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Hassan Ahmed Head of State Protocol did no wrong at US Governors’ Summit, Presidency clarifies

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The Assistant to Director of State Protocol, Joseph Adjei-Banin, has denied media speculations that his boss was snubbed by the Governor of Nevada in a video trending on social media.

The said video seems to show the Director of State Protocol, Hassan Ahmed, breaching protocol and subsequently being snubbed by the Governor of the US state of Nevada.

However, Mr Adjei-Banin said the speculations were not right and called on the public to ignore “the false suggestion being peddled as a result of a skewed interpretation of what transpired in the video.”

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Mr Adjei Banin in a statement added that Hassan Ahmed “is a well accomplished and meticulous diplomat, who is well versed in protocol.”

President Akufo-Addo delivered the keynote address at the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting was introduced by the Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval.

The video on social media gave the impression that Hassan Ahmed had violated protocol, leading to the snub.

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Hassan Ahmed was seen in the video stretching his hand towards the Governor. Many thought he did so to shake the hand of the Governor who also moved his hand in a different direction.

However, the statement clarified that “As part of the protocol discussions prior to the President’s speech, it was agreed that Ambassador Hassan will accompany the President on stage to show the President his seat. That is exactly what Ambassador Hassan was doing and not reaching for a handshake. A critical look at the video will show that Ambassador Hassan was pointing to the seat where the President was supposed to sit.”

Read the full statement below

Our attention has been drawn to a video circulating on social media purporting that the Director of State Protocol, Ambassador Ahmed Hassan, was denied a handshake by Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada, and further that Governor Sandoval instructed Ambassador Hassan to resume his seat in the audience, at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting over the weekend.

The suggestions and interpretations given to this video is misleading and completely false. As part of the protocol discussions prior to the President’s speech, it was agreed that Ambassador Hassan will accompany the President on stage to show the President his seat. That is exactly what Ambassador Hassan was doing and not reaching for a handshake. A critical look at the video will show that Ambassador Hassan was pointing to the seat where the President was supposed to sit.

After the President shook the hands of Governor Sandoval, there was a debate as to whether the President should sit or go straight away to deliver his keynote address. What ensued was Governor Sandoval pointing to the podium for the President to deliver the speech because they were running behind schedule whilst Ambassador pointed to the seat of the President because that was the agreement at the pre-event protocol discussion. The Governor was not directing Ambassador Hassan to resume his seat.

Ambassador Hassan is a well accomplished and meticulous diplomat, who is well versed in protocol. We, therefore, entreat the public to disregard the false suggestion being peddled as a result of a skewed interpretation of what transpired in the video.

Thank you.

Signed:

Joseph Adjei-Banin

Assistant to Director of State Protocol

Office of the President

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