General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has denied claims that he had agreed to send his deputy to represent him on Joy FM news analysis programme Newsfile after other panelists boycotted the show in protest to his absence.
He said he had duly informed host and producer of the Saturday morning programme that other engagements required his presence thus making it impossible for him to be present at the programme.
According to him, it would have been totally impossible for him to send any deputy because none of his two asistants were in Accra on the day of the popular programme.
Speaking on Adom FMs morning show ‘Dwaso Nsem’, Mr Asiedu Nketia said he had properly informed producer of the show, Sedem Ofori that he had to attend a funeral outside Accra hence it was impossible for him to be at the programme.
General Mosquito as he is popularly called, told the host Captain Smart, he is not an employee of Joy FM, he is entitled to run his life. His personal and private issues needed his attention more than attending a radio programme, the politician explained.
Mr Asiedu Nketia together with General Secretaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Kwabena Agyepong, Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Greenstreet and Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Kofi Asamoah Siaw were billed to appear on one of the most listened to political discussion programme in the country.
The panelists were to discuss some key proposals among the political parties for electoral reforms in the country. Producer of the programme believed that General Secretaries of political parties in Ghana being the administrative heads of parties will be key in providing their perspectives on electoral reforms.
However, the programme could not come off due to the absence of the NDC’s General Secretary.
The three other General Secretaries refused to sit in for the show although they had driven to the studios of Multi TV. They all went back home after they learnt that Mr Asiedu Nketia was not going to be available.
The General Secretary of the NPP Kwabena Agyapong said that that was not the first time Mr Asiedu Nketia had failed to attend a programme General Secretaries had been invited to.
He claimed that Mr Asiedu Nketia had on three occasions refused to turn to turn up at a forum meant for General Secretaries of political parties in the country.
But in a sharp rebuttal, the NDC’s General Secretary said he had never been invited to a forum where Kwabena Agyapong was meant to be present at and that he was surprised at comments of the General Secretary.
He blamed Joy FM and producers of the show for misinforming the panelists and asked that any questions concerning the boycott be addressed to them.
Producer of Newsfile Sedem Ofori however contradicted the NDC General Secretary's version of events. He said Mr Asiedu Nketia had been informed of the programme and he had agreed to participate.
Sedem said the production team indeed postponed the discussion on the electoral reforms to accommodate Aseidu Nketia after he said an earlier proposed date was not convenient for him.
He said it was strange that General Mosquito was now claiming that he had not previously agreed to appear on the show. According to him, he only tried to confirm Mr. Nketia's participation by sending text messages which were not answered.
He explained that it was only late evening Friday, the night before the show, that host of Newsfile, Samson Lardy Anyenini, called him to report that he bumped into Asiedu Nketia at IEA where the NDC chief scribe said that even though he had agreed to come for Saturday's programme, something urgent had come up requiring his presence in the Brong Ahafo on Saturday.
General Mosquito confirmed to Samson he had seen Sedem's messages on the topics for discussion.
He cannot now claim that he never agreed to participate in the discussion, Sedem said.