Journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has described to a reaction by the government over its claim that no group or party militia operates/operated from the Osu Castle as palpable lie, MyNewsGh.com reports
A Joy News exposé done by award-wining journalist showed that a group has been using the Osu Castle a ‘security zone’ for training since the Akufo-Addo government was sworn in.
The group which is said to be led by Choman, a former personal bodyguard of President Nana Akufo-Addo and was described in 2012 as a “vigilante group” in a pro-government newspaper Daily Guide and affiliated to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Responding to the documentary, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said in a press statement on Friday, 8 March 2019 that the documentary is a “malicious” misrepresentation of facts and lack evidence to support the narrative that President Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP are sponsoring a militia group.
In the five paged statement, government refuted claims that ‘De-Eye’ is a militia group being sponsored and trained by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the Osu Castle.
It described the investigative piece as one that falls short of the journalism standards and it only puts together conjuncture, malice, mischief, sensationalism and invalidated suspicions, presented to the Ghanaian people as truth.
It further noted that the said ‘De-Eye’ group is a recruitment agency that is involved in helping unemployed young men and women find jobs, and operates a website that openly states their objectives. “The Osu Castle is not a security zone, neither is it an annex of the Presidency. It is a facility operated by the Ghana Museums and the castle gardens is opened to the public.”
Although they admit that the agency succeeded in using the garden grounds for their activities, they were quickly dealt with in October 2018 by a joint operation involving personnel of the National Security and the Police.
However, Manasseh Azure reacting to the government’s position in a Facebook comment under a published post by Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a former Deputy Information Minister said, the government hasn’t mastered in lying. The comment reads “Now the[y] claim the group was cleared in October 2018. But we filmed them from the Castle to the Conference Centre on December 7, 2018 for the Dombo event and after that, we had different films. They don’t know how to lie.”
In a similar Facebook post by the Secretary to the President, Eugene Arhin, he reiterated that government maintains its position that there is no party militia group operating from the Osu Castle.
“We still maintain that there is no vigilante group or militia operating from the Castle. Someone please tell Manasseh Azure Awuni.”