Wooma kept talking to media houses nationwide, day and night on that issue until another issue took over. And he kept talking until he ceased to be a Shaanxi mouthpiece. No matter how horrible the issue was and regardless of any personal differences he may have with a media practitioner, Wooma would speak to that issue and to anybody in an astute manner even his critics acknowledged he was cut out for the job. Although I cannot vouch for Wooma as innocent or perfect, he was knowledgeable, eloquent, clever and generally available to the media.
It is public knowledge that the same good qualities cannot be seen in Bognaab. Look for the antonyms of the qualities Wooma possesses and match those antonyms against Bognaab; they will fit him. He is not knowledgeable. He is not eloquent. He is not clever. He is not available. He is just the opposite.
I guess Bognaab runs away from critical questions because he is not competent and he thinks it is a smart way to do a public relations job. And he thinks the only way to conceal his incompetence is to attack anyone who is holding the company’s feet to the fire of accountability.
He is not visible in the media. He is only visible in courts. It appears he is only being paid to represent the company in courts. I am not suggesting to you (the company) to sack Bognaab. But I think he will perform better at your gate as a security officer. Maybe head of security. Or a security coordinator. Because he has the stamina it takes to man the front for you. And I can see that he is passionate about attacking people (as demonstrated in his response) and barking orders.
A public relations officer who runs away from accountability questions from the media is simply telling the public that the organisation he works for does not care about humanity. That public relations officer is only telling the public that the company he works for cares only about itself.
To conclude, I will ask your “public relations officer” some questions on the response he put out:
1. He said he did not sack Benjamin Ndanbon from the company? Does Benjamin support his claim? And does Charles Taleog Ndanbon support that claim?
2. He says he refused to receive the writ because it was the duty of the company’s lawyers to receive the writ.
(a) Did the bailiff finally throw the writ at him?
(b) And when the bailiff threw the writ at him, who finally received the writ and who took the writ away from the floor— the company’s lawyers or Bognaab?
(c) And if it was Bognaab who finally received the writ, why did he not leave the writ on the floor and walk away if it was the lawyers’ duty to receive writs on behalf of the company?
(d) And if it was Bognaab who finally received the writ on court premises, why did he not receive the same writ on Shaanxi’s premises earlier?
(e) And if the bailiff was not frustrated or tortured by his excuses, why did the bailiff throw the writ at him on court premises?
3. Bognaab says Media Without Borders has published reports aimed at damaging his reputation and the company he works for. As far as we know, all the stories published on the site about him and the company he works for are about allegations of human rights abuses levelled against the company by identifiable people and for which the same Bognaab refused to provide comments when contacted by Media Without Borders on several occasions. So, he should mention which reports were published by Media Without Borders to damage his reputation and the company he works for.
4. He said the court dismissed an injunction application filed by Charles Taleog Ndanbon against the company he works for but the dismissal was not highlighted in the story published by Media Without Borders. It is simple. A ruling was the main business of the day. And the ruling was centred on the application filed by Earl against Yenyeya. At the end of the day, Earl lost and the court slapped Earl with a cost of Gh¢5,000. The court only denied the injunction application filed by Yenyeya; it did not dismiss it. Denial, unlike dismissal, in this instance was minor and that was why Yenyeya was not slapped with any cost. But after Earl’s application was thrown out, the court also slapped Earl with a cost on top of the dismissal. At Media Without Borders, we do not major in minor. That was why the denial of Yenyeya’s application was not accorded space in the publication. This is one of the reasons I say Wooma, unlike Bognaab, is clever, because Wooma would not sink this low.
5. Bognaab boasts that his company has employed over 1,000 people. We need the register of the over 1,000 people and we will provide an album of over 10,000 members of families who are in grief and are confronted with a bleak future because countless people they depended on died as a result the reckless mining activities and disregard for safe mining practices by the company Bognaab works for and those grieving families have not been compensated to date. And we will also present another album of people (mostly women) who lost their livelihoods through the company Bognaab works for and are yet to find their feet to this present day.
6. Bognaab says Media Without Borders survives on only unfortunate happenings within Talensi and the company he works for. If he were a knowledgeable or suitable public relations officer, he would simply know that the basic job of the press is to expose the ills of society. Celebrated English novelist and journalist, George Orwell (Eric Blair) attested to this fact when he said: “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.” And that is exactly what Media Without Borders stands for. That is what Edward Adeti has stood for all his life. And that is why he rejected bribes and promises from the same Earl after he caught Earl officials in ex-parte meetings with Justice Jacob Bawine Boon at his residence four times. And that is why one of the godfathers of Earl, Rockson Bukari, resigned and fell from power. The difference between light and darkness is clear and will never change. The ills inside Earl are things Earl does not want printed and only those who want to do public relations for Earl will hide those things from the public to make Earl feel good.
7. Bognaab says Edward Adeti hides behind the veil of journalism to visit harm and treachery on people and entities he dislikes. It is a given that Edward Adeti cannot like people and entities who oppress people and abuse human rights like Earl, with the blessings of its allies, has done to the good people of Talensi. Bad people hate sunlight. It is never Edward Adeti’s duty to please those who cause pain to people. It is his beloved duty to keep a bright spotlight on their evil deeds, hold their oppressive feet to the fire of accountability and keep them on their toes. And that certainly is Critical Journalism. And once Edward Adeti’s journalism serves the public interest, and not the interest of foreign exploiters disguised as foreign investors, it is an absolutely fair Journalism.
To sign out, let me say Media Without Borders will continue to hunt those who oppress the weak, those who suppress dissenting views, those who are in the habit of stealing 21 bars of gold from Talensi and making attempts to smuggle the stolen resources out of the shores of Ghana through airports and seaports, those who attempt to bury mineworkers secretly when they are killed in their yards, those whose irresponsible ways of mining are turning women into widows, those who are experts in killing young men with poisoned explosives and rendering them physically disabled under the guise of providing fictitious over 1,000 jobs, those who are degrading the environment, those who bribe journalists when they are caught in judges’ houses and those who are allergic to delivering proper corporate social responsibility projects in their deprived host communities and are addicted to evading tax in millions of dollars. This is what Edward Adeti stands for.
This is just a response from a bedside to an overfed juvenile who should be detailed to keep watch at the Jericho gates of Shaanxi. This is just a foretaste of what is to come. It will be a different dose next time if he misses his way when I am fully awake. I will ram a bit of sense into his skull.
Yours on the battlefield,