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NPP’s ¢15Billion Media Scam
 
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02-Mar-2010  
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The Tide’s newspaper Investigative Team has intercepted a list of over 70 media practitioners who allegedly formed the membership of the Editors’ Forum that was created by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration to effectively disseminate that government’s policies and programme to the people of this country.

Amongst those names on the list are Mrs. Gina Blay, publisher of Daily Guide, Alhaji Haruna Attah, Publisher and Editor of the then Accra Daily Mail, Mr Kweku Baako Jnr, publisher and editor of the then Crusading Guide, Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, Publisher and Editor of the Ghanaian Observer, Mr Kwami Sefa-Kayi, Host of Kokrokoo on Peace FM, Alfred Ogbamey, publisher and editor of Gye Nyame Concord and Mr Ben Ephson, Publisher and Editor of The Dispatch.

Documents intercepted by The Tide from the Ministry of Information revealed that the Editors’ Forum was a highly professional Body that was said to be attending weekly meetings that were convened by the then Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mrs Oboshie-Sai Cofie at her Roman Ridge residence in Accra.

But in an interview with some of the journalists whose name appear on the list, they all denied knowledge of the said meetings. Alfred Ogbamey said he did not know of any meeting convened by Mrs Oboshie-Sai Cofie at her Roman Ridge residence. Mr Ben Ephson refused commenting on the issue saying if The Tide could provide evidence of the venue, date and time, he would then make his comment.

Both Yaro Kasambata and Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey also known as Abeiku Santana, host of ofiekwanso on Adom FM also denied having any link with the said meeting and even threatened court action against The Tide if it went ahead to publish the story.

With Kwami Sefa Kayi, Egbert Faible, Alhaji Haruna Attah and Mr Kweku Baako Jnr, all efforts made by The Tide to reach them for their reaction on the issue proved futile, as they did not pick our calls.

The Tide’s investigations which are corroborated by documents revealed that the Editors’ Forum replaced an earlier group called Public Relations and Information Management Team (PRIM) that was established by the NPP government. The Tide also gathered that membership of PRIM was allegedly made up of the then Minister of Information, Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, his deputy, Mr Kwabena Agyepong, then press secretary to President Kufuor, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Edward Boateng of Global Media Alliance, Mrs Mercy Bampo Addo, then Minister of state at the Castle, the late Ferdinand Ayim, and other leading members of the NPP.

According to The Tide’s investigations, the PRIM management team was dissolved when Mrs Oboshie took over the Ministry of Information Portfolio.

According to a highly-placed source at the Ministry of Information who spoke to The Tide on condition of anonymity, prior to Mrs Oboshie’s appointment as Minister of Information, her predecessor, Dan Botwe, now MP for Okere, was alleged to have rubbished the existence of PRIM and therefore, rendered it ineffective.

Even though PRIM was not functioning at the ministry, The Tide learnt, but the regional and districts information management team of the NPP was not dissolved up to the time Hon Asamoah Boateng left office. However, when Mrs Oboshie took over as the Minister she drew up her own programme that brought on board several journalists and NPP activists.

One other programme she was alleged to have created was the concept of National Orientation programme under which the sentiment of Ghanaians were to be whipped up to make them more patriotic.

Under the National orientation programme issues like time consciousness, patriotism, can do spirit were to be the concept. The Tide’s Investigations uncovered that under the National Orientation programme, several billions of cedis were diverted into private pockets.
More to follow.
 
 
 
Source: The Tide/Ghana
 
 

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