Flagbearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Mr. Hassan Ayariga, says he wants to be treated with the same level of deference and respect accorded other presidential candidates in the country by the media.
His demand for such treatment comes in the wake of what he deems as inappropriate behaviour on the part of Managing Editor of the ‘Ghanaian Observer’ newspaper, Egbert Faibille, who reportedly described him (Hassan) as President John Dramani Mahama’s “sidekick” on Citi FM.
Some aggrieved “macho men” believed to be PNC fanatics, on Saturday, besieged the premises of the Adabraka-based radio station, demanding the head of the newspaper editor for failing to retract a remark they felt was demeaning to the character of their flagbearer.
Recounting what transpired on the said day, Egbert Faibille, who is also a Legal practitioner, told Kwami Sefa Kayi, host of PeaceFM’s “Kokrokoo” that the PNC flagbearer called into the show to demand that he (Egbert) retract and apologize for labeling him a ‘sidekick’ of President Mahama; this was after the other two panelists have made their submission on the IEA presidential debate.
“He called…and asked that I apologize; but I told him it was impossible to do so because I haven’t said anything wrong in describing him that way…eventually what he said was that if I will not retract and apologize, I shouldn’t think the NPP has patent over violence. He added that some individuals choose to remain silent on heated issues; but respond equally afterwards”, Mr. Faibille added.
A couple of minutes later, about 15 well-muscled men stormed the radio station calling for his (Faibille’s) blood besieged the station.
According to him, he had to be escorted out of the premises of the radio station by a reinforced police team from Adabraka and Accra Central to avert a possible assault on him.
When reached for his side of the matter, a livid Hassan Ayariga expressed unhappiness at what he felt were depreciating words used against him by the newspaper editor and also at what he described as “unfair” treatment meted out to him by the producers of the programme; “Big Issues”.
He opined that if Benjamin Akyena-Brentuo, the NDC representative on the show could be made to retract and apologize for saying that “who is Nana Addo…who does he think he is”, then it was equally fit and proper that Mr. Faibille be compelled to do likewise after belittling him (Ayariga).
“The producer (of the show) there could not even make this young man (Egbert) retract his statements. What kind of politics and media house do we have…a mere supporter of a political party insult a whole flagbearer…and you say you are preaching politics of decency? When producers of a show do not act with decency, this is what we get at the end of the day”, he said.
The PNC flagbearer, who denied ever sending supporters to invade the station and teach Mr Faibille a lesson, however, admitted that he received several calls from all over the country; informing him of the action his staunch supporters had taken on his behalf.
“I have supporters all over so don’t expect that when you insult me, they will sit down and watch. That is why it is a political party…when you insult me, people are out there listening. Remember you didn’t insult me direct, if you had insulted me directly and people attacked you, you could say that you insulted me direct and I sent people to attack you. But when you insult me on public radio station, you should now the whole world is listening to you…so perfectly, you don’t expect Ayariga’s supporters to keep quiet on a matter like that. Why, do you think Ayariga is just a common man you can sit in a studio and insult?” he asked.
Meanwhile, Mr Faibille Jnr. and Citi FM have lodged a formal complaint with the Adabraka police. The Police say the PNC’s presidential candidate might be invited for questioning.