Feature Article of Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa
The first thing I did after reading the supposed meeting between President Mills and UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon on Friday, December 2, 2011, was to check the UN website for confirmation. And lo and behold, I couldn't find a thing. I looked through the secretary-general's daily schedule since Friday, December 2, 2011; I read all press statements and briefing transcripts issued since then; I scanned through all "off-the-cuff" statements by Mr. Moon plus the daily briefings by his spokesperson and I couldn't find a single letter or word on the meeting between the two gentlemen.
Now, if you check out the "official travels" of the secretary-general which also list his activities, it says in Press release cable number SG/T/2822 titled "ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN REPUBLIC OF KOREA, 29 NOVEMBER – 1 DECEMBER" that "United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Busan, the second city of the Republic of Korea, on the evening of Tuesday, 29 November, after a flight from New York with a transfer in Seoul." The cable concludes that UN boss returned to New York on Thursday evening, December 1, 2011. So the President and the Ban Ki-Moon could have met the following day, 2nd December, 2011 as reported. But there is nothing on the meeting.
From Friday, December 2, to Monday, December 5,the only world leader the UN boss met, according to the UN website was Afghan leader, President Kazai. And they didn't even meet in New York. They met in Bonn, Germany on Sunday, December 4. Apparently, the UN boss left for the Europe this weekend for a series of meetings. No material or much information could be found on Mr. Moon on Friday, December 2, the supposed day he met with President Mills; unless the meeting between the two gentlemen occurred under the oath of secrecy. But that might not have been the condition under which the supposed meeting occurred since the leading story on the major Ghanaian websites had to do with Mills and Moon.
Even the news item reporting the event on the major Ghanaian websites have no by -line. Depending on which one one reads, some don't even state the date of the supposed meeting. The story, as published on the Daily Graphic website, has as an accompaniment, a picture of Mills and Moon shaking hands. Since the picture has no "file" in brackets attached to it, one can safely assume that it depicts the actual meeting. But when one compares the said picture with that of Mills at this year's UN General Assembly meeting two months ago, they look eerily similar. So who is fooling whom?
As we are all aware, the president left the country on November 12, 2011, for "a two week official visit" to Canada to be followed by "a two week vacation" in the United States according to State owned newspaper, Daily Graphic. While the country was told that the president would be gone for only two weeks, the Daily Graphic story a fore-quoted, made it looked like the president would be gone for a month. And three and half weeks into the president's absence, Ghanaians are becoming nervous since no one has seen or heard from the president after he left Canada. All weekend, concerned citizens have been asking about the president's whereabouts and to no avail.
So could it be possible that "Mills meets Moon" is a ruse? Is possible that "Mills meets Moon" is a concocted Kool-Aid brewed to calm citizens' nerves? Are the president's handlers hiding something? Maybe I might have missed something when I visited the UN website for confirmation. If so, let a good Samaritan come forth to correct me and assure citizens that the president did what he is reported to have done and he is where he is supposed to be.
Akwasi A.Afrifa Akoto.