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Does Adom-Otchere Intentionally Get Himself Into Controversies?
 
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07-Sep-2017  
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Last Tuesday, the host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, Paul Adom-Otchere went ballistic and decided to hold no punches as he pummeled Joy FM’s investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni to a pulp.

He actually took the former GJA Journalist of the Year to the cleaners. This was as a result of a post Manasseh made about Paul on Facebook last Saturday. In reference to a statement issued by the GJA cautioning journalists against media trials, Awuni posted on his Facebook page: Why is Paul Adom Otchere sending the GJA press statement to media houses? I know his closeness with Jospong, but not the GJA!

The GJA statement in question did not reference any particular journalist, media house or journalism activity, but it was an obvious caution to Awuni and Joy FM over the many investigations of the Jospong Group of Companies and its CEO, Mr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong with regards to government contracts.

He had some support from viewers, but social media generally thought he overreacted with that long diatribe. That was one of the many times that Paul Adom-Otchere would get himself in the eye of the storm for the over two decades or so that he has been in the media space.

Which begs the question: Does Paul Adom Otchere intentionally get himself in such situations or people just don’t understand his style and his approach to dealing with issues?

Before coming back to this let me look at some of the controversial issues that Paul has gotten himself into over the years to understand if he intentionally does that or he just gets himself into such situations without aiding or abetting it.

BOYS BOYCOTT SUNSHINE RADIO: Many years ago, a group of young radio presenters at Sunshine Radio raised issues with their employer and staged a historical walk out. That walk out made it to the newspapers at the time and discussion points on other media.

Among the young radio presenters who took part in the walk out, circa 1998/1999, were Yaw Ampofo Ankrah, Carlos Von Brazzi, Sammy B and Paul Adom-Otchere.

There was no social media at the time so the buzz wasn’t very huge, but by the standards of the time it was immense. At least it made it into Graphic Showbiz.

NUGS PRESIDENTIAL LOSS: Paul has been in the media for as long as anyone can remember. Even before he would go to the university, Adom-Otchere was on television.

Perhaps that led to the first controversy that would prevent him from becoming the president of NUGS in 1999.

It is said that he was the front runner to become the next NUGS president and then at a students’ forum for candidates to share their vision with students ahead of the elections, Adom-Otchere is said to have saidsomething that angered the student body leading to his chances tumbling down.

THE QUILT THAT GOT GHANA TALKING: When Paul Adom-Otchere had his wedding over a decade ago, one thing that stood out more than any and was etched on the minds of people has got to be his dressing. He wore a quilt to match his suit and tie (same as his five groomsmen), Scottish style. It was the talk of the town.

INTERVIEWING A CHAIR: Was it Osafo Maafo, who then as Finance Minister during Kufour’s time failed to show up on Good Evening Ghana after he had agreed with producers and the host to do so?

I don’t remember exactly who, but I do remember how Paul placed a chair in front of him in the studio and shot questions at the chair that he would have put to the minister.

It was an interesting show, that is if you can call a television host talking to a chair with the nation watching as interesting. But Paul does what Paul does and he won’t mind if you find it interesting, exciting or demeaning.

JOE BAIDOO ANSAH WALK OFF: Talking about a Kufour minister brings back the memory of how another minister at the time, a deputy minister I believe, walked off the show because he felt Paul was being disrespectful.

This was during an UNCTAD meeting in Accra and the show was being broadcast from the forecourt of the Accra International Conference Centre.

It was a very interesting and rare spectacle beaten only by the non-appearance of a colleague minister on the same show.

EC LOGO BROUHAHA: In April 2016 when the Electoral Commission decided to develop a new strategic direction and also develop a new logo that introduced the famous “we saw it, we liked it and we took it” line into Ghanaian conversations, Paul Adom-Otchere took the EC and its Chairperson to the cleaners during a 19-minute long tirade on Good Evening Ghana.

Paul argued on three levels namely, the EC had no business rebranding, the timing of the rebranding was misplaced and that the EC was wrong for the reason they decided to take off the coat of arms in place of a new logo.

I recall agreeing with Paul on the last two points, but vehemently disagreeing on the first point.

This was part of my Facebook post in disagreeing with him: “His point was that, being a state institution the EC had no business rebranding. Jesus! I expected much more than that from Paul. Every entity is a brand. Even individuals are brands. The state itself is a brand and reason why we had (or have?) a Brand Ghana Office (as shambolic as that institution has been). The EC is a brand, NCCE is a brand, the Judiciary is a brand and they all can rebrand if they want to.

THE CLEGG BATTERING: One of the biggest controversial moments for Adom-Otchere must be when he told Bola Ray in an interview last year that he wrote an Interim Assessment exam for Robert Nii Arday Clegg during their days at Legon. It was an embarrassing situation when Paul had to apologise on air to his friend.

I remember writing in this column at the time: “Robert Clegg: “Where did that even come from?” Paul Adom-Otchere: “It didn’t occur and I apologise for it.” It was excruciatingly painful listening to Paul Adom-Otchere (THE PAUL ADOM-OTCHERE) take such a beating in such a humbling manner.”

NKRUMAH PLEBISCITE GAFFE: Just a couple of months or so ago, Paul Adom-Otchere put himself out for another badgering, especially by Nkrumaists when he stated that Kwame Nkrumah had never won an election as President. He really took a beating from people who disagree with this supposed fact and called him a Busia-Danquaist apologist.
Now coming back to what happened last Tuesday. I think Paul wanted to defend himself because some had referred to him as being opportunistic and with the situation around the Zoomlion/Jospong issues with the media. He obviously didn’t take kindly to the jab by Manasseh and he thought it wise to respond in kind.

I think however that some of his responses were off the mark. One was his advice to Awuni to read Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, two was his reference to what he had done in the past with others to build the Joy FM brand and three was his reference to Awuni’s wife.

That said though, they say “all is fair in love and war” so perhaps he was just throwing a punch as hard as he took.

I honestly think folks should not use the media to settle personal scores. That’s why Zuckerberg built the Facebook wall so we can fight as much as we want without using the spectrum of the state!
 
 
 
Source: Francis Doku/graphic.com.gh
 
 

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