By Cecil Mensah
The management of the state-owned Graphic Communications Group Limited, publishers of the Daily Graphic, are not in the good books of many people, especially The Office of the Vice-President, for withdrawing a highly experience journalist, amid protestation from the second most powerful man in the country, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.
The Herald is reliably informed that the Veep, was shown gross disrespect by the management of Daily Graphic, led by Kenneth Ashigbey, over his choice of Timothy Gobah to cover activities within and outside his office.
The Herald is aware that reporters stationed at the Presidency, have had to go through security background checks by the various security agencies, including the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), before they are given accreditation by the National Security Secretariat to report from the Presidency.
The Vice-President, who had apparently been informed of the withdrawal and transfer of Mr. Gobah without his knowledge, is said to have registered his protest and asked Mr. Ashigbey to reverse the decision, as he felt comfortable with the diligent work of the reporter.
Prior to reporting on the Vice-President, Mr. Gobah, had reported on activities in ex-President, Jerry John Rawlings’ office, the office of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, then flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and moved on to become the Daily Graphic’s correspondent in The Office of President, Prof. Mills.
However, The Herald was reliably informed that Mr. Ashigbey, who is the Editor-In-Chief of Daily Graphic, blatantly refused to heed to calls to reverse his decision, in spite of the incessant calls from Mr. Amissah-Arthur to have the correspondent returned to his office.
It is, however, not clear why the Managing Director (MD) of Graphic Communications, refused to show some decorum to the Vice President and his office, but information filtering in says that Mr. Ashigbey, grew more adamant after the Veep had informed him that he was comfortable with the said reporter.
The crux of the matter is that early last year, the management of Daily Graphic, took a decision to make some transfers. The withdrawal of one of its seasoned reporters Mr. Timothy Gobah from the Vice-President’s office, was also considered, with the Vice-President stepping in to have his transfer reversed.
Mr. Gobah, had been Graphic’s Presidential correspondence since 2009, till the untimely death of late Prof John Evans Atta-Mills.
According to the information from the Presidential Press Bureau, when Prof Mills died, reporters who were covering him (Mills) were moved to the office of Mr. Amissah-Arthur, while those covering Mr. John Mahama as Vice President, were elevated as Presidential Correspondence.
The reports say that the management of Graphic , snubbed Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, and transferred Mr. Gobah to the Central Region, without even showing the courtesy of informing the Office of the Vice-President and let alone assign reasons for his removal and further transfer.
The reports further have it that no member of the Vice-President’s office, was informed about the removal of the reporter, as it was against the laid down rules for reporters exiting the Presidency.
A bureau chief speaking with The Herald, recounted how the chain of command had broken down, hence the Graphic MD’s disrespect to Vice-President Amissah -Arthur.
It is unclear, whether his replacement, Sebastian Syme had gone through the thorough security background checks, before he was allowed into the Presidency.
Mr. Syme, The Herald is told, is schooling in the UK, and has since been away, instead of covering the events involving the Vice-President.
Meanwhile, another seasoned reporter of Ghana News Agency (GNA) by name Benjamin Mensah, has also been moved from the Office of The Vice-President and sent to Parliament for no apparent reason.
More to come!!!!!!!!