Peace FM’s morning show 'Kokrokoo' on Tuesday, July 5, nearly turned into a 'wrestling' bout between the Managing Director of Inter-City STC, Nana Akomea and astute Journalist Kwesi Pratt, albeit not one with the fists but intellectual contention as the two argued out on the IMF bailout under the Akufo-Addo regime.
With Nana Akomea defending President Nana Akufo-Addo’s move to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for what the government terms as a “balance of payment” support for its economic program, Kwesi Pratt, on the other hand, delivered dissenting views on the position of the government regarding the bailout.
The two 'punched' each other with back and forth heated arguments that at a point, Mr. Pratt felt insulted by Nana Akomea's statements and demanded an apology but the latter declined to apologize to his colleague panelist.
It all unfolded when the Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. resented that Nana Akomea had accused him of making unfair conclusions about a portion of the government's official statement which indicated a telephone conversation between President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Managing Director of IMF, Miss Kristalina Georgieva.
"The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorized Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), inviting the Fund to support an economic program put together by the Government of Ghana.
"This follows a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana's decision to engage with the Fund", parts of the statement issued and signed by the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, read.
In Mr. Pratt's submissions, he inferred from the statement to mean that the President had had prior unofficial discussions with the IMF Boss about the bailout before the official statement directing the Finance Minister to formally engage with the IMF.
"There was something striking about that statement. It says that the President has agreed or instructed the Finance Minister to start formal contact with the IMF. My question is before then, were some informal contacts going on? And if there were some informal contacts, why is it that during the time that they were contacting the IMF, they were still telling us that they will never go there?", he queried.
Mr. Pratt's inference didn't sink well with Nana Akomea resulting in a heated exchange between the two panelists.
Nana Akomea responded; "Kwesi, do you know that we are members of the IMF, so we have constant interaction. In fact, the IMF has a mission in Ghana, so there's always contact. Always! They actually have a sitting mission in Ghana."
"Why would assume otherwise?", Mr. Akomea further replied.
He continued that "as for the informal contact, it's going on everyday. They have a Mission Chief in Ghana" but Mr. Pratt quickly retorted; "no, no, no...It doesn't mean that we're having contact with them on a bailout programme".
Their exchange escalated as Nana Akomea further asked Mr. Pratt to state his basis for his argument.
Nana Akomea described Mr. Pratt's sentiments as "speculation which is borne out by nothing".
"Nana, please, when we come to sit in this studio, we should treat each other with respect and I insist on that", Kwesi Pratt, obviously irked by the STC Boss' rebuttals stated, but Nana Akomea also shot back calling Mr. Pratt's words as "tantrums".
The studios therefore became hot at this point as matters escalated between the two.
Mr. Pratt demanded “respect” from his co-panelist but the STC CEO reacted, saying "it will not wash. These your tantrums will not wash. It will not wash today...I have treated you with respect"
"Even this tantrum description is very disrespectful. To refer to what I am saying as tantrum is very disrespectful", the seasoned journalist fumed and warned Nana Akomea to be "very careful".
Mr. Pratt also labeled his co-panelist as "very unintelligent”.
Nana Akomea, who wouldn't budge, also fiercely responded; “You are telling me I am disrespectful. You are throwing tantrums. Stop it! You are telling me I am disrespectful and that is not an insult? You are throwing tantrums; stop it!”
The host of "Kokrokoo", Kwami Sefa Kayi, intervened by urging the two to be civilized in their utterances.
“We are old, please, a lot of people are listening to us”, he chipped in.
Watch video of Kwesi Pratt and Nana Akomea's altercation below: