Minister of Youth and Sports Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has dismissed media reports that he travelled to and fro Kumasi last week for Ghana’s world cup qualifier in a presidential jet.
In a statement, the minister disputes the reports saying they may be intended to mislead Ghanaians.
He fingered the Daily Searchlight newspaper, noting the editor would have avoided “a total fabrication” and “an outright falsehood” if he had crosschecked his facts.
Below is the full statement signed by the PRO of the Ministry:
FALSE PUBLICATION ON PRESIDENTIAL JET (Ghana v Sudan)
The Daily Searchlight newspaper report on the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports’ recent trip to Kumasi for the World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Sudan, carried in the paper’s edition of Wednesday 27th March 2013(Vol 10 – Number 052), has come to the attention of the Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah (Minister of Youth and Sports).
Sadly, the said publication is a total fabrication and an outright falsehood, a situation which could have been avoided had the editor made any effort to cross check his facts, unless the focus of the story was to mislead Ghanaians.
For instance, the paper’s headline of ”Sports Minister travels in Presidential jet to watch football match in Kumasi” is absolutely untrue since no such incident ever took place.
Indeed the Minister’s flights from Accra to Kumasi and Kumasi to Accra on official duties were all via Starbow Airlines.
In addition, the records also show that;
1. The Sports Minister travelled to Kumasi on Wednesday (20/3/13) with Starbow Airlines to visit the Black Stars and inspect the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
2. On Thursday(21/3/13) he paid a courtesy call on Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, witnessed the Black Stars training and held meetings with football officials.
3. Following interactions with retired Black Stars players and former Black Stars captains, the Sports Minister left Kumasi for Accra on Friday(22/3/13)
4. On Saturday (23/3/13) the Sports Minister returned to Kumasi after supporting Joseph Agbeko in his IBO title fight at the Accra Sports Stadium the previous night. He also participated in a massive fitness walk organised by Joy fm on Saturday morning.
5. Finally, the Sports Minister returned to Accra on Monday 25th March with Starbow Airlines having completed his official duties in Kumasi with the same Starbow Airlines.
1. The Hon. Minster wishes to use this medium to inform the media of his open door policy, and to assure them that his office has made adequate provision to provide answers to all their questions and suggestions which will move Ghana sports forward. He is also open to critical opinion, especially those that are based on facts.
2. The minister wishes to further add that on an extraordinary weekend that saw a world title boxing victory for Joseph Agbeko, Black Satellites Junior World Cup qualification to Turkey 2013, Black Stars 2014 World Cup qualification match win over Sudan and qualification to play the final of the U20 Africa Cup by the Satellites, the media must play a role in telling these success stories to the rest of the world with the aim of branding our country to the international market thus attracting potential investment for national development.
3.The Sports Minister wishes to thank all Ghanaians for their overwhelming support to this relatively new administration. This support is what is responsible for the positive results we are witnessing. We know there is always room for improvement.
Ministry of Youth and Sports