General News of Friday, 13 February 2015
Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt has expressed disappointment in the Sports Minister’s verbal lunge at journalists and has asked him to retract and apologise accordingly.
He said as an elected public official, Mr Mahama Ayariga must be open to all manner of questions from journalists even if those questions are “stupid”.
How he deals with them, in his view is what will show the distinction between him and the people asking the questions.
Speaking on Peace FMs’ morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Mr Pratt said he was disappointed that his friend and comrade would make those comments.
He said the statement was not one a public official or a minister of his caliber should make in public.
Mr Mahama Ayariga yesterday told Adom FM’s morning show host Captain Smart, that he [C aptain Smart] was asking him “useless questions” when he demanded details about expenses incurred at the just ended AFCON tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
This follows constant demands by the public for the Sports Ministry to make a detailed account of how much the country spent on the Black Stars and the technical team before and during the tournament.
The minister who is also a Member of Parliament said he has better things to do than answer “useless questions” from journalists who “have no understanding of public administration” and yet ask for the budget of the Black Stars to be made public.
However, the veteran journalist said the unwillingness of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to answer questions about the Black Stars is a contributory factor to the crippling of association football in the country.
This attitude, he believes, must stop because the Black Stars belongs to the country and not a private entity.
He also accused the GFA of hiding behind policies of FIFA when they are supposed to be accountable to the people of Ghana.
Mr Pratt said it has gotten to a point where the country must stand up together with “all African governments and tell FIFA they can go to hell. FIFA cannot dictate to us.
“GFA is not an island which is not subject to the laws of Ghana; this attitude has to end at some point. We should fight that and make GFA a lot more accountable”, he noted.
He said if the same amount of resources and money invested in football is invested in health or other sectors of the economy, the country will be a better place to live in.
The country’s sport has been destroyed and so people have the right to ask questions, he said.
Mr Pratt advised journalists to be circumspect even as the desire to have their questions answered because some of them tend to be provocative.
He said even though it was their right to demand answers from people in authority, it must be done in a professional way.