'Soli' scandal: Presidency is not a micro finance company- Egbert Faibille

'Soli' scandal: Presidency is not a micro finance company- Egbert Faibille
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah
Date: 25-04-2015 Time: 10:04:35:am
Egbert Faibille

Editor of the Observer Newspaper Egbert Faibille Jnr has condemned the Chief of Staff for doling out cash to editors and senior journalists at a meeting held at a Flagstaff House last week.

He said the presidency is not a micro finance company to be doling out that cash to gate keepers.

He made the comments on Newfile, Saturday, during a discussion on the controversial subject of what has come to be known in journalism circles as "soli"- the practice by event organisers to hand cash amounts in envelopes to journalists who they invite to cover events.

The Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah was reported to have handed cash amounts ranging from 1,000- 500 cedis to editors and senior journalists he invited to a meeting at the Flagstaff House.

Some of the Editors received whilst others were reported to have rejected.

But the gesture by the Chief of Staff has come under heavy criticisms. Some individuals and institutions including Occupy Ghana have vehemently condemned the gesture.

Occupy Ghana in a statement is asking the president to take a serious view of the action by the Chief of Staff and penalise him accordingly.

Egbert Faibillie in part associates himself with the views expressed by Occupy Ghana.

Whilst he would not completely condemn the practice of 'soli' he said the presidency cannot be the vehicle through which soli should be practiced.

Even more serious he said are the people involved. He argued if it were 'rookie' journalists who were given tokens as transport he would not have any problems with it.

But for editors who are gate keepers to be given a 1,000 cedis at the presidency is something that should be condemned in no uncertain terms.

He is convinced the amount could cloud the judgement of the editors involved.

Deputy Interior Minister James Agalga, said the gesture by the Chief of Staff should be contextualized.

He argued the intention of Julius Debrah was only to show his appreciation to the editors for heeding to his call and taking time off their busy schedules to attend the meeting and not to bribe.

He said no editor worth his sort would be compromised with such an amount .