The Asogli State Council has characterised journalist Paul Adom-Otchere as a “great termite” and “an enemy of the Council”.
The Good Evening Ghana host on Accra-based Metro TV recently attacked the integrity of the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State and President of Asogli Traditional Area, Togbe Afede XIV, after the latter had rejected some GHS365,000 paid to him as ex gratia for serving on the Council of State from 2017 to 2020.
The former president of the National House of Chiefs explained in a statement that he was not in support of such payments – even though he was an intended beneficiary.
“I did not think the payment was made to trap me, as is being speculated. I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it”, the chief clarified in a media interview following the brouhaha that followed his rejection of the ex gratia.
Following the traditional leader’s widely-praised gesture on social media, Mr Adom-Otchere, in an editorial, considered it mischievous, since, in the broadcaster’s view, it was a constitutional provision that Council of State members be paid an ex gratia.
He also claimed Council of State records showed that the chief attended only 16 per cent of meetings.
After failing to retract his claims and render an apology to the chief, as demanded by the youth of Asogli a few days ago, the Council of the traditional area said in a statement: “Paul Adom-Otchere has publicly admitted knowing Togbe Afede XIV for some time now, visiting him from time to time and asking for financial and other favours from him. What a great friend Paul had in Togbe Afede XIV”.
“We the people of the Asogli State have tracked Paul’s attitude, his beliefs and style and identified him as a great termite working on the roots of our beloved tree, Ghana”.
“The Asogli State is a respected traditional area and will not allow evil-hearted people like the kind of Paul Adom-Otchere to denigrate our king and the ‘Rising Star’ of this country”, the Council noted.
“We are, therefore, declaring Paul Adom-Otchere, as a result of his recalcitrant behaviour, an enemy to Asogli State”, the statement noted.
The Asogli Council also tackled the Council of State for referring its emissary to Metro TV for records of the meetings of the president’s advisory body after officially making a request through the Right To Information law.
“The Council of State, in their letter dated 13th June 2022, signed by Mr. Stephen Blay, the Director of Finance and Administration, to Dr Elikem Apetorgbor, Special Aide to Agbogbomefia Togbe Afede XIV”, indicated that “Dr. Apetorgbor reaches out to Metro TV for the information regarding the latter’s request for the Council members attendance register and others”.
The Asogli Council said referral to Metro TV by the Council of State “is embarrassing and not supported by the law”.
“This shows that the Council of State is biased and want to tarnish the high earned reputation of Togbe Afede XIV”, the Aasogli Council noted.
“We have been wondering in the past days what Paul’s agenda, beliefs and convictions concerning Togbe’s rejection are. Two questions arose out of these ponderings:
“1 Did HRM Togbe Afede XIV ask other members of the Council of State to REJECT and RETURN what was paid them?
2. What will Paul Adom-Otchere be doing now if Togbe hadn’t taken this position and did not return the money?
His Royal Majesty Togbe Afede XIV has exhibited good, qualities of nation building at different levels in this country. He is a true businessman who looks out for thoroughness and due diligence in his approach to work. He believes that Ghana could have been better than what it is now if all of us will stop behaving like a termite at the woodwork eating the very foundation of our development. Don’t be a termte.
Togbe has been admired by good meaning Ghanaians for his contributions when he served on various boards of some State Owned Institutions and has been noted to be a man of principle. Notable men and women of great measure have before time with-held principles that led greatly to nation-building.
HRM Togbe Afede XIV. Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, to the best of our knowledge did not either accuse his colleagues for taking the Ex-gratia or asked them to return the payment to government chest. Knowing very well that personal beliefs and principles should be the guiding light, every member of the council of State must walk his/her talk. Togbe Afede has walked his!”