The following is a statement issued by Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on concerns raised by the office of former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings over comments the deputy minister is said to have made during a television programme recently.

I have become aware of the concern reported as having been raised by former First Lady, Her Excellency Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, who is also a Vice Chairperson of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), over comments I made on Metro TVs Newspaper Review Programme Good Morning Ghana on Friday 15th October, 2010.

I wish to state that but for the newspaper review programme on which I appeared, I would not have made any comment on the speech of the former First Lady at the Accra City Campus TEIN Induction Ceremony. The said speech had received prominence in several newspapers which had consequently been selected for discussion by the host of the programme of which I was one of two panelists. It was therefore impossible to be on the programme without making a comment.

Viewers will attest to the fact that in making comments on the speech, which I described as brilliant, my intention was to foster unity in the NDC; which indeed all politicians are expected to do in our respective political parties rather than dividing the front of political parties and the nation. I also sought to assure the good people of Ghana that the NDC is united and focused on fulfilling our campaign promises to the electorate as was demonstrated by all of us who attended the TEIN Induction Ceremony.

I did not seek in any way to distort the former First Ladys speech; neither could I have been responsible for the several newspaper publications and GNA report on the said speech. In the circumstance and as a member of the NDC family, any inconvenience or hurt caused our mother, Her Excellency Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is deeply regretted.