MPs Bribery Saga: ‘We Did Not Invite The Media - Star Ghana’

“It was not like we invited journalists to come and cover the programme. We invited Citi FM as one of our grand partners and they participated fully; but they were not to cover the event. We did not invite the media to cover the programme.” STAR-GHANA, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) made this comment confirming Hon Bagbin’s assertion that the forum at which he made the bribery allegation was supposed to be private. The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli/Kaleo, Alban Sumana K. Bagbin said at a two day seminar organized by Star-Ghana, that MPs “take bribes to articulate the views of their sponsors on the floor of parliament”. According to the Hon Member, organisers of the seminar told him that everything that would be said at the seminar was going to be confidential. He said if he knew the media was going to pick it up, he would not have made such a comment. Speaking in an interview to Kwami Sefa Kayi on ‘Kokrokoo’ Mr Ibrahim, Tanko, Team Leader for Star-Ghana, expressed surprise at how the news emerged in the media, because according to him, no invitation was given to the media to cover the event. “"Quite a number of the organisation that we support have been trying to influence policy or legislation such as right to information bill and so on but for quite a number of them, they simply do not know who to talk to…so we decided to organize a capacity building workshop We brought in Hon Bagbin and one of the Clerks in parliament as resource persons. We agreed with both resource persons that it was not an event where the media was going to be invited. It was simply an interaction between them and the grand partners to enlighten them on what to do and so that was the agreement… It was not meant for public consumption. We did not assign any media house to cover the programme as far as Star Ghana is aware,” Ibrahim Tanko said. He said they invited representatives from the Daily Graphic newspaper, as well as Citi FM, but they were to act as participants and not reporters. However, he said once the issue had already come out, there is the need to discuss it in a nationalistic way rather than condemning the Hon Member. “…we should have a national conversation as to how strong our institutions of governance are?...what are the systematic issues?...and how do we address them as a people,” he added.