Government tells Joynews to update the documentary on militia to reflect reality
The Government on Friday asked the Joy News to update the documentary titled, “Militia in the heart of the Nation” aired on Thursday, 7th March, to reflect the reality.
As a result, the government through the Ministry had sent a letters to the management of the Multimedia group.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information addressing a press conference in Accra stated that the narrative and the video did not much and was unprofessional and asked the station to avoid such representation.
“In the advert narrative, the producer suggested that the government was undertaking a fearsome training exercise by some young men and women and backed it up with pictures of masked men welding guns,” he said.
“However, the 20 minutes documentary failed to show any evidence of militia training but a convergence of young men and women dressed in black suit and white shirt hoping to find job with a private group”.
“Government is of the view that this is most unprofessional and very misleading, and we can only urge the producer Mr Manasseh Awuni and the Joy News to avoid such misrepresentation in the future.”
Mr Nkrumah said the documentary, rightly states that the National Security apparatus had made efforts to close down the office of the Company at the Castle, but it deliberately failed to highlight the fact that the office had been closed down by the National Security since October 2018.
“As at now, there is no militia or vigilante group operating from the Castle. This is an important fact, which government believes had to be stated to viewers and listeners, but was deliberately omitted,” he added.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that, the De-Eye Group, initially, succeeded in using the garden grounds of the Castle, Osu, for its activities because its promoter, one Nana Wireko Addo, had been assigned an office there to work with a taskforce to retrieve landed properties and vehicles in the possession of officials of the erstwhile Mahama administration.
After the conclusion of the work of the taskforce in August 2018, the Minister said Mr Addo, subsequently, converted the office allocated to him into a private business office for the stated purposes of his company.
Admittedly, Mr Nkrumah said it should not have been allowed to happen in the first place, but was quickly dealt with in October 2018, when he was evicted from the premises by a joint operation involving personnel of National Security and the Police.
He said, contrary to the attempts, Mr Addo was not associated with President Akufo-Addo explaining that, indeed, he left the employ of President Akufo-Addo in 2010, at a time when he was not even presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party.
A simple check, he said would have revealed this and ensured an avoidance of the attempt to link his organisation’s activities to the President.
Mr Nkrumah said the Castle, Osu, was not a security zone, neither was it an annex of the Presidency and that the facility was being operated by the Museums and Monuments Board, after President Akufo-Addo, on 5th March, 2017, tasked the Ministry for Tourism, Arts and Culture to spearhead its transformation into a museum.
He debunked that assertion that the young men and women seen in the video had been used for security operations in and outside of Accra.
He said one would have expected a list of such operations to be listed in the documentary but that was also missing.
“In essence of what the documentary has done with respect to this point, is to create an impression without substantiating it with any evidence. In line with Joy News and Multimedia’s own journalistic standards, they, as a media organization, would not accept this from any of their guests on any of their shows. We believe this is unfortunate, and falls short of their own best practices over the years,” he said.
The Minister said the documentary was disingenuous and deliberate attempts to cast the President of the Republic in a negative light, vis-a-vis the fight against vigilantism.
Following the Presidents call on the political parties to end militia groups, Mr Nkrumah urged all well-meaning Ghanaians, civil society organisations, and the media to support the President’s fight against party vigilantism.