Last Friday's media encounter at Jubilee House was exceptional. A marked improvement over last year's, it presented the media and the people of Ghana with a President whose adrenalin level did not rise even when some of the questions were queries in form.
Occasionally locking his attention on the source of a question as he addressed same, the responses sank in.
It was as if his relaxed mood did the magic as he meandered through the minefield of questions which ranged from diplomacy to statecraft.
For some media practitioners who turned up, they were on the lookout for timing infraction. In the end though the President and his handlers made it on time although for some his preceding delivery which was, of course, intended to set the tone for the main focus – question and answer session – was too long.
We were later to learn that it would have been longer but for his shortening of the narration even as he sought to cover all fields something humanly impossible. He himself was to state later that he would tackle areas he was unable to cover during the question and answer session.
While the President was on top of the subjects flung at him, the media representatives by and large did well in the quality of questions they posed, a departure from previous sessions which sometimes contained trivialities and outright mischief.
Someone remarked that the President had rendered the ministers seated on both sides of the rostrum redundant by not referring some of the questions to them to address. Here was a President exuding confidence and elation that he was being probed about his stewardship.
In life, however, especially in politics, opponents are quick to create queries and to push these to the front burner. That is the nature of the desperate game.
One of the media persons from the sports fraternity could not help veering to the subject of Free SHS even before posing his question about Kwesi Appiah, the national football team coach. Starting his question with a commendation showed how much he is in love with the Free SHS policy of the President.
“Mr. President, Free SHS, more fire,” he said and drew laughter from the audience.
Presidents are always busy, especially if they are in the mould of President Akufo-Addo and, therefore, on the move. He would rather such encounters take place more than once in a year.
While we cannot avoid commending those who put the programme together, from the concept to the list of invitees, we would be quick to ask that future encounters should give more time to the question and answer segment than was the case last Friday.
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