Jubilee Flagstaff House Naming Brouhaha…Who Is Fixing Mahama Ayariga?


Photo ReportingJubilee Flagstaff House Naming Brouhaha…Who Is Fixing Mahama Ayariga?

18 March 2013

The Communications Team of the President John Dramani Mahama-led administration last week suffered a major setback on its attempt to remedy an unacceptable faux pas when it sung discordant tunes from different hymn books relative to the supposed renaming of the seat of government from Flagstaff House to Jubilee Flagstaff House.



That comedy of errors brought the Information Minister Maham Ayariga onto the spotlight with critics digging unto him. While many good governance watchers suspected Mr Ayariga was only conveying a message he had received from the Presidency and could not solely be held liable, others viewed him as an incompetent Minister. However, impeccable information available to The New Crusading GUIDE has exonerated Mr. Ayariga from any wrongdoing.

“Mr. Ayariga as the Information Minister is not stationed at the Presidency so he cross-checks all information from the Communication Team at the Presidency before he relays them to the public which he did in that instance”, our source at the Presidency explained to us yesterday.

“If someone must be hanged, Ayariga should be the last person since he only acts as a conveyor belt”, the source opined. Meanwhile, some bigwigs within the ruling NDC have started questioning the whereabouts of some known Communication experts who have previously helped manage the Communication outfit of both the party and government. The party insiders believe that their rich experience in managing communications at the Presidency must be tapped.

“Almost all the names making rounds have worked with President Mahama (himself a Communication expert), so they can help coordinate government information for onward delivery by Mr. Ayariga”, observed the party gurus and faithful. “Mr. Ayariga is a good communicator but if government information is not well coordinated, this mistake will always recur”, they added.

Among the names mentioned by the sources was a former Communications Minister, who is a Ghanaian and American-trained Expert in Communications and International Relations while with the other being a onetime Communications Director of the NDC and Ghanaian and British-trained Expert in Political Communications. The third one the source mentioned graduated from the University of Cape Coast and excelled in his former position as an Information Minister under the regime of former President Jerry John Rawlings.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, K. T Hammond, has advised the Information Minister, to be firm in order to withstand what he described as "deliberate attempts to set him up to fail.”

The Legislator, speaking on Citi Fm’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, last Saturday, recounted Mr. Ayariga’s goofs in the Andrew Solomon saga as well as the recent Flagstaff House name change debacle, insisting that they were clear examples of the deliberate attempts to set him up.

Mr. Hammond also questioned why the President’s Executive Secretary had been silent on the decision to sign releases written on fictitious letter heads.

“Why is the Executive Secretary at the Presidency not talking? He was the person who signed all those things. Didn’t he know what he was signing and do people make that sort of [mistake] at the seat of government?” He insisted however that contrary to other reports, there were no mistake.

"Ayariga is informed, he confirms it. Everybody knows around them that that is the fact. He goes out there, confirms it and then the General Secretary mount the platform; who is the President to make such changes without reference to Parliament?”

The NPP MP opined that the treatment being meted out to Mr. Ayariga was unfair and noted that “they are sacrificing him."

Hon. Hammond advised the Information Minister to be strong and take a decision because “they can’t just be bossing you left right and center.”

Earlier last week, Mr. Mahama Ayariga announced the plush presidential mansion had been renamed Jubilee Flagstaff House.

Barely two days after the announcement, Mr. Ayariga made a U-turn, saying the name had not been changed. He apologised for what he called the misleading information even though a letterhead that had previously been used to communicate official statements from the presidency bore the name, Jubilee Flagstaff House.

A Presidential staffer, Stan Dogbe explained on his facebook wall that the mistake came about as a result of a typographical error.

In a related development, a member of the governing NDC, Eric Ametor-Quarmyne who is the Communications Consultant for the National Health Authority has admitted that indeed there was an attempt at the Presidency to rename the Flagstaff House.

Speaking on Joy FM’s current affairs show Newsfile he intimated: “I think that generally there was an attempt to change the name, but they did not find favour with the public – either the NDC faction or the NPP faction.”

Asked by the host of the programme Samson Lardy Ayenini if he agreed with claims that a typographical error accounted for the letterhead for bearing the name Jubilee Flagstaff House, Mr. Ametor-Quarmyne responded, “no, no, I don’t think it was a typographical mistake, it was an attempt to do something which went bad, they should just admit that and let’s move forward”, enforcing suggestions that the Information Minister was just being used as a sacrificial lamb.

“A letterhead is not done on the spare of the moment,” he pointed out.

Source: Gordon Asare-Bediako/New Crusading Guide



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