Talk-show Host Drives Away NPP ‘Apprentice’ Panelists


The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s bubble as the darling of the Ghanaian media, with prima-donna influence on who can be hired or fired at radio stations, has been burst by the Multimedia Group’s Sampson Lardy Ayenini.

Mr. Ayenini, a respected legal beagle and host of ‘Newsfile’ a popular talk-show on Multimedia Group’s flagship radio station, Joy FM, on Saturday last, shooed away two apprentices of the ruling party that had been sent as representatives on the show.

According trending news, Mr. Ayenini had dismissed Henry Nana Boakye, recently appointed Deputy Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, and Eric Twum, deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, as greenhorns who were, “not up to the standards of the show.”

Accordingly, the tough show host refused them the pass to join Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Editor-In-Chief of The New Crusading Guide, Dr. Dominic Ayine, former Deputy Attorney General, and Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, Dean of Studies at the Local Government Institute, as co-panelists of the show.

The panel was to discuss topics, including the first 100 days of the Akufo-Addo regime, ‘Galamsey’ and former President Mahama’s recent meeting with his appointees– topics that the host considered too serious to risk setting up apprentices like Nana Boakye and Eric Twum to inflict their ignorance on listeners.

The dismissal of the two by Mr. Ayenini has generated a hot discussion on social media leading to spotlight on the qualification of the party neophytes who were shooed away by Joy FM.

Nana Boakye is a holder of first degree from the KNUST and currently an undergraduate law student. According to available information, he has no working experience, whatsoever.

He, together with Eric Twum, who is also believed to hold a first degree, was a member of the ruling NPP’s Communication team when the party was in opposition.

Acting General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, has written to the Multimedia Group demanding an unqualified apology for what he termed an “unsavory” underestimation of the party’s choice representatives for NewsFile on Saturday. Multimedia Group is yet to respond.

Observers are keenly curious of the response that the Multimedia Group will give to John Boadu’s demand. This is because in 2012, the same Multimedia Group sacked an employee, Nana Bobbie Ansah, on the demands of the NPP.

Bobbie Ansah, who was host of ‘Ekosi Sen,’ a political talkshow on Asempa fm, a subsidiary of Multimedia, was sacked after the NPP’s National Youth Organizer, Anthony Abayifa Karbo, had organized thugs and party hirelings to invade the studios of Asempa in protest of what they said was Bobbie’s bias against their party.

The shocking sudden sack of Bobbie Ansah had been shrouded in mystery until it came out later that some high-ups at Multimedia, including Chief Operations Officer, Ekyi Quarm, had been sweetened with GHc20,000 bribe to get Bobbie out.

In an interview with Kweku Sintim Missah on Thank God It’s Friday, Nana Kwabena Bobbie Ansah, had revealed that after Ekyi Quarm and others had received the bribe and gotten rid of him for the NPP, Kwesi Twum, owner of Multimedia, had paid GHc6,000 as his ex gratia.

Similarly, Valentina Nana Agyeiwa, aka Afia Schwarzenegger, former worker at Okay FM, owned by the Despite Group, was summarily sacked sometime in 2015 when she had a spat with the NPP’s Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong.

Even though the sack of Ms Schwarzenegger from Okay FM had had the fingerprints of the NPP all over it, the Despite Group claimed it had not sacked her to appease the NPP.

Later, amidst rumours that she had been sacked for several reasons, including alleged chain-smoking and alcoholism, Afia Scwarzenegger was to have an unsavory exchange with a fan on Facebook, in which she had revealed that Ken Agyapong had  schemed for a long time to get her sacked from the station.

With the NPP known to enjoy such prima-donna influence on Ghanaian radio stations, observers are keen to see, whether the same Multimedia Group, which bowed to pressure to sack Bobbie Ansah in 2012, will bow to the NPP again to sack or penalize  Sampson Lardy Ayenini.

So far, the Multimedia Group seems to be fidgeting; a lame excuse that Henry Nana Boakye and Eric Twum had been sacked by the NewsFile host last Saturday because producers of the show had been looking forward to a substantive minister that had been promised as representative on the show has since been floating in the media.

According to the new twist, a minister (name not mentioned) was promised by the governing party as the one to represent the party on the show last Saturday, but rather than the minister, Eric Twum had first turned up at the Joy FM studios on Saturday.

When Mr. Twum was told that he was not expected, and turned away, Nana Boakye later turned up, but he was also not admitted by the station.

In John Boadu’s protest letter to Multimedia on the issue, he lamented the host of NewsFile, Mr. Ayenini had turned the two away with the unsavory comment on air that they were not up to the standard of the show.

The NPP Acting General Secretary demanded an unqualified apology from both Joy FM and the host of NewsFile.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ayenini’s shooing away of the NPP greenhorns has served very karmic purpose. This very government which has appointed the likes of Nana Boakye, who has had no working experience at all save for a first degree that he holds, had derogatorily name-called Ministerial appointees of the predecessor Mills/Mahama regime as ‘Team B.’

Former Deputy Information Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, holds a Master’s Degree from the Dundee University, UK, while former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, holds a Post Graduate degree from the University of Ghana. However, when they were Ministers, the NPP used their appointments as cardinal examples to denigrate the Mills, Mahama government as one of incompetence.

President Akufo-Addo, who was then the flagbearer of the NPP in opposition, joined his party to call the Ministerial team of the NDC team B, in derogatory implication that the appointees were unqualified.

In fact Nana Akufo-Addo had said that the likes of Ofosu Kwakye and Ablakwa had been appointed by presidents Mills and Mahama as a reward for being loud-mouthed praise-singers.

As for the party’s Assin Central MP, Ken Agyapong, he had denigrated the appointees of the Mills/Mahama regime as ‘team Z’, explaining on radio in 2013 that the NPP Parliamentary members of the Appointments Committee had boycotted their vetting by the committee because it was a waste of time to vet such inexperienced people.



Source: Fiifi Samuels

The Republic News Online

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