A panelist on Ghana Television (GTV) on Monday Morning Breakfast Show, Mr. Awal Mohammed, has been banned from appearing on the programme again. Awal, a journalist and also a special aide to the vice president was banned, apparently for criticizing the Minister of Education and Sports, Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo.
Sources close to GTV hinted that Awal had been reviewing newspaper reports on Ghana's crucial victory over Uganda.
A newspaper had referred to Mr. Osafo Maafo as "a safe pair of hands', implying that he would ensure Ghana's qualification for the 2006 World Cup competition in Germany. Awal is reported to have said that in order to appreciate Mr. Maafo's role, one has to go back to 2002, to recall the good work done by previous ministers of sports, the technical bench and all Ghanaians.
Awal also referred to Mr. Osafo-Maafo's statement that "I took Ghana to HIPC and took Ghana out of HIPC". Awal then reminded viewers that in presenting the 2001 budget to Parliament, Mr. Osafo Maafo stated in part, 'Mr. Speaker, on behalf of His Excellency, the President, I wish to announce that upon critical examination of our economy, this country has decided to take advantage of the HIPC initiative. Awal then concluded that it seemed success has many fathers and failures.
A source close to the director of Ghana Television said the decision was taken because "Mr. Awal's views were rather too strong on the Minister for Education and sports. Analysts however point out that there were concerns that Mr. Awal's comments were seen in the light of the internal struggle of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) towards the election of the party's 2008 flagbearership.