The Government says the National Grand Medal with all its images - Obverse and Reverse have been in existence since Ghana attained a Republican status in 1960 and not the creation of the NPP.
Government was reacting to criticisms from individuals and political parties about the image of an Elephant on the Obverse side of the National Grand Medal.
The statement said the critics alleged that the NPP Government caused the image of the elephant to be embossed on the National Grand Medal and therefore, called for its replacement.
The President's Press Secretary, Andy Awuni speaking with Citifm, this morning said that government felt it defeated the purpose of honouring citizens and setting up heroes for our society if it would be done in a secret ceremony hence the publicity given the event.
On the large number of recipients of the award, government said the event had been put off for so long that it found the number of deserving citizens was large. He also stated that all previous recipients have had the elephant embossed on their medals though they were not awarded them by this government.
The ceremony is taking place at the Accra International Conference Centre and 158 individuals from a broad spectrum of disciplines are being honoured.