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Much ado about a tape

So there is an audio tape. A man is heard on the tape offering a good package for journalists who will literally help keep government’s propaganda machine well-oiled and productive, producing all the junk you can get from a propaganda machine to help the NDC win the 2012 elections.

It is alleged that the voice on the tape is that of deputy information minister, Baba Jamal – the one who claims that an Embraer 190 aircraft can be used to chase and apprehend armed robbers. He has been speaking a lot of nonsense of late so a lot of people are tempted to believe that he badly needs an army of poorly-paid journalists to help launder his, well, nonsense.

We can’t exactly tell whether the voice on the tape is that of Baba Jamal. He denies ever making any offers to journalists to join him in spewing out government crap and has threatened legal action against radio stations which have played the tape. The radio stations, on the other hand, insist that the voice on the tape is the minister’s.

The only problem is that none of the radio stations has done any serious voice analysis to conclusively determine that Baba Jamal is the one on the tape. In fact, no one in the whole country has done any such analysis and so people just get the tape, listen intently (sometimes, you can even see them twitching their ears like rabbits do), scratch their balls and declare one of two verdict:

“I think it’s Baba Jamal.”

“Oh, how? That can’t be him.”

And that’s how the conversation has been for more than a week. People are using their minds and their intuition to make what should be a very simple, scientific determination. This is the sort of voice analysis a teenager in Japan can do with ease with a few mouse clicks.

But here we are, a country of almost 25 million people, scratching our heads and our balls, twitching our ears and picking our noses just wondering whose voice might be on that tape – arguing needlessly and nonsensically. It all tells you how far behind our country is!

It is in times like these that you expect our leaders to put on their thinking caps, reflect on our wretched situation and come up with a solution to the problem we face. This is an opportunity for government to, at the very least, find a way of acquiring voice analysis equipment for the BNI. There will be many occasions in the future where we would need to determine whose voice we are hearing. Imagine a terrorist releases a tape threatening to blow up Cedi House. How will we know who the bastard is? We don’t have the equipment.

It’s a problem our leaders must solve immediately. Yet, they are all busy – talking by heart on radio. When it suits one faction, they call for voice analysis; when it doesn’t suit them they insist there is no need for voice analysis. But then even if there was a consensus on the need for voice analysis, the question is “where can it be done and by whom?” With the sort of conversations we are hearing, it is obvious that nothing good will come out of all of the hot air that is being blown about this matter besides the amusement of seeing and hearing people who should know better insulting each other and making fools of themselves. Sometimes I laugh but mostly, I shake my head in despair.

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