The latest to have a go at JoyNews’ documentary, ‘Militia in the heart of the nation’, is the National Organiser of the governing NPP, who faults it on grounds of embellishment.
Sammi Awuku said Thursday, “without any disrespect to Multimedia Group Limited and to the celebrated Journalist [Manasseh Azure Awuni], on this occasion, I disagree with him on a matter of principle, not his person but the work.”
Speaking on News Desk, a Joy News analysis programme, Awuku said he is disappointed that the media giant, prior to airing the video sponsored previews which gave an impression of an armed group.
“ If you check the trailer, the short video you did show ahead of airing the video, there was a disconnect, you could not see anybody wielding arms, you could not see anybody engaged in hooliganism or acts of terror.”
Awuku also said characterization of the group, De-Eye, as a militia was inappropriate. According to him scenes in the documentary does not support such a violent tag.
Touting the peaceful credentials of De-Eye Group, he said their exploits in previously condemning ‘attacks on the Tamale Teaching Hospital and subsequently condemning the activities of the Delta Force must be cited for praise.
The Joy News documentary revealed how a pro-New Patriotic Party militia group trained at the Osu Castle.
The undercover work disclosed how a former bodyguard of the president led the training of the militia group, De-Eye, within a security zone, the Osu Castle, an extension of the seat of government.
Operating for the past two years, Manasseh found that the group had already provided security for a number of party functions which the president had taken part in.
A leader of the group, Nana Wireko Addo, in the undercover work after one of such functions, conveyed President Akufo-Addo’s warm impressions to the group when they provided security for an event at the International Conference Centre in 2018.
Members of the group, dressed in black suits with white shirts during one of their meetings
The documentary has come as a shock to some sections of the public, especially at a time when President Akufo-Addo has himself tasked the two leading political parties – NPP and NDC – to meet and find a solution to the party militia menace in the country.
The Minority in Parliament are calling for the immediate resignation of the President saying he has “lost all moral right” to occupy the highest office of the land.
But government will have none of that.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
At a press conference, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, who is also MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi denied among other things that the young men and women who converge at the Castle thrice a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday – are a militia group under training.
He added that describing the Castle as a security zone as was done by in the JoyNews documentary, is upsetting.
“The narrative in Manasseh’s promotion, in particular, that connotes the Castle, Osu, as a “Security Zone”, which is being used to train militia and vigilantes, is most worrying,” the Minister said.
“Indeed, if this group was still operating from the Castle, wouldn’t the Commission of Inquiry currently looking into the events at the Ayawaso West Wuogon election have noticed them by now,” he queried.