President Nana Akufo-Addo has paid a glowing tribute to outgoing United Kingdom High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, whose stay in the country ends this month.

He said, “it will be difficult to forget the controversial High Commissioner.”

The President also sent a goodwill message to the UK through Mr Benjamin even as the country step up moves to exit the European Union (EU).

When he went to bid the President farewell at the Flagstaff House Tuesday, the outgoing High Commissioner said he is looking forward to a sustained mutually beneficial relationship between Ghana and UK even as he brings his eventful three-year stay as a diplomat to an end.

Mr Benjamin says he is happy not to have made the mistake of other diplomats who only stay in the national capitals of the countries where they serve.

The outspoken High Commissioner said he feels privileged to have travelled to the various tourist sites in Ghana during his three years service.

He has contributed to Ghanaian discourse, sometimes raising eyebrows about how he casually touches on some sensitive national issues.

In April this year, Mr Benjamin spoke to Joy News about his time in the country in which he said noted that some Ghanaians take some of what he described as British humour far too seriously.

During his time, Jon Benjamin gained a reputation for his tweets on issues publicly discussed. One of his favourite targets was the controversial founder of the International Godsway International Church, Bishop Daniel Obinim.

He took to Twitter to mock Obinim after he was charged with physical abuse contrary to the Domestic Violence Act (732). The Bishop stoked controversy after he said in the church he could change to animals and appear in people’s dreams.

But looking back at his time in the country, Mr Benjamin said although he is aware of people accusing him of unnecessarily meddling in local issues, he does not “agree with that accusation.”

He explained that traditional diplomacy is mostly veiled from the public hence the need for diplomats to interact with people on social media.

During his time, Jon Benjamin gained a reputation for his tweets on issues publicly discussed. One of his favourite targets was the controversial founder of the International Godsway International Church, Bishop Daniel Obinim.

He took to Twitter to mock Obinim after he was charged with physical abuse contrary to the Domestic Violence Act (732). The Bishop stoked controversy after he said in the church he could change to animals and appear in people’s dreams.

But looking back at his time in the country, Mr Benjamin said although he is aware of people accusing him of unnecessarily meddling in local issues, he does not “agree with that accusation.”

He explained that traditional diplomacy is mostly veiled from the public hence the need for diplomats to interact with people on social media.

Although he made no mention of the President, the joke was a familiar jab at President Mahama who had been mocked on social media for a spree of project commissioning weeks to the elections.

The UK High Commissioner, who has not shied away from commenting publicly on Ghanaian politics appeared to have joined in the social media jabs and mockery.

His propensity for humour was not lost in the tweet. But it appeared to have been lost on some Ghanaians on social media.

Many on social media reacted angrily to the tweet, believing it to subtly mock President John Mahama.

The anger appeared to have had a toll on the UK High Commissioner who deleted the tweet.

As he leaves Ghana, Mr Benjamin said he is leaving Ghana with great sadness but will hold the fondest of fond memories he has had during his stay.

He expects the bilateral relations between Ghana and the UK to continue for the mutual benefit of both countries.

source: myjoyonline

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