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President Mills’ Media Encounter Was Stage Managed - Sekou Nkrumah   
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Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, former member of the ruling National Democratic Congress and son of Ghana’s first president says President Mills’ encounter with Ghanaian media editors today was stage managed because most journalists were sidelined.

According to him, the media encounter was managed in such a way that pro-government journalists were given the opportunity to ask questions which will not probe too much into President Mills’ administration.

President Mills on Monday interacted with senior editors in fulfillment of his pledge to run an open and transparent government.

Many journalists took the stage at The Castle to scrutinize the work of President Mills’ government for the past three years and current issues relating to the administration.

The media encounter lasted for an hour where senior journalists from different media houses were allowed to ask questions.

However, speaking on Asempa FM, Dr. Sekou Nkrumah noted that many journalists who thronged the occasion were not allowed to ask their questions. “Why can we call mediamen to meet no less a person than the president and will not allow them to ask questions bothering the ordinary Ghanaian. I don’t understand why the duration was minimal”.

He noted that the media practitioners who were invited to the occasion were not given a fair deal by not allowing at least more than half to ask questions. ”A friend of mine in the media lamented badly after the encounter because he was not allowed to talk. Though I was not there, the reaction from journalists who were unable to ask their questions shows it was for a selected group of persons”.

Dr. Sekou Nkrumah questioned whether the presidency is doing Ghana or themselves good by not allowing many journalists to ask questions. “Who are we fooling at all by allowing some media to scrutinize the president? Then why were they called?"

He admonished that the next edition of media encounter with the president should allow at least over half of the journalists to ask questions.

He reckoned the encounter is not a true reflection of press freedom as pledged by the president. “We should always try and exercise proper press freedom, not what happened today”.

In a quick rebuttal however, Director of Communications at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho expressed grief at Sekou's comments.

He said no president across the globe will allow a 10-hour encounter with the media and that he invited a lot of media houses with their respective editors. ”I personally invited all of them to come so how can I silence them?”

“As for Sekou Nkrumah I will not dignify him by commenting on what he has said. He can say whatever he likes,” Koku stressed.
Source: Asempa FM

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