At a time when all manner of noise is being made about the cost that the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) allegedly incurred through the formation of communications teams, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has done exactly the same thing, by forming its own propaganda unit with the job to boost government’s image!
According to Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, government has formed its own propaganda outfit, which he describes as a Communications Team to tell its story on radio, television and on other media platforms. Interestingly, yesterday, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Information and a former loud-mouthed critic of government abuse of public funds, answering questions concerning the status of Mr Stan Dogbe, the Editor of the Daily Express, said that indeed Dogbe was working for the Information Ministry as part of government’s ‘communication team.’
According to Okudzeto Ablakwa, the government ‘communications team’ is made of newspapers editors, government appointees and other people. He however failed to name the editors who act as the government guard dogs. When pushed further he started giving newsmen a communications sermon about the formation of government communications team since the ancient days of Greek saying it was in place to help ‘boost’ government’s image.
“Every government in the world has a communications team, those that you see appearing on programmes…radio, television, Good Morning Ghana, Good Evening Ghana, TV Africa, newspaper review programmes, Peace FM, Joy Fm form the governments’ communications team, he said. Pushed to name the members of the Communications Team, Okudzeto Ablakwa said that the team is made up of himself, his colleague Deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim Boateng, Hon John Tia, the Information Minister, Mr. Alex Segbefia, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Felix Kwakye, Special Aide to the Trade Minister, Dr Omane Boamoah and Dr Hannah Bissiw, the Deputy Works and Housing Minister.
When asked to provide the names of the newspaper editors he kept fumbling and mentioned Stan Dogbe as the only newspaper editor on the team. Reporter: Hon. You said newspaper Editors and Editor so please can I get more names? Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa: That is all I can give you for now! He was however quick to stress that, “We don’t pay anybody, it is voluntary’ and is the reason why have employed people who are working.” The Minister sensing his gaffe then called the reporter back to make the point saying that, “we are not going to take money that is meant for the Petroleum Debt Recovery or meant for the District Assembly Common Fund, we are not going to be reckless and misappropriate funds, this government’s communications team is not paid, you understand, we are not paid.”
Source: Prince Prah/The Daily Searchlight/Ghana
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