Presidential press secretaries are no innovation in the Mills era. They have been with us since independence. Never have they ever been identified in the action as what obtains at the seat of government at the moment. Over the years, they have tended to be in the background, rather than the front row. When Jerry John Rawlings sat at the Castle as constitutional head of state of the Republic, he operated a nebulous system of press representation. The Castle Information Bureau was headed by Mrs. Valerie Sackey, with Opoku Acheampong as her deputy. We do not believe many Ghanaians ever saw the Press Secretary to President Barack Obama, when the United States President came visiting recently. The former President John Agyekum Kufuor had Kwabena Agyepong and later on Mr. Andrew Awuni as his press secretaries. Koku Anyidoho is singing a different tune.
When Mahama Ayariga was kicked out of the Castle and his position as Presidential Spokesperson abolished, it represented a great triumph for Koku Anyidoho in his silent war with the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central. Unfortunately, the event, which also marked the rise of Koku as the official spokesman of the President, has coincided with the churning out of more propaganda and garbage material from the Castle, than the packaging of information in its mature form.
There have been countless belligerent and gratuitously unwarranted statements emanating from the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr. Anyidoho, which were distasteful and regrettable, to say the least.
Mr. Anyidoho attacked former President Kuffuor, saying that he does not like the latter's face because he was a wicked person who looted the country's coffers and gave money to his children to acquire properties such as shopping malls and hotels.
When President Atta Mills returned from Switzerland, where he had met with the President of the world's governing body on football in August 2010, Koku Anyidoho held a press briefing at the Kotoka International Airport and told Journalist that the FIFA President had given permission President Mills to investigate the Ghana Football Association (GFA). As it turned out, the information churned out by Koku Anyidoho about the presidential freedom to subject the FA to scrutiny was palpably false.
It is obviously clear Koku Anyidoho, the Spokesperson of President Mills does not learn and he continuously throws his weight about. If you will recall, it was Koku Anyidoho who made those reckless and infamous statement on Focus Radio in London, daring Nana Akufo-Addo to make a wrong move and he (Nana Addo) will first join his ancestors.
Ordinarily, the arrest of Christian Asem Darkeh should have been good news to every Ghanaian but Mr. Anyidoho turned an otherwise good event to a cheap and needless propaganda piece by fabricating stories to implicate leading members of the NPP instead of allowing the security apparatus to do their professional duty.
It was this same Anyidoho who mocked and insulted all Ghanaians by saying that those who made comments about the presidential inquisition of kenkey price had discolored and stinking teeth.
The recent false declaring by Mr. Koku Anyidoho where he ostensibly sacked the Ashanti Regional Boss of the Electricity Company of Ghana in the wake of the lighting failure at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Friday amidst vitriolic vituperations without recourse to the President has made it sufficiently imperative for the Committee for Social Advocacy which used to be called the Committee for Students Advocacy to call for his sacking.
Mr Koku Anyidoho told Joy FM news analysis programme, Newsfile on Saturday that he was with some senior persons when the hasty decision was taken to suspend the Ashanti Regional East Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana in the heat of the moment without prior consultation with the President. Well this is yet another confirmation that President Mills is not the one in charge of the affairs of Ghana. Some senior key persons are running the show and Anyidoho speaks for them. It is now clear Koku does his own thing, knowing that there is no way the President would call him to order. Mr. Anyidoho is becoming unbecoming and that it was high time he was brought to order. From his posture one gets the impression that Koku directs more than the information outflow. He could effectively be likened to a producer of information, rather than the means of expression.
Ghanaians want to know those senior persons who ordered the dismissal of the ECG boss. Koku and those senior government officials must be fired. COSA will want to borrow Koku's own words by stating that this is unacceptable and the president ought to be highly upset and so those who are in the line of fire must be fired…the president of the Republic is in charge of upholding whatever is in the supreme interest of this Republic. These kinds of things have been going on for far too long and President Mills must no longer accept these kinds of things. The Castle Communications Director was irresponsible, he has taken Ghanaians for granted and he has brought the president into unnecessary line of fire. According to Koku, heads of officials who do not handle matters well must roll and now Koku has done it to himself. We expect him to resign honourable if he still has some morals left in him. Anyidoho's unpardonably arrogant and downright disingenuous and diabolical call for the sacking of the Ashanti regional ECG boss should be dealt with a heavy bulldozer.
COSA is of the view that Mr. Anyidoho's false alarm and sweltering attacks on the Ashanti Regional ECG bosses was not only in bad taste but had the potential to cause fear and panic. It is not enough to just say he accepts responsibility. He accepts responsibility for what? Causing fear and panic and inciting people against the Ashanti Region ECG? Is this part of the “Great Ashanti Project”? Ghanaians would have taken the issue lightly if we were in the month of April but it is unfortunate.
Koku did not exercise circumspection when commenting on the fall out and this has dragged the dignity of the Presidency into disrepute. The Communication Director's handling of the matter was irresponsible and irrational and it was political immaturity of the highest order on the part of Mr. Anyidoho to make such declaration. It is a mark of infantile and kindergarten enthusiasm. Mr. Anyidoho has spectacularly misconducted himself and the axe must fall on him. He must be taken to the guillotine.
Regrettably, this is what happens when we have a President who rewards persons who speak in acidic manner. The old saying is still valid today that, pride goes before fall. Mr. Anyidoho, by his uncalled-for behavior, has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is one of the mediocre government officials ex-President Rawlings was referring to. We want to leave Koku with this quotation from the Bible Job 6:24-25 “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue, and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. Honest words are convincing, but you are talking nonsense”.
3rd June, 2012.