|Audio Attachment:Listen to Sammy Awuku and Kwesi Pratt Jnr. on Peace Fm's "kokrokoo" programme.|
A Deputy Communications Director of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sammy Awuku, has sought to suggest that Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., is deceitful or hypocritical in speech.
Sammy Awuku says he cannot come to terms with the seasoned journalist’s sudden support of anything Mills and the ruling party when a couple of years ago, he (Pratt) was so strongly opposed to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and President Mills’ candidature for the highest office of the land.
Re-producing series of articles written by Kwesi Pratt, Editor of the Weekly Insight (now The Insight) newspaper and editorials of the same newspaper in the run-up to the 2000 General Elections to buttress his point, Sammy Awuku was particularly critical of Mr. Pratt’’s sudden volte-face.
Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Sammy Awuku read portions of the Weekly Insight Editorial of Wednesday April 19- 25, 2000 captioned Our Stand: Mills Or No Mills which strongly disparaged and vilified then candidate Mills.
“The emergence of Professor John Atta Mills as the Presidential candidate for the NDC will not change anything in the party. Essentially, the NDC will remain a neo-colonial apparatus designed solely for the perpetuation of foreign domination of the national economy and misrule through a cult of bootlickers. Four years of Professor Mills as Vice President of Ghana has left us in no doubt that he has nothing new to offer…Those who claim that Professor Mills will offer us anything different from what we have had from Rawlings for the last 18 years, can only be lying… Professor Mills was around in the days of fire and brimstone when innocent Ghanaians were extra-judicially murdered and thousands of people were thrown into detention without charge or trial. He did not lift a finger and no sounds broke out of his mouth when at least 300,000 workers were retrenched in the days of the PNDC…. We shall fight him all the way and make sure that he does not get anywhere near the seat of government. This Professor is not our friend and he stands for no good. He is every inch like Mr. Rawlings and must be fought with all the venom we can find. Stop Professor Mills from becoming the President of Ghana. Mills or no Mills, we must fight,” the Editorial said.
The NPP Deputy Communications Director next read from an article written by Kwesi Pratt on November 14, 2000, under the column “Fire Works” and titled “Mills Is Something” to further drum home his point that the seasoned journalist had soiled his integrity.
“Two weeks ago, Professor Mills met with personnel of the security services at Kumasi to discuss the NDC manifesto… Which Presidential candidate will be allowed to meet with and explain his party’s manifesto to security forces anywhere in the country? If other presidential candidate will not be allowed to address security forces then why should Mills do so with impunity?... Mills’ claim that it is impossible for him to meet with other Presidential candidates is to say the least, dishonest. What makes it impossible for Mills to meet with Kufuor, Professor Hagan or Goosie Tanoh? Mills said at the meeting that in politics, the truth does not matter and that all politicians are liars and yet he has been at the helm of national politics for four years. This man Mills is certainly something and I shudder to think what he would do with the nation if he becomes President of the Republic. What a man!,” Kwesi Pratt said in the article.
But in a sharp rebuttal via phone, the outspoken Nkrumahist retorted: “who in Ghana does not know that in the 2000 elections, I did not support President Mills but supported Mr. Kufuor? That is a fact. It is not something I am ashamed of or I’m running away from…I’m still firmly opposed to the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) by Kufuor and so on…,” he said.
He further explained that in 2008, there were different candidates involved; hence that was why his preference for a presidential candidate, and therefore does "not see why Sammy Awuku should have difficulty accepting this fact".
“I believed that President Mills was a better candidate who could offer better prospects for development… It’s not a secret or something which is strangely hidden. What is the big deal?...The factors in 2000 are substantially different from the factors in 2008 and are substantially different from today. To think that history does not change and factors do not change is to become an ostrich,” he said.
However, Sammy Awuku stood his grounds but reiterated that if the Insight newspaper Editor now has a reformed opinion of President Mills, he is prepared to let matters rest.
“If today he has changed his mind and thinks Professor Mills is now fit to be the President then I rest my case,” he added.
Source: Rebecca Quaye/Peacefmonline.com
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