General News of Saturday, 2 February 2013

Source: Kevin Dartey

Mahama did not receive cash from gay activist- Ayariga

Government has brushed aside suggestions that President John Mahama relied heavily on funds from renowned American writer and gay right activist, Andrew Solomon, to execute his campaign in the 2012 polls.

Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, “Big Issues” Saturday, Information Minister, Mahama Ayariga, labeled the speculations as unwarranted and media gimmick to dent the reputation of the President.

Youth Counselor Amos Kevin-Annan had linked the nomination of gay rights defender Nana Oye Lithur to Andrew Solomon’s meeting with the President at his book launch last year in New York.

Offering details, Mr Ayariga said it was the local organizers of the event who settled on the writer to moderate the programme, stressing that the hullabaloos are unfounded and misplaced.

“If you (referring to the host) invite me for a programme in your studios do I have to go behind the scenes to find the sexual orientation of the entire panelists? Absolutely no, so this allegations and speculations can’t be true.

“So the President could not have asked of the sexual orientation of the man (Andrew Solomon) before attending the programme. In fact the President is too busy to engage in that,” the minister stressed.

Against that backdrop, Mr Ayariga emphasized that President Mahama did not know Mr. Solomon before the launch, adding that “the nomination of Nana Oye Lithur to head the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, was informed by her track record and capabilities”.