13 February 2013

Ghana: Is Information Now Ministry of Lies?


Last Friday, February 1, an independent newspaper, Daily Guide, reported on its front page the news that a well known homosexual, one Andrew Solomon, a practising gay and gay rights activist from the United States, was a friend of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama.

A radio station, after reviewing the story, contacted presidential spokesperson, John Jinapor, to comment on the story. He said he was yet to see His Excellency that morning, so he could not confirm or deny the alleged friendship between the president and Solomon, and pleaded for time to see his boss first.

Later same day, newly sworn Minister of Information, Mr. Mahama Ayariga, called a press conference to deny that President Mahama has any relationship, whatsoever, with Solomon and that the President first met Solomon at the launch of his maiden book, My First Coup d'état in the US, last year.

"The organisers of the book launch in New York settled on Andrew Solomon purely, purely because of his acclaim in writing, journalism and authorship. He's written several books. He's reported for several media houses in the US. He's received several awards in connection with his profession", the Information Minister underscored his assertion.

As it turned out, however, the Minister was deliberately lying through his teeth; for President Mahama had admitted, on Page 316 of his book, quoted above, knowing Andrew Solomon, said to be married to another male, before the launch of his book.

President Mahama had acknowledged: "...Andrew Solomon for also providing a generous advance quote. Andrew was also generous with his referrals and other such literary resources. I will always remember the fantastic dinner party Andrew hosted for me in his Manhattan home that set the ball rolling". Among others things, Solomon reportedly paid US$20,000 for the first copy of My First Coup d'état.

The Chronicle is at a loss as to why Mahama Ayariga decided that the best way to protect President Mahama from any opprobrium arising out his association with Andrew Solomon was to tell the blackest lie possible?

The first inference is that Mahama Ayariga never read the President's book or if he did at all then only the opening pages. Otherwise he would have saved himself and President Mahama the current embarrassment and the possible loss of his job. Nothing that comes from that ministry would be believed henceforth. That is hitting the ground limping, and not running as the President promised.

And to what purpose? What is so scandalous about a married man, who is allegedly a notorious womaniser, knowing a self-confessed homosexual, such that news of it would make a trained lawyer quake in his shoes like a jelly fish and consequently try to deceive a whole nation to save his boss' face?

Just as a person living with HIV/AIDS carries no revealing mark on his or her forehead, so is there nothing that forewarns any person that someone who acquaintance he has made is a sex deviant.

The Chronicle has a question for Mahama Ayariga: What is his reply to Ghanaians, politicians and non-politicians alike, who are now reading meanings into Oye Lithur's nomination as Minister of State; that it was no mere coincidence that she, a married woman, turned out a gay rights activist, but a calculated presidential pat on the back (a thank you of sorts) for President Mahama's international gay friends?

We await your answer, Minister Mahama Ayariga ...

Copyright © 2013 Ghanaian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.