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Opinions of Friday, 19 January 2018

Columnist: Derbie Raphael

My take on the NPP attention seeking media encounter with the President


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The president engagement with various media outlets across the length and breadth of this country is a laudable and praise worthy initiative commenced by the Nana Addo led administration. Though previous governments equally engaged the media at their tenure, I deemed the current president's style of media engagement a brilliant rebranding of the existed media engagement. These are the kind of improvements we want every government to focus on.

The platform, as we were told, is meant to give the various media outlets the opportunity to ask the president direct questions for immediate response regarding the state of the nation. This happens at a particular time frame notably every six months (half a year). I stand to be corrected. It is indeed a nice platform that seeks to keep the government in check so that they fulfil their campaign promises. It is also a good platform that will ensure effective probity and accountability, transparency and in totality bring about good governance.

Of course the beginning of everything new thing cannot materialize successfully without mistakes. And that is why the first president media encounter which took place last year went naturally without much criticisms. It is indeed common knowledge that human beings learn and correct their past mistakes to improving upon their future. So were Ghanaians expecting the subsequent media encounters with the president to be improved if indeed the president wants the purpose for this initiative to materialize.

Unfortunately on the part of the ordinary Ghanaians whose voices are represented by the media outlets, our dreams and expectations were shattered in the so call second media encounter with the president. The purpose for the program was absolutely defeated before the program ended. As glued as I was to my television, I suddenly became bewildered when after 30 minutes the president was still on the podium parroting his well-written rehearsed speech as if he was presenting a state of the nation address. As I continued to patiently watch with great anxiety to seeing the questioning session, I checked the time on my broken screen Techno brand phone and it was 12:10pm, meaning he has spent 40 minutes of the two-hour program. I considered it greatly unfair and an advertent attempt by the president to dodge some unexpected exposing, critical thinking and disgracing questions that may be asked by some critically thinking media persons should the president and the organizers fail to add time to the already exhausted 2 hours meant for the program.



I, at a point in time realised that the president and the NPP were playing ostrich with Ghanaians on this forum. It was lately conspicuously glaring that the president and the NPP were using the platform to seek attention. So, I refer to the president media encounter as 'an attention seeking media encounter'. Of course you can say whatever you want to say but that is the truth and Ghanaians are not oblivious of that. We are wise enough to allow the president and his party cronies to play on our intelligence.

If anyone think what I said is wrong he/she should respond to the following questions.

1. Was the program not organized by NPP?

2. Were you not aware that the president wouldn't have enough time to respond to many questions?

3. If you were aware, why didn't you reschedule it on a convenient day?

4. Why did you invite many media outlets when you were aware that more than half of them will not be given the opportunity to ask their questions?

5. Why were some media persons from some regions not given equal opportunity since the information minister was inviting questions on regional bases?

6. Didn't you learn from the mistakes you committed in the first media encounter with the president? Haha if this is what you called competence then it should be told to the Creche children in a school.



The questions raised above are credible and are enough a justification that the president and his party cronies were seeking our attention to tell us what they claimed to have done. In fact, the truth is one and it must be told without any modicum of fear or favour. I know some of the uncultured NPP guys will certainly rain insults on me but I will never allowed myself to be cowed down by your insults and empty threats. I will never be a victim of cowardice but will rather continue to be a spectator in the game of bravery provided I am prosecuting a legitimate course. I have resolved to remain unrepretant and unrelenting in my quest to unearthing the odds that characterizes this government.

It is speedily becoming clear that this government is an epitomic index case of expert liars. It is about time that we unearthed all odds to nakedly expose the NPP that is publicly known for its convenient game theory of political deception in this country. Some Ghanaians for a year now have allowed the elements of morose delectation and unsympathetic joy to eat up their souls of critic on the grounds that this government just took over power hence should be given a breathing space. The time has come for us all to wise up with absolute spirited defense against this government that is playing a tactical zero-sum politics with us. We have grown beyond that!

Yesterday's president's 'attention seeking' encounter with the media represents anything objectionable in this 21st century. Ghanaians must not sit down and allow this self-praising government that is seemingly delivering its promises to cajole us. It is in fact very disheartening to invite media persons from all walks of lives to travel from far places to Accra only to be used to seek your personal parochial interest, 'attention seeking' for your cheap political gains. I share in your gravely embittered sentiments and displeasure registered after the program. But that should not be the end. We must continue to speak out some of these grossly unrefined attitudes of this government until they change or we change them comes 2020.

Like an agitated and restive croaking frog, one NPP guy I met some days ago was seriously defending the restoration of nurses and teacher trainee’s allowances. To my dismay, the president vociferously and unashamingly affirmed by trumpeting that too as an achievement when he knows that to be a lie. What an implicit insult! Huh! This is laughable.

These are some of the lies I'm talking about. Some of these blanket insulting description of Ghanaians must be vehemently resisted. Mr. president, may I know the number of months you paid these nursing trainees after launching the allowance restoration in Brong Ahafo region? Stop insulting Ghanaians. After successfully robbing some teachers to launch the nursing trainees allowance restoration, have you been able to pay them again? Some of us are watching from afar and will vigorously resist any lies you peddle out there.

In conclusion, I am making a clarion on this government to stop its convenient game theory of political deception and deliver their mouthwatering campaign promises. I also want to use this article to empathise with my learned media persons who were brilliantly deceived and used as unthinking and unwise people for the president and the NPP to achieve their self aggrandizement. The only way I can console you is to use the popular adage, every first fool is not always a fool. So you still have the opportunity to let your questions get to the president. This can be done by constantly speaking out or writing articles to press home answers from the president. It is indeed painful to be denied such golden opportunity.

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