The Presiding Member (PM) of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Mr. Joseph Korto, has condemned a piece of fake news that has attracted unwholesome attention to the TMA.
At a General Assembly meeting on Wednesday, he lamented that the claim in sections of the media that “TMA requests to fund EC” was a pure fabrication attributed to him and by extension, the TMA, saying the mischief was unacceptable.
“The fabrication is beyond measure and so outrageous that I wonder how a longstanding journalist could make it in the first place.
What is even worst is that, they attributed it to the TMA, the Assembly must stand up to this mischief and cure it before it becomes another aimless talking point”.
Mr. Korto, who is also the Dean of Presiding Members in Greater Accra and the longest serving Assembly member in the country said.
Mr Korto, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said sections of the media claimed that the TMA had requested for clearance to fund the Electoral Commission and its calendar of activities for the upcoming elections in December.
He said they attributed the claim to the Presiding Member, even though he told the GNA that he never ever made any such suggestion.
“A representative from the EC, the Tema Metropolitan Director of Electoral Commission, Mr. Manasseh Ofosuhene, sat in the Assembly’s meeting on Tuesday and after the Metropolitan Chief Executive gave his sessional address in accordance with section 28 (1) of the Local Governance Act, Act 936 of 2016, I asked him what the EC’s plans were in respect of special provisions for the vulnerable and the elderly.
“As the Assembly traditionally helped the EC with logistics for the elderly and the vulnerable, I asked him why the EC was always handicapped in that area and whether the EC did not budget for this.
To this he answered in the affirmative, meaning the EC did not budget for it,” Mr. Korto recalled to the agreement of Assembly Members present.
Mr Korto said the next day, it was on the front page of a newspaper that the TMA had decided to sponsor the Electoral Commission.
According to the newspaper, the Assembly propositioned the EC with a request to be its sponsor.
“Whoever this reporter is, does he or she not know the basic tenets of governance; that it is Parliament which approves budgets and programmes of the EC?” Mr. Korto, who is rumoured to be up for appointment as the Dean of Presiding Members nationwide, asked.
Assembly Members including; Mr. Ebenezer Kudjoe, alias Shark, who doubles as the Tema Metro Director of NADMO and even third party attendees of that meeting took turns to condemn the story.
“I think it is very unfortunate that such things still occur in our country’s press,” said the Tema MCE, Felix Mensah Nii Annang-La.
An Executive Member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Stephen Ashitey Adjei, alias Moshake, who also attended the meeting in the Public Gallery, also condemned the yellow journalism in the country.
“I was there on Wednesday and can say it for a fact that nowhere at all did the experienced PM or the Assembly pledge to fund the Electoral Commission.
This is a story purely cooked in the imagination of the reporter and it is really shocking, I see this kind of rough media propaganda method against the TMA as temptation to lower journalistic standards, such half-truths and lies will end up making it difficult to trust some tabloids.
The Ten Commandments law says “Thou shall not lie, but lying has become so institutionalized that society now largely de-sensitize to it”. Moshake said.
“Since the Assembly and the media are inseparable, it would be a brilliant idea if the hardworking Presiding Member and the mother Assembly could please forgive.
After-all, forgiveness is for our own benefit, if you forgive your neigbour his or her trespasses, the Lord Almighty good God Jah Jehovah will also forgive you your trespasses.”