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Entertainment of Saturday, 29 February 2020


Stop the hypocrisy and ban the production of alcohol - Abeiku Sagoe to FDA

Abeiku Sagoe Abeiku Sagoe

Veteran actor, Abeiku Sagoe, has challenged the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to ban the production of alcoholic beverages in the country and stop “terrorizing Ghanaian celebs”.

The celebrated screenplay writer says it baffles him why the FDA chose to sacrifice Ghanaian celebs in their attempt to regulate the sector, and not halting the production of alcohol in the country entirely.

According to him, if the FDA is fully committed to safeguarding the future of the Ghanaian youth, the body should go all out to ban the production of alcohol, insisting that the wishy-washy approach won’t address the fundamental challenges bedeviling the sector.

In an interview with Mzgee on 3FM’s Showbuzz show, the veteran actor minced no words by describing the FDA’s recent directive as “hypocritical” and “discriminatory”.

“The 1992 Constitution is against discrimination thus you cannot discriminate against anybody on the grounds of height, age, or the background of a person so for FDA to place a ban that prohibits celebs from advertising alcohol products is gross discrimination.

“A barber or shoemaker [referring to a cobbler] can advertise or endorse alcoholic products freely without any restrictions, but Shatta Wale can’t do same because of his celebrity status. That is very strange,” he argued.
“If they want to deal with anything that has to deal with alcohol, they should ban the production of alcohol and I will be very happy with that because that will help,” he stressed.

Ban on celebrities

About five years ago, the FDA made it known that celebrities could not advertise alcoholic products. It explained that the ban is an adherence to a World Health Organization (WHO) policy and efforts to ensure that minors are protected from being lured into alcoholism.

Kofi Essel, Head of Industry Support Services Department of the FDA in an interview said his outfit cannot lift the ban on popular figures endorsing alcoholic beverages.

He told Graphic Showbiz the FDA would not allow any popular figure to negatively influence the youth. He rather asked that celebrities should support the move instead of calling on the authority to rescind its decision on the basis that their incomes had reduced as a result of the ban.

“Can you imagine someone like Shatta Wale or John Dumelo endorsing alcoholic beverages for their fans who are probably below 18? What will they be telling them? The use of alcohol is as serious as guns, and I would rather plead that celebrities support the cause,” he said.

“Well known persons have the potential to influence their followers who are not legally permitted to possess alcohol or use alcohol. In view of that guidelines have been set to guide operations of alcoholic beverage companies, including advertisement of their products and this is the reason well known persons are not allowed to endorse the products.”