‘Dzi Wu Fie Asem’ Remark: BBC Has Been Unfair To Prez Mills Says Mumuni
Foreign Minister Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni is accusing the BBC of misrepresenting comments made by Ghana’s president John Mills on the Ivorian crisis to create disaffection for him. Answering a question on the Ivorian crisis at a recently organized Editors Forum at the Castle, President Mills said among other things that Ghana supported the regional grouping, ECOWAS's decision to employ military intervention as a last resort to end the Ivorian crisis should Laurent Gbagbo refuse to quit power. He, however, said Ghana would not be able to contribute soldiers to that cause because her army was overstretched, urging caution on the stalemate and counselling that Ghana must learn to mind her own business. “I am guided by one saying in Fante which says ‘Dzi wu fie asem’ [which means] mind your own business,” he had said. His comments have provoked a swell of criticisms in the local media with the leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party Nana Akufo-Addo accusing the president of blowing hot and cold on the Ivorian issue. The ensuing debate over the propriety or otherwise of the President's comments attracted international media attention Friday with BBC Network Africa Programme quoting the 'mind your own business' comment as wise saying for the day. Listeners of the programme were uncharitable in their criticisms and minced no words in describing the president’s comments as unwise. But the Foreign Minister blamed the media network for taking the president’s comments out of context. “I am shocked at the quotation that was taken completely out of context and put out there. Clearly when you hear what was said out of context, really, the reaction is bound to be what it was; the reaction will be predictable,” he said. He argued that President Mills has at all times been concerned with the situation in the Ivory Coast and has demonstrated immeasurably his commitments to resolving the crisis. “His whole policy on La Cote d’Ivoire has been consistent, coherent very clear and in tandem with the ECOWAS position. So for somebody to have taken out this particular quotation totally out of context and give the impression that the president of Ghana is inward looking; he is unconcerned about what is going on in Ivory Coast clearly is unjust, unfair and disreputable,” he lamented. He admitted the president’s statement was nuanced and could be misunderstood but was vehement in his position that the president has been completely misrepresented. He reiterated Ghana’s position on Ivory Coast saying, Ghana backs ECOWAS' decision to use legitimate force as the last resort, even though the country will not be able to contribute troops should military action become necessary. Alhaji Mumuni intimated his outfit is taking steps to correct some of the misrepresentations across the African continent and the world at large.