The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has courted the anger of journalists in Kumasi after its Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mr. Abrahma Otabil, last week Friday, May 19, 2017 made disparaging remarks about them in the Ashanti region.
According to the incensed members of the inky fraternity who are considering a boycott of the ministry’s events in the region, the incident took place at the Manhyia Palace when the Minister John Peter Amewu called on the King of Asante, Otumfou Osei Tutu II to seek his support in the ongoing galamsey fight during a working visit.
Mr. Abrahma Otabil was quoted as saying that, “All you need is give Kumasi-based journalists GH¢20 or GH¢30…. They will become so happy, so indebted to air or publish your story”.
Mr. Otabil had travelled to the Region with some journalists from Accra, which practice is unfair to media practitioners in the Region. Aside that, he selected those his “media friends” ahead of others, especially the media in the Region to cover the call on the Asantehene, much to the chagrin of other journalists who had been touring galamsey areas with the Minister days earlier.
When justifiably upset journalists questioned his selective attitude against them, he made those denigrating and unsavory comments against them.
Some journalists who are upset have promised to officially lodge a complaint with the local chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to look into the matter and ensure that such a nasty incident does not recur.
Meanwhile, some New Patriotic Party (NPP) leaders in the region who waded into the incident, believe the conduct of the PRO is aimed at sabotaging the current government and therefore demand from the Information Ministry action be taken against him.