The government says a documentary produced by a subsidiary of the Multimedia Group, Joy News which alleged that a militia had been uncovered training and operating at a ‘Security Zone’ in Accra with permission from the current administration was misleading.
At a press briefing in Accra on Friday, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the documentary titled ‘Militia in the heart of the Nation’, carried a number of significant “misrepresentations”.
He stressed that although the documentary stated emphatically that a militia had been uncovered in its promotion, it only showed young people converging at the Castle, Osu in the belief that jobs will be found for them.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah further urged the producer of the documentary, Manasseh Awuni Azure to avoid such “unprofessional misrepresentations” in the future, given that the narrative in its advertisement did not support the footage aired.
“Firstly, the promotion of the documentary, and the narrative of the documentary stated emphatically that a “militia” (a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency) has been uncovered training and operating at a “Security Zone”, with the complicity of the current administration, and identified them as belonging to the New Patriotic Party. Surprisingly, the 20-minute documentary does not show any evidence of such a militia or a vigilante group training or operating at a “Security Zone”.
Rather, it shows a group of young men and women, dressed up in white shirts and black suits, converging at the Castle, Osu, in the belief that jobs will be found for them,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
The Minister also clarified that the Castle, Osu is not a “Security Zone” or “Annex of the Presidency” as erroneously claimed in the documentary and its promotion.
The documentary – Militia in the heart of the Nation – which aired on Joy News Thursday claimed that a pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) militia group De Eye Group led by Nana Wireko Addo has been training at the Christianborg Castle, Osu since the party won power in 2017.
It further alleged that the group receives state support and trains at the Castle where its leader (Nana Wireko Addo alias Choman) has an office.
However, the Minister said from JoyNews’ own documentary, it was clear that the company is only involved in helping young people find jobs as stated on its website.
Nana Wireko Addo not associated with Akufo-Addo
The Minister stressed that the leader of the De-Eye Group, Nana Wireko Addo left the employ of President Akufo-Addo in 2010 when he was not yet the Presidential candidate of the NPP.
“A simple check would have revealed this and ensured an avoidance of the attempt to link his organisation’s activities to the President,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
He said the De-Eye Group office had been closed down by the National Security apparatus since October 2018 but the documentary deliberately failed to highlight that fact. He reiterated that there is no militia of vigilante group operating from the Castle.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah revealed that the group only succeeded in using the Castle grounds for its activities because their leader (Nana Wireko Addo) was assigned an office for his work with a task force mandated to retrieve vehicles from officials of the erstwhile Mahama administration.
“After the conclusion of the work of the taskforce in August 2018, he (Nana Wireko Addo), subsequently converted the office allocated to him into a private business office for the stated purposes of his company.
“Admittedly, this should not have been allowed to happen in the first place, but was quickly dealt with in October 2018, when he was evicted from the premises by a joint operation involving personnel of the National Security and the Police”.
He also discounted claims in the documentary that the De-Eye Group had been used for security operations in and outside of Accra including; an event celebrating the life of Chief S.D. Dombo at the Accra International Conference Centre.
“Ladies and gentlemen, there have been many occasions where Joy News has produced documentaries based on fact, truth and accuracy. However, on this occasion, this so-called “undercover documentary” falls short of their own standards. It only puts conjecture, malice, mischief, sensationalism, and unvalidated suspicions, and presented to the Ghanaian people as truth.”.
“…We continue to hold Joy News in high esteem, and urge them not to compromise on their standards of validating information, avoiding conjecture and presenting the facts always,” he stated.