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Monday, December 14, 2009

Kwesi Pratt: I prefer the Mills administration to Kufuor’s any day

Kwesi Pratt
Kwesi Pratt

Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, has said for all who expect him to criticize the Mills administration to prove his objectivity and balance, they can expect to hear him speak only the truth and nothing else.

He said there is a funny expectation of persons who are compelled, by the nature of their vocation and profession, to do public analysis of events to be critical of the Mills administration because they were also critical of the Kufuor administration in order to prove their objectivity.

“Any time there is an issue, they say ah! But you criticized the NPP why are you not criticizing the Mills administration. If you want to be seen as objective and balanced, then fight Mills, then punch Professor Mills, then discredit his administration.

"Look, I think this is just hogwash. We did not criticize the NPP administration for the fun of it or because we hated the administration or because that other journalists have confessed ‘we were in a conspiracy to make anybody unpopular.’ We criticized things that we thought were unjustified. We criticized things that were wrong.

"So therefore if the current administration is doing things that are wrong, that look like what the NPP did, we have a responsibility to criticize them, you understand, to apply the same standards to the old administration and to the new administration. But we cannot fight the current administration for fighting sake just to establish that we’re objective!”

Kwesi Pratt who was speaking on Radio Gold’s discussion programme, Alhaji and Alhajion Saturday, said objectivity is not a balance between fact and falsehood, but recognizing objective reality, so that if one administration was bad relative to another one, “it is our responsibility to say so.

“And in all honesty, in all honesty and sincerity, Sohini, (programme host) any day, give me the Kufuor administration and give me the Mills administration and I will select the Mills administration. Look at the gap, look at the difference between the two administrations – I am not shy, I am not ashamed of saying that I prefer the Mills administration any day, to the Kufuor administration.”

He said a record of achievements of the 11-month administration of Mills compared to the same period in the Kufuor administration best tells the story.

“Look, look, look, you look! Yesterday (Friday) there was a little discussion on Peace FM about our recent trip to South Africa, and I mentioned that look, for the six days that I was in South Africa, the total per diem allowance I was given was $500, all the people on the panel just burst out laughing, they were laughing, they were surprised because under Kufuor, the standard per diem for journalists travelling with official delegations was $250 a night. It’s been cut so drastically…this is a government which is committed to prudence in public spending and I recognize that.”

He also cited the recent announcement of the award of contract for the construction of 200,000 houses to cut back on the national housing deficit, the expansion of the School Feeding Programme, a stable cedi over the last five months, a drop in inflation the New Pensions Act and the Right to Information programme among several things.

He said against the backdrop of claims that the Mills government is slow or has not done anything, acknowledging these things is being objective. “I don’t care whether people say I’m objective or I’m not objective, what I care about is whether I say is the truth.

Story by Isaac Yeboah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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