[Opinion] The story of Paul Adom Otchere and the Rawlingses

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Host of Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana show, Paul Adom-Otchere while presenting his editorial on Thursday, April 16, 2020, took on the daughter of the former President Jerry John Rawlings, and Member of Parliament for the Klottey-Korley Constituency, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings for alleging that there is partisanship in government’s distribution of food to the vulnerable.

In the much-talked-about editorial, Mr Adom-Otchere sought to portray himself, as a ‘darling’ of the Rawlings’. Saying, the former President and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings are people he looks up to and learn from on a daily basis. He urged Dr Zanetor to do same; learn from her parents.

But did the seeming ‘bad-blood’ between Paul Adom-Otchere, and the Rawlings’ begin just with Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings?

A little retrospection raises a lot of questions on whether Mr Adom Otchere carried the ‘sins’ of the father unto the daughter.

On December, 31 2019, the Good Evening Ghana host was at the receiving end of harsh criticisms by former President Jerry John Rawlings for suggesting the former President killed the entrepreneurship drive in the country.

The issue arose when Paul Adom-Otchere gave an editorial on his show, three months earlier and blamed the former President for deliberately destroying Ghanaian businesses for fear of being ousted from power.

“Ghana needs only two Dangotes to survive. We have had about thirty of them. [But] government after government, they throw them away, starting from Rawlings. And he is the guiltiest on this matter. JJ Rawlings is the most guilty of this thing… [He] pulled down every Ghanaian business because you are afraid that they’re too strong to take you out of power,” he indicated on his show in September last year.

Responding to this at a durbar to climax the 38th anniversary of the 31st December Coup D’etat at the Winneba Lorry Park last year, the Former President Jerry John Rawlings lashed out at the seasoned Journalist, saying he always spews out nonsense on his television programme.

“That small boy, what’s his name? Paul Adom-Otchere or something, he just wakes up every day and starts spewing nonsense,” he said.

According to the socialist President, unlike the capitalism that African leaders claimed to be practising, it was just an avenue to loot from public coffers unlike the kind of accountability which exists in America through to Europe.

“Next time I will take time and teach you what entrepreneurship means. When we say private capital or capitalism or socialism what it means and you will see how they have used Africans. Do you think we are doing capitalism? America, right across to Europe to the Soviet Union, there is accountability. Look at the capitalism Africa say we are doing, it is just thievery and they call capitalism,”

Recounting the circumstances that led to the 1981 coup, Mr Rawlings stated: “During the Acheampong regime, the banking sector, especially the Ghana Commercial Bank, was plunged into unimaginable corruption. The bank served as an avenue for cronies and a particular ethnic group to feed fat on loans without collateral. Sadly, these loans were never paid.”

Many Ghanaians have questioned the journalistic standards by which Mr Adom-Otchere operates, especially when it comes to presenting his editorial. Many believe his contents leave much to be desired.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) while addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps on Friday, April 17, 2020 said they are bent on petitioning the National Media Commission (NMC) on the conduct of Mr Adom-Otchere.

Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak said: “We will officially launch a complaint to the National Media Commission and it is our expectation that they will expedite action on it and get him to do the right thing. At this moment, this is not the time to divide ourselves. This is the time for us to be together and if for anything this virus has taught us, we are first humans before any other thing so let’s keep the humanity and work together and not reduce this into banter between NDC and NPP.”

The straight-talk style of Mr Adom Otchere has been branded by many as ‘bad’ journalism because his editorials are mostly devoid of the objectivity, journalists are expected to abide by.

Watch the editorial on Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings:

Recent amongst them is his criticism of NDC’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia for deliberately making a spectacle of President Akufo-Addo over what he claimed as a ‘locally acquired accent’, also in September last year.

But Mr Adom-Otchere has justified his editorials, especially the one on the Klottey-Korle MP, “We didn’t set out to attack her, our concern was that the allegation she has made has two heads of ramifications. The first is legal and it also had socio-political ramifications.” he said in an interview with Citi Tv.


Source: Adwoa Tenkoramaa

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