The Ghana High Commission in London has debunked a news item carried in certain Ghanaian media especially on Ghanaweb which sought to suggest that the mission has treated unfairly, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II during his current private visit to the United Kingdom.
The mission in a statement issued in London on Sunday evening indicated that the said story was concocted and that the mission “unreservedly refutes the claims presented in the article as inaccurate and unsubstantiated.”
The statement explained that the programme for the High Commissioner Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo which included chairing the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Meeting had been drawn before the mission received the scheduled arrival of the Asantehene’s flight.
It said the High Commissioner therefore assigned a senior member of the Mission staff, the Minister for Political Affairs and Protocol officers of the High Commission to receive the Asantehene on his behalf.
The statement continued that “The Asantehene was warmly received on his arrival, and the reason for the High Commissioner’s inability to receive him personally was conveyed to him and graciously accepted by the Asantehene with the magnanimity with which he is widely associated.”
According to the statement, Otumfuo Osei Tutu travelled out of London shortly after that. All this while Professor Danso-Boafo was still engaged in the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Meeting.
“On his return, the Asantehene and his entourage were met by the Deputy High Commissioner and Protocol Officers who extended warm courtesies to the delegation. The High Commissioner promptly sought audience, when the Commonwealth meeting was finally over, to meet with the Asantehene upon the latter’s return to London”, the statement added.
That meeting according to the statement was scheduled for the early part of the afternoon on Saturday, 24th July, 2010.
The statement added that during the courtesy call, the High Commissioner, accompanied by the Deputy High Commissioner and Senior Staff of the Mission, warmly welcomed the Asantehene and wished him and his delegation well during their stay in London.
It said Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his guests at the meeting discussed matters of national importance and at no time did the Asantehene express any misgivings about how he was welcomed upon arrival in London. Rather he expressed his sincere appreciation to the High Commissioner and his staff “for the courtesies accorded him and his delegation so far, mindful of the fact that his visit to London was a private one.”
The High Commission expressed regret about the “distortions and blatant inaccuracies created by what appears to be a malicious article which intended only to create confusion in the minds of the people of Ghana.
The statement expressed the view that “the aim of purposeful journalism should be to serve a national purpose and not to distort facts which ultimately creates discontent and disunity among Ghanaians for no genuine reason.”
The High Commissioner, according to the statement, recognises the Asantehene as a well meaning and highly respected national leader and patriot, whose aim to foster unity among Ghanaians is well acclaimed and a distinct feature of his leadership.
“The Mission therefore finds it surprising that any person should be so ill advised as to report on a matter connected with arrangements made to welcome the Asantehene without first availing himself of the Mission’s open-door policy as a way of clearing any misunderstanding that he may have at the time of reporting. Such behaviour does not serve the national interest”, the statement added.
It said the High Commission will not be distracted by such reports in its aim to serve all Ghanaians and project the best image of Ghanaians within its area of accreditation. “In so doing, it remains committed to the highest standards of its noble profession, purposeful in its given assignment and highly respectful of the country’s traditions, leaders and peoples”, the statement concluded.