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General News of Tuesday, 17 December 2019


Year in Review: Most ridiculous fake news of 2019

Ghana is among other African countries which have the lowest percentage of reporting fake news Ghana is among other African countries which have the lowest percentage of reporting fake news

Over the period, fake news has been on the rise and governments across the world have been devising ways to manage the rapid rise of the menace.

Ghana however, is among other African countries that have the lowest percentage of reporting fake news on Facebook globally, making it easy for malicious news to spread.

As the country nears an election year, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Madam Jean Mensa, revealed that the Commission is developing a comprehensive system to counter fake news ahead of the 2020 general elections.

GhanaWeb takes a look at some of the most ridiculous fake news that hit country in 2019.

President Akufo-Addo “rushed” to Nyaho Clinic

Late this year, a viral video of the President’s convoy hit social media after it was seen making its way to the Nyaho Clinic health facility located in the Airport Residential Area.

The video to many, fueled speculations that the President has been sent there to be treated for an unknown health condition.

But the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin in a Facebook post denied reports claiming President Akufo-Addo had been rushed to the Nyaho Clinic.

Eugene Arhin in the Facebook post clarified that the President is well and only visited the health facility to visit a friend who was on admission, Mr Tommy Amematekpor, a stalwart of the NPP, who is on admission at the clinic.

“The video making rounds on some social media platforms, and, unsurprisingly, some of our friends from the opposition, are claiming, with glee, that the President was rushed to the Nyaho Clinic. For the avoidance of doubt, no such thing happened,” Eugene Arhin clarified.

Sam George’s alleged ‘40 gunshots fired’ at by-election

Earlier in February, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram for the NDC, Samuel George seemed to have changed an initial allegation about a gunshot incident that rocked the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election on January 31.

Initially, the MP could not tell the number of shots fired at him directly but when he was probed further, he later claimed there were ‘four shots.’

He had earlier posted on his social media that he was assaulted and shot at by the NPP’s Invincible Forces, and even sarcastically thanked the President for letting that happen to him.

Mr George then told the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry probing the by-election shootings that he heard about 40 gunshots which were fired between 45 and 60 seconds, a claim that was later deemed untrue.

However, at the hearing, the commission rejected an application by Sam George’s lawyer, Dominic Ayine, to have some witnesses cross-examined with Justice Francis Emile Short indicating that granting it would set a “dangerous precedent” in the work of commissions of inquiry.

Jet Li came to Ghana to ‘train NPP Militia’

GhanaWeb in November sighted some snapshots of a story with the headline “Akufo-Addo brings Jet Li to train NPP Militia in karate” making rounds on several social media platforms.

The snapshots of the headline were attributed to the former NDC Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer and communicator, Brogya Gyamfi, as it was captured with a GhanaWeb template, suggesting that it was published on the website.

The story however was denied by Mr. Gyamfi with a rejoinder published by and referenced to GhanaWeb as fake news.

John Mahama on selecting Prof. Kwesi Botchwey as running mate

In August this year, Former president John Mahama denied selecting Professor Kwesi Botchwey as his running mate for the December 2020 presidential elections on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mr Mahama, who in a Facebook post debunked the rumor said; “Fake news”, adding that; “The Daily Graphic’s report of the selection of a running mate is false”.

According to the Daily Graphic, “Prof. Botchwey’s name came up for the appointment at a meeting on 19 August 2019 and would be expected to be announced later”.

Prof. Kwesi Botchwey is one of Ghana’s longest-served finance minister and a member of the NDC.

NDC discovering fake PDS Letter

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in October 2019 said they had discovered a letter of a new deal between the Akufo-Addo led government and a new company called Meridian Power Ventures Limited in Hong Kong, China.

The ruling party however was quick to debunk the rumor and described it as a fake letter regarding the alleged deal and rebuked the authenticity of the letter sighted by the NDC.

Ebola crisis hits Ghana

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service debunked some social media reports which claimed that there was an outbreak of Ebola disease in the country.

The initial reports also claimed that the Health Authorities in the country were ‘trying to suppress the information’.

“We want to state emphatically that the report is false and misleading and that there is no such incidence of Ebola in Ghana. Ebola is a highly infectious condition such that when there is an outbreak in a community there is no way the National Health System can keep it secret from the public. The Health System is part the global community and mandated by International Health Regulation to report all such conditions if they occur. We want to assure the general public that since the reported outbreak in DR Congo, the surveillance system has been intensified including the Points of Entries to detect any case should it occur. We will plead with the media and the general public to be advocates of good health and allay fear and panic. We also urge all to use their platform to educate the citizenry about the disease as contained in our Alert rather than promoting fear and panic,” the Minister of Health said in statement.

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