|Audio Attachment:Listen to Baba Jamal on Peace Fm's "kokrokoo"|
Deputy Minister of Information, Baba Jamal, says the voice on a mystery audio tape linked to him which was captured during a purported meeting held with a selected group of journalists sympathetic to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Bolgatanga in the Upper East region, is certainly a sham.
The audio tape recording allegedly captures Baba Jamal promising the journalists huge sums of money should they dance to the tune of government.
But the Deputy Minister says there is no truth in the allegations insisting that the voice is just a spurious imitation of him.
The Daily Guide newspaper on Wednesday claimed it has in its possession a copy of a secret recording which supposedly exposes the desperation of the ruling NDC to win power by wooing journalists with huge sums of money to pursue the agenda of the Mills-led government.
According to the publication, the audio tape reveals Hon. Baba Jamal telling the selected group of journalists that the government had decided to use funds from the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) to pay them.
Jamal, who promised a better package for the journalists should they propagate the agenda of the government to enable it to win the 2012 elections, said all that government required from the selected journalists was to kill every story which would not be in the supreme interest of the government.
The speaker, on the almost six-minute tape recording, enjoined the journalists at the meeting to be ready to discard stories that would portray the party in a bad light and rather concentrate on the positive sides.
He implored them to be battle-ready to even overturn disparaging stories about the government and present it in a way that would be palatable to the public so that the government’s chances of retaining power in the forthcoming polls would not become a mirage.
The deputy Information Minister urged the journalists at the meeting not to entertain any fears because the NDC government was not the first government to do that. He even alleged that the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) did same when it was in government.
But speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning show, Baba Jamal denied that he promised via government to give journalists incentives, including monthly salaries and cars if only they will do the bidding of the government. Though he concedes attending to his official government duty in Bolgatanga a few days ago and had a press conference with journalists in the region, he stated unequivocally that at no point did he utter the words that have been attributed to him on the tape.
According to him, he had listened to the content of the tape over and over again and is convinced cynical minds are up to mischief.
“I want all Ghanaians to know that the story on the front page of the Daily Guide is not true. I’m a Muslim and we are fasting (Ramadan) but I have never stood anywhere to implore journalists to aid the NDC government. I have never held a secret meeting with any journalist and I’m not the one whose voice has been captured in that secret recording…We had information about two weeks ago that some people have brought some computer software and when one’s voice is uploaded onto it…and later another person’s voice is also uploaded, it will sound the same. We heard rumors that they are going to use that technology to set people up but I never knew I will be the first person to fall victim to this,” he said.
The Deputy Information Minister however vowed to pursue the matter and clear his tainted image. He also disclosed that he has conferred with his lawyers and “intends to file a suit against the person or group of persons behind this obvious fabrication”.
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