The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante is considering legal action against the Herald newspaper for defamation after the paper linked him to an NPP meeting.
The chairman has rejected a half-hearted apology from the editor Larry Alans Dogbe who told Joy News he “could apologise” if the man of God found it remedial.
But nonetheless, the courts are “reasonable” enough to discern the paper did not defame the man of God, the editor maintained.
A report published by the Herald newspaper alleged that the country’s top clergymen had revealed their partisan colours after their involvement in internal party politics of the opposition New Patriotic Party.
It said at a meeting called by former president John Agyekum Kufuor on July 9, 2015, top party guns sat with top clergymen to broker peace within the party that has been suffering from internal party wranglings.
The feud has hampered effective collaboration between party chairman Paul Afoko and General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong on one hand and purported loyalists of 2016 flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo.
But according to the Chairman of the Peace Council, the Herald report alleging the meeting was secret, was “disturbing”, “malicious” and “very very unfortunate”.
“The connotation that it has is that the chairman of the Peace Council is partisan. I have not been partisan in my approach to things”, he lamented on Joy News Thursday.
“On 9 July, I was in Amsterdam. I have been away from the middle of June visiting Germany, Netherlands and Belgium”, he continued.
But mounting an early defence, the editor Larry Dogbe told Joy News “we have never associated anything criminal [to Rev. Emmanuel Asante]… it could be mistaken identity”.
Larry argued that if the meeting was not secret as the former president has come out to say, then it should have been open to journalists.
He also stressed that the meeting had to be secret because there was no public announcement of any such event. After some pressure, the editor gave in noting that “if I got the name wrong then we are very sorry…we apologise to him”.
But an unconvinced man of God observed that the editor’s response showed that “he is simply trying to defend himself.”
Explaining further, The Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante noted that as Chairman of the National Peace Council, he “would have loved” to help mediate a party’s internal troubles.
But the tone of the publication was meant to injure his reputation especially as he wasn’t even present at the meeting.
“What I do not like is for people to get up and simply write things. I think it was malicious. It tarnishes my image and I don’t consider it lightly at all” he said.
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]
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