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General News of Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Source: Kojo Smith

Otabil is a disappointment – Fiifi Kwetey

Mr. Fiifi Kwetey, Deputy Finance Minister, has stated his disappointed in Pastor Mensa Otabil's failure to stand by his convictions on the matter of free SHS education.

According to the Minister, "he [Pastor Otabil] failed to set the records straight’’ in his press conference on Monday.

Dr. Otabil, at a press briefing on Monday, called on President John Mahama to “rise up and speak” against the manipulation of his sermons for political gains by some National Democratic Congress (NDC) members.

Pastor Otabil has come under heavy public attack when portions of his sermons were released in the media condemning the much-touted free Senior High School education policies of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and other smaller parties contesting the December 7 elections.

However, Mr. Kwetey in an interview with Accra based Citi fm said: "I would have thought that in setting the records straight what he would have done was to specifically tell the people of Ghana what exactly those distortions are, what words are being changed, what words are being mutilated; in order for the people of Ghana to have a clear understanding of what he has to say."

"For instance I would have very much wanted to know whether when Pastor Mensa Otabil said for instance, that 'it is the responsibility of parents to pay the fees of their children'... [I want to know] when specifically he said words to the effect that, 'I want my child when he grows up to know that I paid your school fees'. [I want to know] Whether those words were spoken for or by him; and if those words truly were spoken by him, whether he is saying today that somehow his views relating to this matter has changed two weeks on, two years on, fifty years on?"

"If that is what he said, he should have set the records straight on that so that all of Ghana will be accordingly informed", Fiifi Kwettey added.

Fiifi Kwettey averred, "If [Pastor] Otabil fundamentally, and according to his beliefs and philosophy, he believes for instance that it is the responsibility of parents to pay for the education of their children, regardless of whether there is any debate happening in the country about free or not free education, those are his views, that is his philosophy and that philosophy stands."

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