|Posted by Npong on May 9, 2011 at 4:27 PM|
Francis Npong, Tamale
It has been a while since I sat behind my computer flicking my fingers across the keyboard of my old 1990 laptop computer model. I was simply taken away by social and financial pressures that hit me too hard this time around. Some of my keys have fallen off indicating that my laptop was an experimental one almost equivalent to e-toy baby playing computer. I often got electric shock because parts of my laptop are exposed. Notwithstanding that it is still functioning. Don’t mistake to call me a poverty stricken journalist no, my status is at the middle income level, hahaha.
It is this year that I have realized how easy and simple one can develop mental disorders-madness they called it if you like. I was named an award winner of an international climate change competition organized by the European Journalism Center (EJC) and that was my second international award. I also managed to scooped three local awards. The last international award was supposed to take me to Portugal on a reporting trip and also to receive my award. The journey was being facilitated by the European Journalism Center-my passport was set, all other documents require for the processing of the visa were readily available.
However, there is no Portuguese embassy in Ghana and Spanish Embassy is supposed to handle that under the Schengen visa system my search through Embassies in Accra indicated. I visited the Spanish Embassy and picked up the application form, filled it and submitted it with other necessary documents required. This includes introductory letter from my Office, Invitation letter from EJC stating their financial responsibility, the mission of the invitation and also introducing me to the embassy.
I included, flight and hotel reservation, travelling insurance (bought and paid), birth certificate, traveling insurance which were all parts of visa processing documents. That trip was supposed to have been my first travel to Europe and was all important trip to me as journalist. I have waited impatiently to hear from the embassy concerning my visa and for almost two weeks I was languishing in Accra causing inconvenience to city residents.
I was brutally denied visa by the Spanish Embassy. And my mistake: the five days I stated I was going to stay in Portugal was not reliable-inconceivable. But it was just a reporting trip/workshop on climate change (water).
What surprises me is the failure of the Spanish Embassy to conduct at least some search about me through the organizations I claimed to be associated with. Their contacts were available and accessible to the Embassy if the Embassy was not in Ghana to extort money from the poor black and latter turn it to us grants a bit investigations about me should have taken place. They should not forget I paid for that and that amount could have covered the phone bills.
At least if not for extorting money I was expecting Spanish Embassy to do a bit of research about me but that was not to be. What surprises me most is that my visa refusal letter was signed just two days after I have submitted it but no one in the Embassy has the guts to call me to deliver this information to me but kept silence after taking visa processing fee from. All this while I was busily preparing towards this all important journey and moving to and fro Tamale and Accra-imagined the risk, spending and time consuming involved, the famous Amina raping armed robbers. But thanked they never raped any of us all through my journeys from Tamale to Accra. The officials of EJC e-mail sent to the Embassy were also ignored. So the question I asked myself is, why that office if it was not to serve people? Or it was establish to extort people hard earnings which are often returned to the poor blacks as grants.
That period I laid down my tools and concentrated on this travel and let go all important assignments and news stories.
I am sure I was not the only person who went through this inhumane treatment-sorry it would take me years to extend my courtesies to guys in the Spanish Embassy. In case I was not going to Span and would not have set foot there because my flight was from Ghana through Morocco to Portugal and same route back to Ghana.
They saw my application as money extorting opportunities and I demand that they refund my money and return copies of my documents to me since my application was not rejected because of criminal records and their failure to do due diligence on me to ascertain the truth set of application. I love Ghana and would never think of running away from my motherland-Ghana.