Oppong Nkrumah Declares K.T Hammond Persona Non Grata

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)

The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has declared Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi Asokwa, K.T Hammond, a persona non grata and cautioned the media to be careful and clear on the category of persons who can speak for and on behalf of the government.

This comes on the back of some comments by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the government deployed military men to Ketu-South to prevent persons believed to be Togolese from registering as voters in Ghana.

The comments of K.T Hammond, who later said he was misconstrued, attracted a lot of criticisms from the public, including the minority NDC, who described the comments as being "bigotry" and "tribalistic".

The MP in a video, had justified that the military deployed by the Akufo-Addo government to the Volta region, a strong hold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is to prevent foreigners from registering in the upcoming compilation voters' register.

The comments have, however, infuriated natives of the region and the opposition party, who are demanding apology and retraction. But the MP, described the calls on him to apologise over ethnocentric comments he made as 'nonsense'.

Asked at the meet-the-press series on Monday, what the reaction of government is to those comments, Mr Oppong Nkrumah, clarified that comments by a Member of Parliament, cannot be the position of government.

He explained the protocols in government communication, specifying who qualifies to speak for the government and who does not.

"I think we need to be clear on something, if government wants to put out a position, there are a number of government functionaries who would put out that position, His Excellency the President himself may speak, these are matters of military deployment, so either the defence minister or his deputies will put it up, or the Ministry of Information may put it up for government", he explained.

"Additionally, let's say you may have the press secretary at the office of the president who may put it out. These are the categories of government spokespersons. I think we have to be very very careful about, for example hearing from a Member of Parliament who is not a member of government expressing suspicions about what he guesses is the reason for a particular exercise," be cautioned.

He emphasized that the position of the government is what the Interior Minister, the Volta Regional Minister and the Defence Minister, have said regarding the issue.

He observed some publications have tried to link the comments of K.T Hammond to the government by saying "he is a member of the ruling party", for which reason his comments represents government's position, but the Information Minister holds otherwise.

But in an interview with JoyNews, the MP, said he would not apologise, because the NDC is propagating his speech with malice.

"I can't in the life of me imagine that any institution like Joy FM will put out a message as dangerous as this, as ethnocentric as this. What was it meant to achieve?" he quizzed.

The MP believed that the interpretation the opposition has given to his innocent statements, is mainly to dent his reputation and cause chaos in the country.

"Why do I regret when I was stating the fact. that Togolese are not Ghanaians, unless you have some definition of Togolese, which means Ghana," the MP said when given the opportunity to apologise.

Source: theheraldghana.com