General News of Sunday, 22 September 2013
Former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, believes Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s bribery allegation gained much publicity due to the unfortunate responses from the Manhyia Palace.
According to him, the statement signed by 15 sub-chiefs acting on behalf of the Asantehene at the Manhyia Palace led to the story gaining more media attention than necessary after Kumasi-based Kessben FM had reviewed the publication.
The allegation was first published by the New Free Press online, but went almost unnoticed, until Kessben FM re-broadcasted it on the station’s morning newspaper review show.
The publication alleged that the Ashanti King brokered a bribery deal between President John Mahama and two of the nine Justices that sat on the historic election petition case. It claimed two Justices were given a whooping amount of money each to sway their vote in favour of President Mahama in the election petition final verdict.
This caused the Manhyia Palace to release a statement saying the Asantehene was “disgusted by the writer’s false and malicious allegation of the Asantehene’s complicity in the whole article and the subsequent comments thereof from individuals which can best be described as reprehensible and insulting”.
But the former Kumasi Mayor on Asempa FM, who also described the bribery accusation as ‘wicked’, opined that the Manhyia Palace approach to the allegation which was generated online was ill-fated.
“If someone goes to a radio station to accuse someone of doing something wrong, even if it’s not truth, it deserves a response. But if the allegation is made on the internet and you have the high office of Otumfuo responding to it, then I am much more concerned about that and worried.
“…The issue would have died down completely if they (Manhyia Palace) ignored it. Not every publication on the internet deserves responses. I am not privy to what the radio station said, but what made the publication an issue was when two macho men walked into Kessben FM’s studio to attack journalists in the name of Otumfuo. The Manhyia Palace did not distance itself from the attack, and that is my worry, and I don’t like it,” he lamented.
However, the outspoken Kofi Jumah expressed disappointment at the decision by the management of the radio station to suspend three of its journalists who reviewed the alleged publication on the station’s morning show.
“Don’t let us create an impression that, one can fabricate and tarnish President Mahama’s image, but that cannot be done to Otumfuo. As loyal as I am to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, if we continue to create that impression, then I think all is not well in this country,” he said.