There seems to be some level of confusion over the description of Irbard Ibrahim as a security expert.
The 22 years old student of Opoku Ware Senior High School which he completed in 2007 and continued to University of Ghana where he graduated in 2012, has been described in various publications including newspaper, radio and television reports as a security expert cum analyst, international security expert and an expert in Middle East and Political Islam.
He has often spoken on various media platforms especially Accra-based Joy FM and TV3 relating to various security matters that has come up for public discussions including but not limited to the two Yemenis who were brought into the country from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp which has sparked an unending debate since their arrival in the country a couple of weeks ago.
Some, including Islamic scholar and spokesman for the 2016 presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have questioned Ibrahim’s credentials and what qualifies him to all those titles in view of some of strange positions he has taken on sensitive security issues under the cover of a security expert cum analyst.
DAILY GUIDE therefore sought to know from Irbard what set of qualifications he has which has earned him those titles including work experience, record, appointments of note, international companies he has consulted for, teaching appointments, boards or committees on various aspects of security he has sat on and publications, papers, academic contributions to credible journals.
But the young man would not open up to DAILY GUIDE ‘s inquiries of how he acquired that title or whether it was bestowed on him by the media since according to him he is not obliged to speak to the paper even though he enjoys the fame that comes with the reference.
When the paper called him on phone after his refusal to respond to several messages sent to his phone, his initial response was “I’m busy, I can’t grant you an interview.”
Asked when it would be convenient for him to grant the interview, he hanged up.
Another call was put to his phone to elicit an appropriate response but that did not suffice since this time round he sounded snobbish “I’m under no obligation to talk to you…there is no need…” with a caveat in tow “thank you, don’t call me again.”
Interestingly, some of the journalists who have often called and described Irbard as a security expert during their interview sessions have admitted not doing the proper background check on him to ascertain the title the reference prides him with.
Some including lawyer Rodney Nkrumah Boateng have questioned the basis on which the media establishments that engage him decide who a valuable resource person is, whose views carry weight and therefore is worthy of appearing on their programmes.
“Do they evaluate the person’s credentials, and on an important issue such as security, do they do proper checks to ensure that the resource person is a respected name in the industry, with publications, papers etc to his name?” he asked rhetorically in an interview with the paper, insisting “we must get serious with these things.”
“And by God, if we want to talk about serious security issues, please call up men like Dr. Kwesi Aning, not someone who left university 3 years ago and does not have single publication or serious appointment to his name, just because he speaks fine grammar and wears interesting suits”, he advised.
“Security is an important, sensitive issue and if you dream of becoming an expert one day, you have a lot of hard work to undergo. Being an expert involves being a top guru in the game, well-respected by your peers. You cannot clearly make that bold assertion”, he stated whiles noting with emphasis “you do not become an expert by strutting along TV studios and basking in the adulation of being so called; just as parking a boat in a garage does not make it a car.”
By Charles Takyi-Boadu