Don’t attribute false statements to me – Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has threatened to take legal action against any media house that falsely attributes to him statements he has not made.

He was reacting to a recent media publication that sought to suggest that he had asked the Electoral Commission (EC) not to delete names registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card.

According to a statement issued by his communication directorate signed by Mr Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, former President Rawlings had not issued any statements or made any comments related to the Supreme Court’s judgment on the very important and pivotal issue of the electoral register.

“This being an election year, it is the duty and responsibility of the media to be extra vigilant in the dissemination of accurate and truthful information to the public, rising above pernicious political propaganda,” the statement said.

The Republic newspaper, in its Wednesday, June 15, publication, captioned one of its stories “EC must not delete any name registered with NHIS card — Rawlings”.

However, the statement said even though the publication was alleged to have been made by one Abednego Rawlings Orstin, it was headlined and captioned as being those of “Rawlings” with some media outlets going as far as to include a photograph of Mr Rawlings to support and propagate this falsehood.

This was followed by a similar publication on page 11 of The Daily Democrat edition of Friday, June 17, 2016 with the same caption as that of The Republic.

According to the statement, “these acts are intended to create the false impression that the body and contents of such publications were authored by H.E Jerry John Rawlings.

“ Furthermore, the use of the name ‘Rawlings’, particularly when associated with politics in Ghana, brings to mind the public figure and personality of the former President.

“It is also instructive to note that the said gentleman who purports to be called Rawlings uses the said name as his middle name. Therefore, if you didn’t clearly intend to mislead the public, it is the practice that you would have used the said gentleman’s last name, Orstin, and not the middle name,” it said.