BBC Was Mischievous … Sought To Portray Mills As Egoistic & Inward Looking


    Foreign Affairs Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni has accused the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of mischief by deliberately misrepresenting statements made by President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills on the Ivorian political impasse, at his recently held “Action Year” Editors Forum.
    He also claims the principal public service broadcaster in the United Kingdom is trying to cause disaffection for President Mills and Ghana as a whole in Africa.
    The BBC, on its Network Africa Programme on Friday, January 22, quoted President Mills’ “dzi wo fie asem” (mind your own business) comment as a wise saying for the day. This led to some uncharitable criticisms from listeners of the programme.
    Speaking in an interview on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning Show on Monday, Alhaji Mumuni asserted that the BBC was unfair by trying to portray President Mills as a self-centered and inward looking person who does not really care about the happenings in Ivory Coast, and stressed that the BBC quoted President Mills out of context.
    “I insist that the BBC has been unfair to President Mills and it was very unfortunate because he has been taken completely out of context. They have even ignored the several indications that he has made, that he was extremely concerned about the conditions in Ivory Coast, and because it was taken out of context, it created the impression that our president is a self-centered, inward looking and selfish man who doesn’t really care about what is happening in Ivory Coast; when in fact, there is abundance of evidence to show that it is not true. The president has been concerned about the volatility of the situation in Ivory Coast and he has talked about the polarization of the society based on ethnicity,” he lamented desperately.
    According to him, President Mills has constantly expressed his concern about the emerging armed groups in Ivory Coast and the apparent two centers of power, which is a recipe for disaster. He noted that President Mills only wants the Ivory Coast problem to be handled with absolute care and diplomatically, to ensure that the situation does not escalate and lead to an outbreak of violence.
    “President Mills has constantly talked about the emerging desperate armed groups in the country and the apparent two centers of power which is a setting for disaster…He doesn’t want to see the people of Ivory Coast streaming out of their country into Ghana as refugees,” he noted.
    The Foreign Affairs Minister refuted suggestions that President Mills spoke too early on the issue of committing troops to Cote D’ivoire as a last resort to quell the Ivorian crisis should Laurent Gbagbo refuse to quit power and that his “mind your own business” statement was inappropriate, pointing out that the context in which the President made that comment has been completely disregarded.
    He explained that the ‘controversial’ remark, which is the center of the alleged misrepresentation, was in reference to the fact that the Ivorian crisis was an African problem which demands an African based-solution.
    “I cannot say that the president’s “mind your own business” comment was not appropriate; it was just that the context was completely disregarded, the words were isolated. When you do that, you can give any meaning and the meanings that you give, will not necessarily reflect the set of mind of the person who made those statements… people are just mischievous…When President Mills said ‘mind your own business’, he was referring to the fact that the Ivory Coast problem is an African problem and that it demands an African solution based on dialogue, conciliation, mediation and on peace-building; this has been his position,” he expounded.
    Source: Beatrice Adepa Frempong