Head of Communications at the Presidency Koku Anyidoho has defended his publicity of a letter critics say has contributed immensely to Ghana’s confused foreign policy on Ivory Coast.
The letter sent from the Head of Ghana’s mission in the US contained details of a meeting held by the African Ambassadors at the UN in which it rubbished the possible military option adopted by ECOWAS in Ivory Coast.
President Mills prior to the receipt of this letter had elucidated his displeasure over the military option and subtly advocated what critics say is an isolationist approach with the infamous “ ‘Dzi wu fie asem’ -mind your own business” comments.
On receiving the letter, Koku Anyidoho dispatched copies to media houses for publication under the e-mail inscription the “president has been vindicated.”
The letter was unequivocal in stating that “the military option is “no option”. Section 9 of the same letter states; “Ghana’s long espoused position disrecommending the military option in Cote d’Ivoire appears to have been vindicated although the solution to the ongoing crisis seems to be highly elusive.”
The letter was in sharp contrast to a communiqué released by ECOWAS on December 24 in which Heads of States of the ECOWAS sub region, including President Mills appended their signature for the use of force as last option if Gbagbo fails to yield.
But with the arrival in Ghana of ECOWAS’ envoy Raila Odinga, President John Mills has clarified his position on Ivory Coast and has stated unambiguously that Ghana will back a military option if it becomes necessary but will not contribute troops because Ghana’s military is over stretched.
The opposition NPP does not appear to be impressed with the president’s clarification. Its leader Nana Akufo-Addo accused government of being inconsistent and blowing hot and cold on a matter so delicate to the Africa sub region.
His party among other things cited the vindication letter released by Koku Anyidoho as basis for their accusation.
On Joy FM’s Newsfile programme on Saturday, two of the panelists Kweku Baako Jnr and Ursula Owusu religiously quoted the contents of the letter from the African UN ambassadors as basis for their criticisms of government’s inconsistencies.
Mr. Baako posited that the letter provided the single most atrocious ammunition for critics who believe the government has been inconsistent with the Ivorian situation.
But the main actor who supervised the distribution of the letter said he has no regrets in making the letter available to the media, arguing the letter was consistent with President Mills stance on Ivory Coast.
Mr Anyidoho who called into the Newsfile programme said: “I was compos mentis and i deliberately circulated that document. I was compos mentis not non-compos mentis…That I had my mental faculties intact; I was not on any drugs, I was very conscious on what I was doing and I put that document out.”
He dismissed assertions that the letter was an internal memo which ought not to have been released, adding, it was not a crime for him to have released the memo to the media.
He argued the document truly vindicated the President’s position on the use of force.
“The president made a point and said that the war option is not the best of options and people wanted to take his head off for that and so if information reaches us that a group of ambassadors at the United Nations have said that the war option is a ‘no option’, Kweku, honestly what does that mean?” he quizzed.
He said president Mills made the comment on the military option based on “calculated thinking.”
He dismissed criticisms that there is an inherent contradiction between Ghana’s clarified stance which says military option as the last resort and the UN African ambassadors stance of military option as no option.