For the second time in the space of one week, two distinguished personalities have had a go at each other on live television in the same studio.
A heated war of words ensued between Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr and Director of Communications of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea on Wednesday morning in the studios of Metro TV during the airing of Good Morning Ghana.
Exactly a week ago (Wednesday), a similar incident occurred on the same platform after both personalities took strong exception to each other’s choice of words during a discussion on the recent impasse between Ghana and La Côte d’Ivoire which has led to the closure of the Ivorian side of the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire border.
Nana Akomea had found Kwesi Pratt’s argument on that day that – the same invisible foreign hands from the West unremittingly poking their noses into the affairs of democratically elected African governments, toppled Laurent Gbagbo’s administration – untenable, and expressed surprise that Mr Pratt, described as a “protected agent” by some foreign emissaries in leaked diplomatic cables by whistle-blower website, Wikileaks, was raking the West over the coals in such manner.
An angry Kwesi Pratt sharply retorted that “lack of knowledge” and “complete illiteracy about diplomacy” could be the only reasons why Nana Akomea is drawing the conclusion that he is an ally of the West.
“…It is most unfortunate that a person of his standing, communication director of a political party seeking power, can display this level of ignorance on nationwide television. Most unfortunate! And it is irresponsible to make such statements on a television network…i’m shocked at the level of your irresponsibility,” Kwesi Pratt thundered.
Fast forward to Wednesday, October 3rd, and scarcely had Nana Akomea impliedly accused Mr Pratt of advancing the cause of the ruling party much better to articulating the objectives of the CPP than a replication of the name-calling began.
This was after Mr. Pratt had posited that it was unfair for his colleague to sit on the show and “propagandize” for the NPP without recourse to available facts.
Mr Pratt took strong exception to the attempt to associate him with the NDC and quickly interjected.
A clearly irritated Nana Akomea then replied that he finds it difficult to accept Mr. Pratt’s point of view that he (Akomea) should not propagandize for his party when he (Pratt) is obviously an NDC representative on the show doing likewise for the ruling party. Nana Akomea then claimed that it is quite clear the NDC was using the seasoned journalist as their official communicator in public discourse.
“Kwesi made a point that I find quite spurious…he said we come to this platform not to propagandize for parties. I don’t understand what Kwesi means by that…I speak for the NPP, he speaks for the NDC, it is alright because everybody speaks for the party they believe in and there should be no problem,” Nana Akomea curtly said.
Tempers went an octave higher when in a swift response, the Insight newspaper managing editor emphatically stated that he had never represented the ruling party on the Metro TV platform and slammed Nana Akomea for bandying comments about “instead of dealing with the substantive issue” at stake.
“It is most unfortunate that a very distinguished personality like him does that often on this program and it is unacceptable. Completely unaccepted… throwing things out there just to score cheap (political) points…its unfair and you’ve got to take note of that,” Mr. Pratt said to Nana Akomea.
To him, the Ghanaians have indeed witnessed better governance under the current NDC government as compared to the eight years of the Kufuor-led NPP administration. He admonished people not to read diabolically meanings into his convictions since he was just putting out the “truth”.
“Over the past four years, the NDC has done “far far” better than the NPP in their eight year rule; that is my belief. When i say that, that is not speaking for the NDC, i’m only speaking the truth…As to why and how Metro TV invited me to participate in this programme, it is for your station to clear. I’ve never been told by Metro TV that i’m coming here to participate in the programme as a representative of any political party…If indeed Metro TV has made up its mind in collaboration with anybody that i’m speaking for any political party…i’m prepared to leave here…i think that this platform is so important that it should not be used for cheap political party propaganda, otherwise it’s an insult to the people who listen to us…And if it the case that indeed Metro TV and anybody have conspired without my knowledge, to bring me here as a spokesperson of the NDC, i’m ready to walk out of this programme,” Kwesi Pratt said.