Politics of Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Education Watch, an affiliate of the governing NDC, has refused to back down on its quest to use the voice of Pastor Mensa Otabil to project a certain cause in the run-up to the December elections.
A sponsored advert by the group has the voice of the man of God ostensibly ridiculing the much touted free SHS policy of the opposition NPP.
The advert was preceded by a widely circulated tape on the same issue where Pastor Mensa Otabil was heard casting doubt about the feasibility of free education.
Meanwhile, Pastor Mensa Otabil who is the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church, says the tape which is being attributed to him was doctored.
Addressing a news conference Monday, Pastor Otabil stated “This is defamatory, this unethical, this is criminal, this is malicious, it is Machiavellian and it is evil. It is a violation of grave impunity for any individual to seize a person’s thoughts without their consent and use it in a way that seeks to expose them to public hostility and disrespect.”
He therefore called on President John Mahama to rise up and speak on this issue because “the perpetrators of these blatant acts of impunity are largely affiliates and surrogates of the NDC”.
But the Executive Director of Education Watch, Kofi Doe Lawson told Evans Mensah on Joy FM Top Story hours after the news conference that they have no cause to stop airing the advert.
They argued that they got the audio through legitimate means, and its contents are for public consumption.
He insisted that they would only withdraw the advert if Dr Mensa Otabil says the voice does not belong to him. Mr Lawson also wondered what the "current position” of Pastor Otabil is on the free SHS policy.
“If he says the voice does not belong to him, and he is not the author of those words, then we will withdraw it.But if he is the author and he made those speeches some time ago, then it is a different thing.”
A Senior Associate Pastor with the ICGC, Rev. Kofi Okyere, speaking on Top Story, said if it becomes necessary, the Church would formally write to President John Mahama to call his men to order.
But he was hopeful the president would “respond to their request positively”.
He insisted the statement was made about 10 years ago, which has been cut and pieced together to give a "particular understanding" to the message.
He called on Ghanaians to “respect” the views of the man of God, describing the advert as not been fair, adding, “I think we should play it fair”.