Okudzeto writes to The Chronicle

I have become aware of your Monday December 20, 2010 publication with the headline “In the midst of Wikileaks report Mills Cancels 375 Diplomatic Passports.”

Both your headline and the content of your story are erroneous, misleading and sensational.  What is most surprising is the fact that though your reporter Emmanuel Akli interviewed me and I indicated that the recall of the 375 passports were a routine exercise carried out at the beginning of the tenure of President Mills and had nothing to do with the Wikileaks report as I had said on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday 18th December, 2010 which was the basis for your follow-up interview, The Chronicle still went ahead by its headline and paragraphs in the said story to link the diplomatic passport recall to the Wikileaks report.

For example your first paragraph reads as “barely a week after the Wikileaks website exposed both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its predecessor, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) governments on the way they handled the fight against narcotic drugs in the country, information filtering in indicates that the Atta Mills government has revoked as many as 375 diplomatic passports.”

You also suggest that the recall was “part of efforts by the Atta Mills government to fight against the drug menace in the country” and attribute same to me.

Again this cannot be true as there would have been no basis for me to criminalize all past holders of diplomatic passports.

I also recall that only last week, I had the cause to call this same reporter on another distortion he had given an interview he granted me which was published in your Tuesday December 14, 2010 edition under the headline “Oil Unites JJ and Kufuor…Two ex-leaders to be flown by helicopter to FPSO Nkrumah.

In this publication you asserted that I had confirmed that the two ex-presidents would be flown in the same helicopter to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah when in actual fact I never gave such confirmation and only indicated to you that the two former presidents had been invited to the first oil commissioning.

I am by this rejoinder seeking a correction of both publications and entreating your paper to put out true and accurate interviews it conducts with me devoid of false attributions, distortions and deliberate sensationalism.

Signed:
SAMUEL OKUDZETO ABLAKWA  DEPUTY MINISTER FOR INFORMATION  ACCRA

Editor’s Note:
Emmanuel Akli, the author of the story, will respond appropriately to this rejoinder tomorrow

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