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07.03.2007 General News

Bungled protocol bruises @50 show

By : The Chronicle

Although going by events that were manifest at yesterday's Golden Jubilee parade at the Independence Square, all appeared well with the celebration, the poor preparations by the Dr Charles Wereko Brobbey-headed [email protected] Secretariat and State Protocol had its toll on the anniversary.

The clumsy nature of protocol arrangements affected the beauty of the programme which saw tens of African heads of State and governments and other dignitaries from outside the continent, right from the arrival of foreign dignitaries to yesterday's event at the Independence Square.

The problems started when State Protocol could not arrange for accommodation for some of the invited dignitaries, prompting some of embassies to advise the invitees from their home and countries to possibly turn down the invitation.

However, political sources say it took the personal intervention of President Kufuor to look for accommodation for some of the invited dignitaries when they finally arrived in the country on Monday for yesterday's function.

The results of the poor preparation were also witnessed at the Independence Square Venue of the Golden Jubilee Parade with the most unfortunate scene being the heckling of the Congolese Foreign Minister.

The Minister was in the company of Ghana's Energy Minister, Kofi Adda. Mr Adda was known to the security men at the entrance and thus needed no identification to be allowed in but contrary was the case for the Congolese Minister.

The Congolese official's name could not be established but he was subsequently identified to reporters of the paper as being the Foreign Minister of the mineral rich Central African country. He was not provided with any identification badge as others and was therefore restrained from entering the premises just when his Ghanaian colleague had entered.

The security men who were bent on doing their job as they had been instructed had a scuffle with the unidentified Minister who was bent on getting in and had to resort to his physique which still could not get the resilient security personnel from his way.

It took the intervention of Ghana's Energy Minister to ensure a cessation of the fracas and for the foreign minister to be allowed in.

Mr Adda refused to comment on the issue but insisted that he was not the one involved in the scuffle but his colleague Congolese Minister and that he was mismanaged to restore calm by helping the foreign Minister out of his predicament/

The Congolese official was not the only victim of the poor protocol arrangements. Several dignitaries who arrived at the function had no comb around to find their seats for themselves leaving many wondering what was happening.

Later after the parade, some state officials and politicians expressed disappointment about the way state protocol had handled the function.

Source: The Chronicle