As an ardent critic I spend time watching TV or analyzing radio discussions and I often form my own opinion.
In most cases I have sided with people whose contributions put national interest over and above everything else. I fully appreciate the strong views expressed about the embarrassment caused from the Independence Day brochure fiasco. Indeed heads had to roll and so it has…and some are even hungry for more.
It’s all good. But what really baffles me is the enthusiasm with which a section of the media is fanning an agenda to score political points. Was the 59th Independence Day marked poorly? Does it come with speeches that reflect on how far Ghana has come? Is the President’s speech something worth scrutinizing?
This year, the theme for the anniversary was "Investing in the Youth for Ghana's Transformation." Did the President say anything that sets the stage for a public discourse on how to chart the way forward?
The brochure printing fiasco started on Sunday and the issue is still dominating discussions?
I can’t help but observe the present and obvious stinking hypocrisy that some Ghanaian politicians will stop at nothing to exhibit.
This is my understanding of what happened:
1. The ISD produced the content and forwarded it to the Flagstaff house for final approval
2. The FSH Communications Bureau designed the brochure and failed to proof read
3. The ISD head has assumed full responsibility for the mistake and has subsequently been relieved of his duties. Also the Flagstaff House communications bureau has now been taken over by the Communication Ministry obviously in reaction to the gaffe.
“….He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Jesus, on the woman caught in adultery. (John 8:7b).
I do not seek to defend. I agree we must strive for perfection. But should government critics over exploit this? I read an NPP statement asking some interesting questions. Communications Ministry which has taken over the Communications Bureau at the Flagstaff House must immediately address ISD’s suspicions regarding “usurpation” of their mandate.
The seeking of original statements by the Chief of Staff is baseless and rigs of mischief. My checks indicate some of the statements issued on behalf of the presidency were issued by the communications bureau and signed by the Head. If no questions were raised, why question that of Dr. Omane Boamah?’
Beyond the sanctions, there is the need for an official investigation to ensure this never occurs again.
By the way, I took time to do some research and what I found out is interesting.
I recall President Kufuor’s first State of the Nation Address in 2001. Try and grab a copy or get the hanzard from Parliament. It was riddled with typos, grammatical errors and literal translations from Akan to English. I remember the Minority Leader then, Alban Sumana Babgin raised issues and the Majority NPP strongly defended it.
Do you still have a copy of your voter ID card obtained in 2004? Get it and look at the arrangement of colours of the national flag. It was another disaster…. It is Green, Yellow and Red instead of Red, Gold and Green with the Black Star at the center. So our voter ID card then bore the flag of Senegal.
The Electoral Commission (EC) then explained that the defect would have no effect on the validity of the ID Cards
. It added that the defect was detected at the last stage of the preparation on a fraction of the forms.
Legal minds at the time were even of the view the development could have dire constitutional consequences for the country’s sovereignty and that the EC should be dragged to court to compel it to effect the error.
Civil Society Activists made lots of noise and again government at the time came under pressure. But was that its mistake? Were the attacks misdirected?
This is why I disagree with Elizabeth Ohene when she opines in her article titled “Is This Government A Mistake? That the “brochure gate” was an indication of the incompetence of the Mahama Administration.
Sad indeed. Political mischief and I am sorry her desperate search for political appointment if Nana wins must not be reduced to such generalizations.
Or the agenda to sustain the tag ‘incompetence’ on the Mahama Administration. If we all agree Ghana is far behind other nations that gained Independence around the late 50ss, we must take a break, review our approach to national issues and ensure the discourse looks at nation first.
By so doing government as an institution will not go defensive but acknowledge genuine recommendations. Now the ISD Acting Director is gone…People are taking it forward by demanding the cost of the printing. What has that got to do with the mess? Please.
Source: Kweku Asafo
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