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General News Fri, 12 Sep 2008

NPP Rejects JOY FM's Report

STATEMENT BY THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY (NPP) ON JOY FM'S REPORTAGE OF ACCUSATIONS OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION AGAINST THE PARTY

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has in its possession a copy of an internet version of Joy FM’s newscast of September 3, 2008 which breach all standards of media ethics in its attempt to paint the NPP as corrupt.

The radio station purports to base its newscast on the August 2008 Report Issued by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), a Non-Governmental Organization of decent Ghanaians who have been observing the political activities in the country and commenting on them on occasion.

The relevant portion of the Report upon which Joy claims to have based its news report reads as follows:

The August field observers' reports allege that undisclosed sums of money were given to electorates by NPP party executives. NPP party executives were observed giving T-shirts and money to electorates ahead of the party's rally in Brakwa in the Asikuma-Odohen-Brakwa constituency (Central Region). FOs also reported the misuse and abuse of public office for partisan gain. The Municipal Chief Executive of the Offinso South Municipal Assembly who was on a familiarization tour of the district is reported to have used the occasion to also campaign for the NPP presidential and parliamentary aspirants.. The Chief Executive was heard canvassing the electorate to vote for the incumbent to ensure the continuation of the NPP government's programs and projects.

From the above excerpt, Joy FM conjured the following newscast;

“Ghana News:: NPP in massive corruption - CODEO

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“The latest report released by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) cites the ruling Hew Patriotic Party of massive corruption in the run up to the December polls…

Its fifth report since March said its observers had seen NPP executives bowling (sic) out large sums of money to supporters ahead of its rallies.

John Larbi, programmes manager at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) which coordinates the activities of CODED said the party had been doing that ostensibly to garner support towards the December polls.

"They give undisclosed sums of money. You'll not see it but people will come and tell you what happened, " he said.

But with the latest reports emerging, the situation has been worse during party rallies. Top party executives of the ruling party have been spotted giving undisclosed sums of money to supporters prior to rallies."

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The NPP most emphatically condemns this type of politicking whether it is in the media or on platforms or in house to house situations.

At all times, the NPP has scrupulously set the example of responsible and decorous behaviour and has often called on other political parties to be partners in this type of behaviour in order to advance Ghana's democracy because the NPP is convinced that it is the only type of governance that will protect and sustain the peace and tranquility which have rightly transformed Ghana into the model country in this continent.

This has been, and will continue to be, the stand and attitude of the NPP with regard to the December and subsequent elections.

The Party notes to its distress and disappointment that, by his utterance quoted earlier, John Larbi, CDD's programmes manager, has compromised the neutrality of the Centre for which the NPP and the international community held the Centre in such high esteem.

The NPP also wants to point out that the Centre misinterpreted the alleged sighting of party officials sharing out T-shirts and monies prior to a rally at Brakwa.

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It is well-known that most of the Party's functionaries at all levels are volunteers. Many of them undertake certain defined duties at rallies and any fair-minded observer at such rallies will have noted that some T-shirts state the function of the wearer.

The Party would regard it unfair to ask its volunteers who are invited to perform such assignments at rallies to pay their way or pay for the T-shirts they will wear. To interpret this handout to its functionaries as political corruption is, in our view, stretching the term beyond what is fair.

In fact, the suggestion is an insult to the people of Brakwa since they, like supporters of the NPP across the country, are used to buying their own party paraphernalia. Anybody who attends an NPP rally cannot fail to notice the scores of people doing brisk business selling NPP paraphernalia.

Having clarified the point, the NPP is calling on all Ghanaians not only to condemn the dirty politics that has been introduced into this year's campaign but have the courage to point an accusing finger directly at those who engage in them.

We in the NPP are convinced that God is on our side and nothing anybody does will change what God has ordained - that the NPP will win in December to continue to lead the country to the promised-land. NPP shall prevail!

NANA OHENE-NTOW GENERAL SECRETARY

Source: NPP