General News of Monday, 12 November 2012

Source: Joy Online

You can't hold Mahama responsible - Hannah Tetteh tells Otabil

The campaign team of President John Mahama says the president cannot be held responsible for actions of supporters or individuals who have sympathies to the ruling party.

The head Pastor of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) Pastor Mensa Otabil had appealed to the president to rein in “surrogates” he claimed were twisting his messages for political gain.

According to him, the surrogates pieced together separate messages he had preached in the past to make it appear as though he was ridiculing the free SHS policy being preached by the opposition NPP.

“This is defamatory. It is unethical. It is criminal. It is malicious. It is Machiavellian and it is evil,” the livid head pastor stated.

In a swift response, the Director of Communications Hannah Tetteh said the preacher man cannot ask the president to call to order people who are just putting out information.

“It is equally difficult and actually an over-simplification to try to hold the President directly responsible, or ask him to call to order, any individual or group of individuals who may or may not have sympathies with the NDC and who are making information that is easily accessible available in the public domain,” the statement said.

According to Hannah Tetteh there is nothing wrong with the use of past sermons of the preacher man especially when those inspirational sermons are available for sale.

“The John Mahama 2012 campaign, like some other members of the public, is aware that Dr. Mensa Otabil's past sermons are available in the public domain and further that some of these sermons are commercially available for sale. We do not see anything wrong with that because we believe that the teachings of Religious Leaders like Dr. Mensa Otabil are inspirational and provide listeners with a clear understanding of the principles and values of the Christian faith,” the statement said.

“…To the extent that any of Dr. Otabil's statements in the public domain are indeed statements that have been previously made by him, and are available in the public domain we fail to see how quoting statements that one would assume were statements of principle, have suddenly become the work of evil people who are surrogates and affiliates of the NDC.

The disagreements notwithstanding, Hannah Tetteh said the campaign team of the president still holds the preacher man in high regard and urged supporters to be factual in their discussions.