General News of Saturday, 24 January 2015
General Secretaries of three of the country’s major political parties Saturday stood listeners of Joy FM and viewers of MultiTV up by boycotting the current affairs show Newsfile.
Kwabena Agyepong of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ivor Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Kofi Asamoah Siaw of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) refused to sit in for the show because the General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia failed to turn up.
Mr Asiedu Nketia and the other three General Secretaries were invited to discuss proposals for electoral reforms put forward by the country’s elections governing body, the Electoral Commission (EC).
However, the chief scribe of the NDC delegated his deputy (who was yet to arrive) to discuss the issues, something the other three General Secretaries thought was demeaning and disrespectful.
Although all three drove to the Faanofa Street studios of MultiTV, they returned home upon learning that Mr. Asiedu Nketia did not show up.
Host of Newsfile, reputed as the most authoritative and most widely listened to news analysis show, Samson Lardy Anyenini, together with the producers of the show, pleaded with the three in vain.
Mr. Kwabena Agyepong said this is neither the first nor the second time the NDC General Secretary is treating them as such.
He claimed that on three previous occasions, Mr. Asiedu Nketia had refused to turn up at fora meant for political party General Secretaries – something he said was not acceptable and must stop.
The former Press Secretary to President John Agyekum Kufuor said he had anticipated that John Asiedu Nketia would not come for the show and so consistently called the producers to be sure that he was coming.
According to him, he had been assured that his opposite number was coming only for him to turn up and find out that “he has not even sent anybody.”
Samson informed him that a deputy General Secretary had been delegated by Asiedu Nketia to come for the show, but that was not enough to placate Mr Agyepong and the others.
Ivor Greenstreet expressed similar sentiments and left, leaving the Newsfile host, his producers, and listeners shocked, disappointed and dejected.
For the first time in nearly two decades, Newsfile, a programme that brings listeners insightful and incisive discussion of the topical issues making the news, every Saturday, was cancelled because of the squabbling of the politicians.