The Director of Legal Services at the National Communications Authority, Dr Poku Adusei, recently lashed out at a group of prominent Ghanaians calling for a boycott of mobile network services due to their concerns about the ongoing SIM-registration exercise.
The group, Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers, in a press statement dated January 13, 2022, rallied Ghanaians not to make or receive calls on February 8, 2022, as a form of protest against the “current inhumane process of re-registration of SIM cards”.
It also argued that there is no law backing the NCA’s decision to have all SIM cards re-registered.
Responding to the group, Dr Poku Adusei, in a series of Facebook posts, said, “we pray they resort to the use of fax, telegram, gong-gong, and talking drum henceforth. A privilege to subscribe to SIMs on your own becomes an absolute property right for which no checks could be imposed? Asinine.”
The use of the word “asinine” in the post by Dr Adusei, however, seems to have triggered one of the group members, investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni.
According to Manasseh, his understanding of the word from dictionary research reveals that Dr Adusei sought to describe their actions as “extremely stupid or foolish.”
He posits that the statement by Dr Adusei is insulting compared to their efforts to draw the attention of the government to some wrongs in the ongoing SIM re-registration process.
Dear Dr Poku Adusei, I have looked up the word “asinine”, and the dictionary says it means “extremely stupid or foolish”.
“As a director at the National Communications Authority who is paid with public funds to serve the people, I humbly submit to you that it isn’t right to insult a group of people who are only demanding a humane form of SIM card re-registration.
The ongoing SIM re-registration required of telecommunication service providers by the NCA has received several public complaints about the processes involved.
Read Manasseh’s response to Dr Poku Adusei below:
Dear Dr Poku Adusei,
I have looked up the word “asinine” and the dictionary says it means “extremely stupid or foolish”.
As a director at the National Communications Authority who is paid with public funds to serve the people, I humbly submit to you that it isn’t right to insult a group of people who are only demanding a humane form of SIM card re-registration.
You have read the release. We are not against the registration. We are asking for the right thing to be done so that people don’t lose the right to use mobile phones for no fault of theirs. We are taking an action on February 8 to protest a practice that is an insult to our collective intelligence as a people, if the current struggle and chaos are not addressed.
How does this make us extremely stupid?
You saw the chaos, the harrowing accounts of people who tried to register and how people have to lose productive hours in order not to lose their right to make phone calls by March 31st.
Mind you, this is not the first time people are registering. Others are still queuing to get their Ghana cards, which is also not the first time they are doing so.
After 60 years of independence, we should be able to have leaders and public officials such as yourself to implement policies without the usual chaos and long queues. So if you fail and someone draws your attention to it, how do you describe that as extremely foolish or stupid?
You do not have to agree with us. But you can point out to us how we are wrong without insulting us. We made our point without insulting anyone.
If people have to go through a nightmare to get their SIM cards re-registered, who should be described as stupid–the victims or those who are paid to properly execute such national assignments?
And remember that public office comes with certain responsibilities. One of them is to have some modicum of respect for the people whose taxes are used to pay you at the end of the month.
I hope this guides you in your future engagements with those who have concerns about poor execution of public policies