Senior broadcast journalist, Paul Adom-Otchere has described the President’s delegation of other officials in his government to provide answers to certain questions asked at the media encounter on Tuesday as an exciting and positive move.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo responded to a number of questions posed by journalists at the Flagstaff House on a wide range of issues including corruption, the economy and galamsey.
However, he directed a few questions to other members of his government, including a question from Citi Breakfast Show Host, Bernard Avle, which the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia responded to.
According to Mr. Adom-Otchere, this move by a President in an interaction with the media was a welcome initiative and gave a reason for those officials to be present at these encounters in the first place.
“We’ve always wondered since Kufuor’s time with Ministers of State at the conference whether they should be there or not and should the President be speaking directly to the people? Often they come and say they don’t have anything to say at all,” he said on Eyewitness News on Tuesday.
“Today was different when he invited the Vice President [to answer questions] on two occasions. He also invited the Attorney General to deal with the controversial issues about State Attorneys and qualification to the Ghana Law School. That was a significant difference from what we’ve seen in the past”
He also dismissed assertions by some sections of the public who believe that the President delegated the questions because he did not have a full grasp of the situation in his government.
According to him the President demonstrated respect for the media and the general Ghanaian public by getting the responsible Ministers to provide up to date information on specific sectors.
“I don’t think it’s because he doesn’t have a full grasp of what’s happening, he’s the leader of the team. I’m calling his invitation for others to participate as positive. These Ministers come to these press conferences from Kufuor’s time and they leave after. If they are not there to help the journalists and public get specific and direct answers to certain questions, why do they come? This was different because President Akufo-Addo gave us a reason why they showed up.
“The President of the Republic of Ghana, will not have the specific answers to everything. Some of the questions invited direct answers, others were macro questions discussing general policies and some were political which he could answer. But questions are asked about figures and direct mathematical things to the point like Bernard Avle’s question – and you recall that when Dr. Bawumia was answering the question, he said the calculation of the GDP was actually one figure. Those are not things you expect the President to know because it changes on a month to month and quarter to quarter basis. When the questions are direct like the question about the one district, one factory, the President delegated it to the Trade Minister. With the specific questions, it was exciting to see him invite the people who were responsible to give the accurate, up-to-date report and that shows a lot of respect to the Ghanaian people and a lot of respect for the media,” he added.