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Alhaji Inusah Fuseini threatens legal action and Daily Guide quickly retracts story that sought to depict minister as a spendthrift


The Daily Guide, a tabloid newspaper, and a voracious mouthpiece for the main opposition party, is running scared these last few days; it has been threatened with a lawsuit for maliciously publishing material that was deemed injurious to the reputation of the minister of roads and highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini. The paper’s false bravado on full display on Saturday with its dubious publication, has suddenly dissipated.

As a journalist I find it repugnant that a news organization will be so openly partisan; whatever happened to the press objectivity, fairness and neutrality? this is not the first time the Daily Guide has selectively targeted Mr Fuseini. It did a hack job on him in the middle of summer this year when it ran a story accompanied by pictures of an obviously elated Fuseini slapping wads of cedi notes on revelers at a ceremony in Tamale.

It was no secret that the Daily Guide story was calculated to ignite controversy, and in the process soil the minister’s image. And it did, big time. Mr Fuseini was not amused. But he chose to ignore the smear.

Emboldened by the minister’s lack of action the paper chose once again to drag his name into the mud by running a story on Saturday that depicted Mr Fuseini as a spendthrift, a financially reckless and irresponsible man who revels in throwing money around without giving it a second thought. Mr Fuseini, the paper said, had paid huge sums of money to “import” Shatta Wale, a musician, to be part of the entertainment component of his campaign launch in Tamale.

Taken aback by this sordid story, Mr Fuseini elected to fight back, hard this time around against the newspaper. On a radio show in Accra on Monday, he threatened legal action, and lo and behold, that was enough to send shivers down the spines of the editors at the Daily Guide. They quickly retracted the story with a screaming headline on Tuesday…..”Minister did not pay Shatta Wale.”

Well, what an-about-turn from a paper that has been so relentless in its pursuit of tawdry stories to tarnish the reputations of the political opponents of its financial sponsor. While I strongly condemn the actions of a few misguided young men who vandalized the office and properties of the Tamale branch of the newspaper—-it was illegal and the perpetrators should be found, arrested and prosecuted—-I nonetheless, disagree totally with the paper’s approach to covering politics, especially its particular focus on Mr Fuseini. Is there a hidden agenda at the paper inspired by Mr Fuseini’s detractors to politically thwart his efforts at reelection? I hope not.

Let’s be honest, the Daily Guide is not doing anything new; some news organizations generally turn to be partisan, throwing their weight and ink and airtime behind politicians they share the same ideology with. Nobody in his/she right mind, is suggesting in the least that the Daily Guide does not have the right to cover politicians and communicate their policy positions to the Ghanaian public. However, if the paper focuses its attention unnecessarily on a particular politico with the malicious intention of  ripping him/her into pieces, then there is cause for concern.

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