General News of Tuesday, 13 November 2012
The Director of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency, Dr Tony Aidoo, has emphatically stated that National Democratic Congress will not stop the airing of an audio clip of Pastor Mensa Otabil allegedly speaking out against free education, (and by extension the free senior high school platform of the opposition party) in its ad campaign.
Dr. Aidoo insists the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) founder’s tape is a commercial commodity and the NDC is not perturb by calls to stop playing it.
He has therefore urged the ICGC General Overseer to go to court and seek an injunction if he thinks he was misrepresented.
According to him, the “doctored tape” contained “words of wisdom” and for that matter, the NDC has every right to use it for any purpose it deems fit.
On Monday, the renowned man of God held a press conference and earnestly pleaded with President Mahama to rein in “surrogates” he claimed had twisted his messages for political gain.
He further accused the surrogates of piecing together separate messages he had preached in the past to make it appear as though he was ridiculing the free SHS policy being preached by the opposition NPP.
“My voice and sermons have been sampled, spliced and manipulated to appear to take a political position on a very heated political issue….But for the mischief and persistence, I would have remained quiet over this matter. Let me state clearly that the sound bites that have been played with my voice have been taken totally out of context…This is defamatory. It is unethical. It is criminal. It is malicious. It is Machiavellian and it is evil,” the livid pastor stated.
But in a sharp riposte on Okay FM, the former Deputy Defence Minister in the erstwhile Rawlings regime posited that if the words of Jesus Christ and some of his Holy Prophets are used on a daily basis to explain things which are beyond the understanding of man, then Pastor Otabil has no case.
‘What is more relevant than something you said twenty years ago that has relevance to a controversy today? I think he should be proud; he should have the courage and stand up for his word and be proud that something he said is being used as a (reference) point in an ongoing debate. He should be proud,” Dr. Aidoo said.
To him, it was even wrong on the part of the ICGC church to fault people who have used the voice to prove a point when they (ICGC) have not attached any sales condition to it.
“Someone can decide to buy a person’s book and use it to wipe his or her butt after visiting the toilet…He (Otabil) hasn’t attached any condition of use to it and nothing shows that he wasn’t the one who said what has been captured,” he said.
Dr. Tony Aidoo stressed that there is no evidence of manipulation or doctoring of the tape because the statements logically follow a sequence and thus fails to appreciate Pastor Otabil’s claim that he has been misrepresented.
He further stated that if different scriptural texts can be randomly picked from the Bible to explain the same point one wants to put across, then his (Otabil’s) voices can be put together to make meaning just as has been done.
“Nobody has doctored the tape; nobody has replaced his voice with another voice…so he cannot cry foul. He can go to court but I can assure him that he would lose if he goes to court…I don’t think there is any breach of copyright. Because once you have commercialized the product and people have bought it and you have not attached any condition of use, you can’t say that the person has no right,” he thundered in a strong voice.