The Office of former President John Mahama has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of sponsoring some media houses to orchestrate lies and spread falsehood against Mr Mahama.
Citing a publication on Thursday, 25 January by the Daily Guide and Statesman newspapers about an alleged yet-to-be-released anti-Free SHS publication by the Africa Watch magazine allegedly sponsored by Mr Mahama, the Office of the former president advised President Akufo-Addo to “heed” the advice offered by Mr Mahama vis-à-vis the Free SHS programme “instead of orchestrating attacks based on lies and pedestrian propaganda”.
Below is the full statement
STATEMENT IN REACTION TO MALICIOUS PUBLICATIONS AGAINST H.E. THE FORMER PRESIDENT
The Office of HE John Dramani Mahama has taken note of a false publication by two Government sponsored tabloids, Daily Guide and Statesman that the former President of the Republic of Ghana has contracted a magazine, the AfricaWatch to publish what it says are damaging reports about the Free SHS policy.
The said false claim, which has been attributed to the Ministry of Education, has been reproduced by some online news portals, in yet another sponsored attempt by Government to use false and malicious publications to bring the name of the former President into disrepute.
We wish to place on record that:
1.Neither President John Mahama nor his office has any interest in, or working relationship with the AfricaWatch Magazine.
2.We have not seen or been offered an advance copy of the said publication to know what they have even written about the government’s Free SHS Policy.
3.The claims by the two government-sponsored tabloids and the alleged Ministry of Education statement are nothing but part of the usual set of lies conveniently being told to sway the attention and interest of the Ghanaian people from the dangerous developments of corruption, insecurity, hardships and poor governance by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
4.President Mahama holds the enviable record as a Ghanaian leader who has done more to broaden the frontiers of SHS education than many before him. He began with the implementation of the Progressively Free SHS, implemented the Secondary Education Improvement Programme (SEIP), built Community Day Senior High Schools- the largest addition to our school stock since independence, expanded infrastructure in hundreds of existing Senior High Schools among other interventions.
5.Like most Ghanaians, Mr. Mahama is deeply concerned about the horrible conditions under which SHS students are living and studying, out of which deaths have been recorded.
6.The former President’s suggestion and advice to Government has been a call for a National Stakeholders Dialogue to chart a better and befitting way forward.
7.President Akufo-Addo should heed that call instead of orchestrating attacks based on lies and pedestrian propaganda.
This Office would also like to point out that it has noted a pattern of spreading ridiculous untruths and a general smear campaign by assigns of government intended to malign the former President to satisfy an obvious political motive.
We condemn this approach and demand an immediate end to it. The media must also know that deliberately spreading such concocted falsehood and helping promote smear campaigns against the former President is worsening the dent and the characterisation of the Ghanaian media as unprofessional and partisan.
We encourage the Ghanaian public to continue to demand from the Akufo-Addo government, an improvement from the poor governance it is serving this country.
Joyce Bawah Mogtari