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Regional News of Monday, 31 March 2014


Asiedu Nketia’s secret recording claims against Joy FM baseless

Claims by the General Secretary of the NDC that a Joy FM interview that triggered the dismissal of the Ahafo Ano South DCE was secretly done are false.

Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor, who conducted the interview, has described Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia’s claims as frivolous, unfounded and churlish.

He says even Mr. Gabriel Barima who became a victim of the interview had himself never made such risible claims since his dismissal by the president.

President John Mahama sacked Mr. Barima from his post as the District Chief Executive for the Ahafo Ano South District of the Ashanti Region barely 24 hours after he granted Joy FM an interview demanding royalties for his infamous slang, “Tweaaa.”

Gabriel Barima was forgiven after he apologised to the president for a conduct deemed to be unworthy of his office.

He angrily lunged at an unidentified hospital worker at a public function after the person used the local slang 'tweaa' while he was speaking at the function. "Who said 'tweaa'"? he asked and subsequently stopped the event abruptly and walked off.

The conduct attracted widespread public opprobrium with calls for his dismissal. But the president forgave him when he apologised for the conduct.

When all seemed quiet and the slang became a national pastime, Mr. Barima took liberties, granted Erastus an interview and said he had no regrets for the statement.

Probably unhappy with his unrepentant posture, President Mahama, who himself used the slang and received wild cheers on the floor of Parliament, relieved him of his post as DCE.

In an effort to persuade the president to reverse his decision and reinstate the dismissed DCE, the National Executive Committee of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) issued a statement Sunday saying justice was not done by Mr. Barima.

The statement, signed by Mr. Asiedu Nketia, claimed among other things that “After the President had delivered the state of the Nation’s address a young man posing as a supporter of the DCE approached the DCE at his house to show how excited he was when he heard the President using the expression ‘Twea are you my coequal’ to deal with the heckling of the NPP in parliament, engaged Honourable Gabriel Barima in a lot of idle talk. Unknown to the DCE the young man was recording the conversation with a secret recorder. Some days later this secret recording was again played on the same JOY FM as if the DCE had granted another interview to the radio station after his apology.”

But Erastus Asare Donkor, responding to the accusations on Joy FM’s midday news, said the claims of the governing party’s NEC were baseless at best, and at worst deliberate fabrications.

He insisted he is constant touch with Mr. Barima and the man who has come to be known as ‘Tweaa DCE’ has never raised such claims.

The Luv reporter said Mr Asiedu Nketia and the NEC of the NDC are entirely entitled to push for Mr. Barima’s reinstatement but they should not seek to rely on tenuous argument to do so.