Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
The Information Services Department (ISD) says it has accepted responsibility for the error-laden brochure used for the 59th Independence Day parade in Accra last Sunday, March 6, which depicted the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, as President of Ghana.
The event brochure distributed at the Black Star Square was full of poor grammar, awful spelling, badly constructed sentences, as well as shocking colloquial expressions with the description of the green colour in the national flag as ‘dark green.’
“The Information Services Department (ISD) wishes on behalf of the National Planning Committee of the 59th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee to apologise for the misrepresentations in the Event Brochure of the impressive 59th Independence Day Parade at the Black Star Square.
“The Department, which authored the content of the brochure, accepts responsibility and wishes to unreservedly apologise for the development,” Francis Kwarteng Arthur, Acting Director of ISD, expressed in a statement issued yesterday which has its own problem with date.
The letter, which was supposed to have been written yesterday, has January 12, 2016 on it and Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a deputy Minister of Communications, had to apologise for the error.
Ghana undoubtedly became a laughing stock after a series of blunders were spotted in the brochures used for the national parade.
Reading through the brochure carefully, ‘Coat of Arms’ was spelt ‘Coat of Arm.’
Others like ‘Globalised Sky,’ ‘youthfull,’ and ‘As if by divine-designed’ featured prominently in the brochure.
In the Table of Content, the brochure embarrassingly referred to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as President of Ghana and misspelled ‘Kinbu Senior High Technical School’ as ‘Kimbu Senior High Technical School.’
As if that was not enough, the author of the brochure embarrassingly struggled to string words together to make sense, while the information in it was ambiguous and unreliable.
The Ghana-Kenya relations article was poorly written while the bit describing the location of Ghana on the globe appeared disjointed.
Yesterday, an apology issued by the department was wrongly dated but was quickly corrected when attention was drawn to it.
Stan Dogbe Pops Out
In a related development, it emerged that it was presidential staffer and head of Communications at the Flagstaff House, Stan Dogbe, who was responsible for the brochure.
According to Joy FM’s Manasseh Azure Awuni, the Chairman of the 59th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee, Commodore Steve Obimpeh, had asked him to direct his questions surrounding the errors in the official anniversary brochure to Stan Dogbe because he was “responsible for the brochure.”
“This morning, I called someone who works closely with the Flagstaff House and asked for contacts to members of the planning committee. My source said Commodore Steve Obimpeh chaired the 59th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee. When I called Obimpeh and asked to speak to him on the error-ridden brochure, he said: ‘Speak to Stan Dogbe. Speak to Stan Dogbe; he was responsible for the brochure.’
“He ended the call before I had time to ask further questions,” Manasseh narrated.
“When I called Stan Dogbe at 12:59 pm, he did not answer my calls. At 1:05 pm, I sent him a message on WhatsApp and told him what Obimpeh had told me and that I wanted explanation. Even though he read the message, and the application showed he was ‘online,’ he did not reply.
“At 1:52 pm, I sent a reminder, ‘Hi, Stan.’ WhatsApp again showed that he read the message but did not respond. He has still not responded at the time of posting this article (5:03 pm),” Manasseh concluded.
H. Kwasi Prempeh, a law professor based in the United Sates, was wondering how much money was spent to prepare for the shoddy job.
“So how much did it cost us to commission someone to write and edit this anniversary booklet? Who wrote this piece of crap? Poor grammar, poor spelling, bad geography and on and on and on. A shamefully mediocre job, all over,” he lamented in a facebook post.
Prof Prempeh is just one of many Ghanaians who have taken to social media to express their disappointments about the event brochure.
“How many stages of review, if any, did it go through before it went to press? …I would happily have edited this damn thing for them pro bono, as my patriotic contribution to the day's celebration. If you're going to sole-source the gig to your cronies and partisans, as is your standard operating procedure, make sure, at least, that they are competent and can do a top-notch job. I guess you choose writers and editors for these jobs the same way you choose DCEs and some Ministers and Deputy Ministers: Competence not required! This is a national disgrace,” he stated.