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General News
Nyaho warns Rawlings :‘your fingers will burn, if...’ 4/15/2009

NPP firebrand, Nyaho-Nyaho Tamakloe has reacted to reports about former President Jerry John Rawlings''s forays into military installations, saying Rawlings will have his fingers burnt, if he dared take the people of this country for granted again.

Nyaho Tamakloe also advised President John Evans Atta Mills not to look far in his search for who the nation or the National Democratic Congress''s enemies are because "they are surely not the NPP, but Jerry John Rawlings.”

Nyaho was speaking at the launch of The Patriot, a pro-democracy newspaper that hits the newsstands today at the Press Centre in Accra yesterday.

Nyaho, who was a special guest for the programme recounted the crusade against the forces of anti-democracy citing Jerry John Rawlings'' PNDC and NDC eras as the most guilty when it came to press freedom and civil liberties.

“It is time Rawlings is warned, because this time, if he tries it, he will get his fingers burnt. If the news about his forays into military installations is true, then Professor Mills will not have to look far for who his real enemies are because they are not the NPP, but Jerry John Rawlings.”

Tracing the nation''s recent history about press freedom, he paid glowing tribute to Tommy Thompson and the Free Press for blazing the trail in fighting for press freedom in Ghana.

He hoped that the current breed of young journalists would continue the struggle, cautioning that the nation''s newly-won press freedom is a victory no individual or Government can undo.

The Chairman for the occasion, Elizabeth Ohene, who was a former Editor of The Daily Graphic and BBC reporter, also recounted the stormy days of the Hilla Limann administration, when the media was State-owned and Government-controlled, saying she had a hard time convincing the then administration that it is important in the scheme of politics and national governance that the views of ordinary people and those outside Government are respected and expressed through the media, which is owned by the State and whose running is paid by all the citizens of Ghana.

He reminded the NDC that press freedom is not only good for the opposition but also Government, which is why the NDC saw wisdom and advantage in running several newspapers geared at pointing out the ills of the NPP.

“Thank God, today, the NDC can run several mouthpieces without any confrontation from Government. That is why they must learn to live with the current situation, without attempting to draw Ghana back because that can only happen over our dead bodies.”

Nana Ohene Ntow, General Secretary of the NPP and Peter MacManu, National Chairman, were present at the launching ceremony.

Gabby Otchere-Darko, Executive Director of the Danquah Institute and former Editor in Chief of The Statesman, urged the editorial management team of The Patriot, which has Frances Assiam as its Managing Editor, to take a bold stand in deciding on its editorial policy, saying objectivity in journalism is an ideal that is unrealistic and impracticable.

The important thing, he reminded the team, is that one has his facts right and his judgment and analysis reasonable.

Gladys Asmah, former Minister for Fisheries in the NPP administration, who also spoke at the function, recalled the critical periods of NPP struggles in its bid to win power, urging the editorial team never ever to give up in the fight for press freedom since it is fundamental to all other freedoms that any nation or citizen cherishes.

Also speaking at the launch, Yaw Osafo Maafo, who stood in for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, said “we are glad The Patriot has come to serve the people of Ghana.”

He also urged the editorial team to be bold and courageous in bringing out first class, informative and revealing material that will also discuss the economy and make that an issue in developing the nation. .

Adding his voice to the call for enhanced press freedom, the General Secretary of Private Newspapers Association, Kente Man, reminded the publishers that circulation alone as a means of sustaining a newspaper is impossible, hence the need for them to be ingenious in making the paper sustainable.

The paper has as its Editor Ibrahim Adjei, a business consultant. It has 12 pages which consist of entertainment, interviews and features, sports, life style, international and local news

Nana Akufo-Addo picked in absentia the first copy for GH¢ 1000, with the launch bringing together dignitaries, including OB Amoah, Victor Newman and Professor Abena Busia.

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