‘Mercenary’ Journalists brought me down – Sena Dansua

Akua Sena Dansua, former Sports Minister

In what appears to be a desperate face-saving move, the former Minister for Youth and Sports, Akua Sena Dansua has accused Ghanaian sports journalists of taking bribes from her detractors to malign her and scuttle her plans to develop the nation’s sports.

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Coming on the heels of a recent media storm over her widely challenged claim that the Sports Ministry expended $50,000 on Ghanaian journalists who covered the South Africa 2010 tournament, the latest – and unsubstantiated allegation – by Hon Akua Sena Dansua is set to spark off another round of media frenzy.

“I know that some of you were paid money to destroy me in this ministry but I have survived it, so let me go in peace and you will see what I will do in this new ministry” she told listeners of Citi FM’s Half Time sports programme.

Asked by show host Farouk Attipaga to provide names of journalists who were paid monies to malign her, the newly-appointed Tourism Minister chickened out, saying “I won’t mention names, they know themselves…some of them are at Citi FM…I am not a small girl, I am not a novice in this game, and as I said I won’t mention any names. If you ask me a hundred times I won’t mention names.”

Ms Akua Sena Dansua, a former Features Editor of the Ghanaian Times newspaper, steadfastly refused to name the Citi FM staff she accuses of taking money to run her down.

Under the nation’s Criminal Code, it is a serious offence to give or receive bribes. But, rather than report the journalists who had allegedly taken bribes to destroy her reputation to the law enforcement agencies for the appropriate action to be taken, the four-time legislator chose to call into a live radio discussion on Citi FM to take the nation’s sports journalists to the cleaners.

“When I was doing Journalism where were they [Sports Journalists]? The kind of Journalism they are doing today is not what we were taught in the school of Journalism, they should learn to respect people.

“People have built their credibility over the years and so small boys cannot sit on radio and destroy us…I will not mention any names.”

President John Mills reassigned the North Dayi MP to the Tourism Ministry on Tuesday, January 5, after what her critics have called a “disastrous reign” at the Ministry of Sports, during which the first female Sports Minister in the nation’s history had a string of clashes with sports journalists in the country.

Hon Sena Dansua’s critics have variously accused her of arrogance and gross incompetence.

Her re-assignment, seen by critics as long overdue, is therefore believed to have been strongly influenced by the string of scandals that characterised her reign as well as the wave of media attacks drawn by her public utterances.

Hon Akua Sena Dansua’s unsubstantiated comments have since drawn a wave of vitriolic attacks from some sports journalists. Head of Sports for Metro TV, Christopher Opoku described the new Tourism Minister’s accusation as “unfortunate.”