General News of Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Source: The Informer
It has now come to light that the insults rained on journalists on various radio stations by the sector Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr. Mahama Ayariga, is a premeditated one.
Unrepentantly, the Youth and Sports Minister, who according to sources close to him, has a strong presidential ambition; said that his decision for the vituperations on journalists was to avenge the “insults” by the media on His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama.
In an interview with Muntie FM, a local radio station in Accra, Mr. Mahama Ayariga was quoted as saying, “If you can sit on radio and insult President Mahama and tell him that he is wrong on some issues, we should also be able to look you in the face, on radio, and also tell you that you are also wrong.
Why can President Mahama be insulted and you cannot be told in your face what you’re doing that is wrong or that is right?”
Mr. Mahama Ayariga, who returned from the just-ended Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea, without thinking through his actions, decided to embarrass Government in his rush to brief Parliament on the performance of the Stars.
Without informing the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, as required; the Youth and Sports Minister in his attempt to whip up support in celebration of the senior National Team, Black Stars, for their performance, gave up himself as a result of the contradictions in his answers to questions asked by colleague Members of Parliament (MPs) with regards to the cost incurred by the State on the Stars; right from preparation to participation; and also, how fans were airlifted to Equatorial Guinea to support the Stars.
Not satisfied with the responses of Mr. Ayariga, some journalists, who decided to probe further demanded the breakdown of some figures quoted earlier by the Minister in Parliament were not spared at all.
Now, revealing that his insults on those hosts were planned, Mr. Mahama Ayariga launched sneering attacks on the Ghanaian media saying, “It is very unfortunate that you choose that this is what you will discuss. I thought that at this stage, those who are interested in sports in Ghana would now be asking me questions about how to sustain excellence in sports in Ghana; how are you going to get infrastructure for the development of sports in Ghana; how are you going to manage these players so that the next tournament they will be able to perform exceedingly well and take the cup; how are you going to make sure that all other national teams do so well? Sadly you are asking me about…the money that was spent on food.
You are using valuable time to discuss useless matters; please, I think that this is very, very regrettable and it will dampen the spirit of the boys who were trying to kill themselves only to come back and even the food that they ate, they will hear on radio that their minister is [answering questions] about the food that they ate. It’s sad, it’s sad, it’s sad.
“If I decide to grant you an interview as a minister, I expect you to ask me useful questions…you want to take over the job of the Auditor? Are you the Auditor?”
With the arrogant posture of Mr. Mahama Ayariga, claiming that he did what he did, by insulting journalists in defence of the President, analyst believe that if he (President) does not come out, it might imply that he sanctioned the gross misbehavior of his sports Minister.