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24.11.2008 Elections

I Won't Flee• Kan Dapaah

By Daily Guide

THE MINISTER of Defence, Albert Kan-Dapaah has assured the nation of his preparedness to stay at post and play a vital role to ensure incident-free elections next month, deflating reports that he is planning to flee from the country if the elections turned bloody.  

He emphatically stated that the security forces are well equipped, highly motivated and firmly in control of the security situation in the country, promising his ministry's readiness to curtail any nasty incident in the run-up to the elections.

Hon Kan Dapaah urged the electorate to have faith in his ministry and not believe false reports in a section of the media that he was planning to leave the country.

Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka 'Sir John', NPP Communications Director for the Northern Sector, in reaction to a media publication that Mr. Kan-Dapaah was preparing to fly out of the country in case the polls turned gory, told DAILY GUIDE that the Defence Minister was a responsible person who would not do anything like that.  

He said last Friday's media reports suggesting that the Minister would fly his family out was nothing but misleading.  

Sir John who claimed he was present at the said programme where the minister was reported to have made that comment, without mincing words described the story as false, “which should not be believed by Ghanaians”.  

He lamented that the publication had tainted the image of the Defence Minister gravely, insisting that such “cooked stories should not be entertained in media circles since they could create unnecessary tension and uneasiness among the populace, especially as the polls draw closer.  

“Absolutely nobody or group of persons can cause anarchy in the country before, during and after the polls; so where is Kan Dapaah and his family running to?” Sir John who looked astounded by the report quizzed.  

Setting the records straight, he said, “Kan Dapaah at the Boaman event said that politicians who will try to lure the youth into committing violence on their fellow Ghanaians had the means to fly out of the country.  

“He thus warned the youth not to allow themselves to be  used by any politician to foment trouble because if war erupts the youth and women in the country would be severely affected.  

“Radio listeners in Kumasi and its immediate environs can attest to the fact that Mr. Kan Dapaah on countless occasions has issued this advice to the youth on almost all the radio stations in Kumasi of late, significant among them being Kessben, Angel and Hello FMs”.  

He said Kan-Dapaah at the same event even appealed to the electorate not to be afraid that the elections would turn bloody and went ahead to assure them that irrespective of threats by some politicians that Ghana would burn, the polls would be conducted peacefully. 

Sir John therefore expressed shock that the writer of the story could twist the facts and report a false story to injure the hard won reputation of the hardworking minister.  

Though saddened by the publication ,Sir John, who is a close friend of Mr. Kan-Dapaah deflated speculations that the minister would drag the Chronicle newspaper that published the story to the law courts to clear his name.  

“Journalists must be told in plain words that any 'set up' headlines in their medium at this time could be a recipe for rancour in the country, therefore they should be professional in all their endeavours”, he cautioned.  

Sir John admonished journalists to seek clarification from those concerned whenever they are coming out with a story to avoid the reoccurrence of the blunder “committed by the Chronicle reporter” in future.   From Fred J.A. Ibrahim Jnr., Kumasi