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General News of Saturday, 19 November 2011

Source: The Herald

Kweku Baako Caught In NPP Sodomy Web

Attempts by the New Crusading Guide newspaper to kill discussions on the failure of the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, to publicly condemn the “Sodomy For Cash Demand” from the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has landed its Editor-In-Chief, Kwaku Baako in trouble.

Mr. Baako, is now rendering apologies to the general public for the false information contained in its Tuesday, November 15, edition of his newspaper, regarding Nana Akuffo-Addo’s meeting with the british Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron, and claims that Akuffo-Addo courageously criticized, the prime minister over his “Sodomy For Cash Demand”.

The New Crusading Guide with a screaming headline: “UK Government confirms Nana Addo Cameron Meeting…As It Captures NPP Press Release On Its Official Website”, gave a list of websites the paper falsely claims belongs to the UK government which had reported the NPP flagbearer’s much-talked about meeting with David Cameron.

The publication was in an apparent response to the challenge thrown to the NPP General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John, by the Head of Communications at the Presidency, of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, Mr. Koku Anyidoho, to produce an audio evidence of Akuffo-Addo’s meeting with UK Prime Minister, Mr. Cameron.

But under intense fire for churning out inaccurate information in the publication, backed by privately owned websites, the onetime “Journalist Of The Year”, and a recipient of former President John Kufuor’s self-serving state honours, later admitted he and his team lied to Ghanaians.

Mr. Baako insisted he would not deliberately propagate falsehood just to see the NPP flagbearer become president, because his (Baako’s) life is not premised on who rules the country, adding that “be it a military or civilian administration, I have the capacity to live a normal life just as any other Ghanaian.”

Contributing to discussions on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning show, Kweku Baako, who insiders claim is part of the NPP communication team, unreservedly apologized for the erroneous information churned out in his newspaper.

“My own checks indicate clearly that the story that my staff did to the extent that (Nana Addo’s meeting with Cameron) is captured on the UK government’s official website…they got it wrong,” he confessed.

“It is not the official government website, so that is an error committed by the paper that I own and publish, and I take full responsibility for this error and for that matter I render apologies to our readers and all those who may have been deceived by it,” he said rather contritely.

Kweku Baako stressed that as the substantive Editor-In-Chief, he accepts full responsibility for any error or potentially damaging article or report published by the newspaper.

“I am still the substantive Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide so I take full responsibility for whatever is published in the paper especially when things go wrong. Leadership demands that I don’t run away from my duties or let my boys take the fall for any backlash arising out of an inaccurate publication, so I accept full responsibility…With regards to the story that was published by my newspaper, I accept full responsibility…; the paper got it wrong and I am entirely responsible for it.

I don’t think my boys ought to be blamed, even though they emailed the story to me in the evening. If I had exercised a little discretion and been a bit more vigilant, it wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

He, however, rejected claims that he deliberately went incommunicado out of shame, and explained that he was engaged in a very serious meeting which lasted some three (3) hours.

According to him, his mobile phones, which he left in his car were on silent, and only realized after the meeting had ended that he had missed calls from some radio stations.

Interestingly, he openly welcomed the harsh criticisms and invectives directed at him by some members of the NDC, saying “they are entitled to their opinions, I am a journalist and I criticize people most of the time so I am a legitimate target for criticism, exposure, even insults. They’ve done it over and over again so it’s no big deal at all, they are entitled to run riot and say anything they want to say about me”.