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General News of Monday, 29 June 2020


K.T Hammond lacks capacity to speak for govt – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has cautioned the media to be careful and clear on the category of persons who can speak for and on behalf of the government.

This comes on the back of some comments by the Member of Parliament for the Adansi Asokwa, K.T Hammond, which suggested that the government deployed military men to Ketu-South to prevent persons believed to be Togolese from registering as voters in the country.

The comments of K.T Hammond, who later said he was misconstrued, attracted a lot of criticisms from the public including the minority NDC who described the comments as being “bigotry” and “tribalistic”.

Asked at the meet-the-press series on Monday what the reaction of government is to those comments, Mr Oppong Nkrumah clarified that comments by a Member of Parliament cannot be the position of government.

He explained the protocols in government communication, specifying who qualifies to speak for the government and who does not.

“I think we need to be clear on something if government wants to put out a position, there are a number of government functionaries who put out that position, His Excellency the President himself may speak, these are matters of military deployment so either the defence minister or his deputies will put it up, or the Ministry of Information may put it up for government”, he explained.

“Additionally, let’s say you may have the press secretary at the office of the president who may put it out. These are the categories of government spokespersons. I think we have to be very very careful about, for example hearing from a Member of Parliament who is not a member of government expressing suspicions about what he guesses is the reason for a particular exercise,” be cautioned.

He emphasized that the position of the government is what the Interior Minister, the Volta Regional Minister and the Defence Minister have said regarding the issue.

He observed some publications have tried to link the comments of K.T Hammond to the government by saying “he is a member of the ruling party”, for which reason his comments represents government’s position but the Information Minister holds otherwise.