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28 September 2016

I’m not scared – Fadi Dabboussi

fadiThe man arrested for purportedly making offensive comments about President John Mahama in his write-ups, Fadi Samih Dabboussi, seems unperturbed by what he went through at the hands of operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

Fadi, a Ghanaian born to Lebanese parents and staunch activist of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), was arrested last Friday when he arrived in the country onboard an Egypt Air flight from Lebanon.

He whisked away into BNI cells over an article he had written about the president thought to be offensive.

He was kept incommunicado without access to his lawyer or any relations, provoking anger from party faithful and human rights activists after being kept for more than 48 hours without a charge and access to a counsel.

Just when some members of the NPP were planning to stage a mass action on Monday morning to demand his immediate release after issuing an ultimatum to that effect, Fadi was released late Sunday evening under the cover of darkness, having been made to write a non-caution statement.

But in an interview with Daily Guide yesterday, the NPP strong man, who is also the author of the book ‘59 Years Of Ghana To Nowhere; The Future Is Now,’ would not stop his criticism of the president and his government even though he expressed a sense of remorse at the kind of things he wrote about President Mahama in the article which landed him in trouble.

Treatment

Asked how he was treated, Fadi admitted, “To be honest with you, they did not hurt me; they were very courteous; they did not insult me; they didn’t yell at me and because I was on a hunger strike, they were very concerned, trying to sweet-talk me into eating but which of course, I didn’t.

“They were saying my articles were a bit offensive, especially that article about HIV, and I told them the HIV article was just a question I pulled out the stories from ‘The Catalyst’ newspaper; they are the ones who came out with the stories on the Otumfuo thing and the Isha thing. It was ‘The Al Hajj’ newspaper that brought it out.”

That notwithstanding, he indicated that “I was constructing an article and it’s just unfortunate that maybe the wording insinuated something else but really it was just an innocent article to put a point across; it was my opinion and they said ‘no you stated facts’ and I said no these were my opinions based on publications.”

He has been asked to report himself to the BNI on Friday.

Concern

He was only worried about the fact that the BNI officials kept him in detention without access to his lawyer or family.

“They handled it in such a manner that it did not agitate my nerves; they handled it professionally and so it didn’t scare me. What really scared me was the fact that I knew I was going to sleep in there and I didn’t enjoy the thought of sleeping in a cell,” he said, aside the fact that he was not allowed to make phone calls.

Apology

Under the circumstance, Fadi said, “I apologise unequivocally. If I am able to get the opportunity to talk to the president, I will definitely apologise vehemently and if I’m not able to, I’m doing so through your outfit. I do apologise unequivocally. I will not at any point in time insinuate anything evil…except to state my opinion, flat as it is.”

He equally apologized to the First Lady, Lordina Mahama and anybody who was affected by the article that landed him in trouble.

Resolve

“I will criticize the president but of course, I will not use the kind of language that I used to employ before; I’m changing the strategy because I’ve realized that I’m not going to walk the walk of NDC and I’m not going to talk the talk of the NDC. Instead, I’m going to walk the walk of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and talk the talk of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, which is total respect for human rights and the president,” he underscored.

Caution

For those who claim that he is a foreigner and should not meddle in Ghana’s politics, Fadi has this to say, “I am a Ghanaian born at Amakom in Kumasi and raised in Accra… Harry Zakour is not Ghanaian born; he came to Ghana when he was 17 years but I was born in Ghana so what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander and so they should shut up!”

 

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

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