Ursula Owusu Congratulates Arrogant Cecilia Dapaah

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Communica Ursula Owusu - Ekuful

Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu has patted her colleague Cecilia Abena Dapaah on the back for declining an interview with a journalistic intern.

Sanitation Minister Cecilia Dapaah has told an intern with Adom FM, that her request for an interview is disrespectful because she is not a full-fledged journalist.

“And yes, ministers and senior officials can and should insist that the right trained personnel who understand their job and know the implications of their actions alone should interact with them. There is nothing wrong with that. Thank you Hon Cecilia Abena Dapaah for calling the young intern out and reminding the media house which committed this faux pas of some basic tenets of their profession,” Ursula Owusu stated in a Facebook post on her timeline.

The Communications Minister has apparently forgotten that public service is for the people and that government appointees and Ministers are paid by the tax payers who in turn are entitled to information.

Cecilia Dapaah’s outbursts and posturing have been condemned by many well-meaning Ghanaians.

Though Ursula Owusu is not a journalist and does not know the practice in various news rooms, she argues that, “An intern or trainee should not be sent to interview anyone or interact with senior officials without supervision. A minister is not the training ground for an intern. You crawl before you stand and walk. If you can’t invest resources in providing them with the proper practical skills, don’t take them in.”

The Minister’s full Facebook post is reproduced below;

This chronic disrespect for political office holders in Ghana is getting quite nauseating. Try getting into the office of a minister anywhere in the world without an appointment and see if you’ll be allowed in. In Ghana, the minister will be roasted because they are public officers so should be at everyone’s beck and call. You can’t just pick up the phone and insist on an interview without prior arrangement and the media house must send the appropriately trained personnel to conduct the interview. An intern must be supervised by a superior when out on the field to ensure they acquire the right on the job skills. Even as a qualified lawyer doing my pupillage in Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co, I was supervised by a senior lawyer and never let loose on my own to deal with clients for fear of making mistakes that might cost the firm. That’s how you learn. (and you should never be so arrogant as to think graduation from school gives you all the skills you need to work). That’s what serious organisations who value their corporate reputation do. And they apologise when they step out of line instead of blaming those who insist on the right thing being done. An intern or trainee should not be sent to interview anyone or interact with senior officials without supervision. A minister is not the training ground for an intern. You crawl before you stand and walk. If you can’t invest resources in providing them with the proper practical skills, don’t take them in. And yes, ministers and senior officials can and should insist that the right trained personnel who understand their job and know the implications of their actions alone should interact with them. There is nothing wrong with that. Thank you Hon Cecilia Abena Dapaah for calling the young intern out and reminding the media house which committed this faux pas of some basic tenets of their profession. In these days of fake news and chronic misreporting, it is critical that we do not expose our public officials to ridicule just because some budding journalists want to make headlines. Maybe we are no longer interested in accurate reportage and any soundbite or noise will do, but in the final analysis, quality work will always stand out and be rewarded. It pays to take time to learn well and acquire the right skills in any profession, including journalism. I salute Paul Ansah, Sefa Kayi Sakyi-Addo, Afenyi-Dadzie et al..

Genesis of Cecilia Dapaah’s Outbursts

On July 12, 2019, Adom FM intern Rahinatu Abdul Bach reached out to the Minister of Sanitation upon the instrctions of her editor Samuel Dowuona to inquire about the ministry’s position on reports that persons caught littering the streets are ordered to pick up the litter or sweep streets.

“Who gave you the permission to call me to speak to me directly like that?’ Cecilia Dapaah flared up on the telephone.

Image result for Cecilia Dapaah
Arrogant Cecilia Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation

‘You don’t respect…please go off’ she spoke in Twi before arrogantly disconnecting the line.

The Adom FM editor later spoke to the Sanitation minister over the incident. She asked that the radio station shows respect to her office by not sending interns to interview her.

“You don’t let an intern call a minister, an elderly person like me? Please respect the office even if you don’t respect me as a human being. How do you allow an intern to call your minister, Ah.”

The intern has said she was shaken by the minister’s reaction and found it hard to leave the recording booth after the line dropped.

 

 

 

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