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Nana Addo did not intimidate debate moderators, aide insists; Ablakwa disagrees
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah          Published On: November 22, 2012, 21:58 GMT
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Nana Addo did not intimidate debate moderators, aide insists; Ablakwa disagrees

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer's aide Abu Jinapor is accusing government spokespersons of “mischievously spinning” what was an otherwise hearty discussion between Nana Akufo-Addo and moderators of Wednesday’s IEA Presidential debate.

Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa capped the criticisms with a press conference Thursday, during which he described the opposition leader as “intolerant,” accusing him of accosting the moderators of the show for denying him a rebuttal that he had requested during the debate.

He said the violent posture of the NPP leader cannot be countenanced, but Abu Jinapor said his boss has done no wrong.

He added that after the debate, Nana Addo went to chat with the moderators, as he had done in the Tamale debate, but that intimidation had nothing to do with it whatsoever, challenging Joy FM’s Evans Mensah and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah to cross-check that fact with the moderators.

During the same press Thursday conference, Ablakwa joined other members of the ruling party in calling Nana Addo “reckless” for his comments on the Ivory Coast during the debate.

These comments were essentially that Ghana’s late President Mills was wrong for not taking a stand on whether former Ivoirian President Laurent Gbagbo should step down. Akufo-Addo also made reference to a UN report alleging that Gbagbo loyalists hoping to unseat the current Ivoirian regime had taken refuge in Ghana.

Jinapor said that his leader had merely echoed what was already in the public domain and cannot be accused of recklessness.

Such a charge, he said, should instead be directed at the government, which he hopes will be found guilty for sleeping on the job and allowing dissidents to operate in Ghana.

But Ablakwa vehemently disagreed, maintaining that UN report has been discredited and adding that even if it were true, Nana Addo, as a statesman and former Foreign Minister, ought to have exercised more “diplomatic maturity” in commenting on the matter.

He said that Akufo-Addo’s statements served to portray him as "selfish," beholden to a “win-at-all-costs philosophy.”

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