Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has issued a statement indicating that former President John Mahama and his party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), are behind the doctored tape to create the impression that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has taken bribe in office.
According to the minister, the video, captured during a donation made by a lady sympathizer of the party took place in October 2016, when the then candidate Akufo-Addo was leading the NPP into the general election, and the video had been spliced by the NDC to make things look like Nana Akufo-Addo had taken a bribe as President.
The statement said “the Government of Ghana notes, without much surprise, a desperate attempt by the campaign of John Mahama to falsely accuse the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of bribery.”
“The false accusation is premised on a doctored video of a 2016 campaign donation to then candidate Akufo-Addo. Characteristics of the NDC’s reliance on waging a campaign of lies, fake news and fabrications, the opposition candidate and his party have now sponsored the doctoring of this video and superimposed it with new voices to create the false impression that it is a post 2016 event showing the President receiving bribe.”
The statement said “while we are not surprised by the new low by the opposition candidate and his party, we remind Ghanaians that they should expect more of such falsehoods and fabrications in the days leading up to the election,” adding “it has become clear that candidate Mahama’s failed campaign now sees fake news and fabrications, as well as an amendment of their earlier promises as the only hope to salvage what is going to be another decisive victory for President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party.”
The minister said “we are not disappointed that Mr. Mahama and the current NDC leadership will stoop so low with obvious fabrications which they hope can change the minds of Ghanaians. It is and will always be their stock-in-trade”
“The people of Ghana are discerning and will not be swayed by obvious fabrications designed by persons who always seek to bring the name of the Republic into disrepute and sully its image amongst the comity of nations,” the minister said, adding “the general public and the media are encouraged to be vigilante in order not to fall prey to the antics of these persons who desperately desire to tarnish the image of the Republic for their own selfish, parochial and partisan ends.
The statement was emphatic that “for the avoidance of doubt, President Akufo-Addo has never been involved in any untoward conduct, let alone take bribe. The original footage of the incident shows it clearly as a 2016 campaign donation and nothing more.”
Hajia Fawzia Karim, the lady captured in the video, said the footage was taken in 2016 when Nana Akufo-Addo was the opposition NPP candidate and they had visited his Nima – Accra residence to donate towards his 2016 campaign.
She said on Asaase Radio that the video has been doctored and said she donated 1000 t-shirts and GH¢40,000 on her own volition.
“It was before the 2016 elections. I had about 1000 t-shirts which had the pictures of the then-presidential candidate and his vice and added an amount of GH¢40,000 to support Nana. I went there as a party supporter,” she said.
Veteran journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Jnr., Managing Editor of New Crusading has already shredded the NDC cynics saying “it is from political desperados doing this at the eleventh hour but unfortunately for them they fired blank bullets.
“This gentleman, Salis Yakubu Achiwulor, is the guy behind the Salis newspaper. He is the guy who did the secret recording of candidate Akufo-Addo. I know that for a fact.
“He is a mercenary of the highest order. He does these things and he sells them. He got into the NPP. The tape has been twisted, doctored!” he said.
He said “the boy did a voice over on the tape. He inserts in the question of Alhaji Abass’ job security of tenure to make it look like it was because of that issue that they went to see Nana Akufo-Addo.”
“The original tape says GH¢40,000 now the voice over says $40,000. And then brings in the Alhaji’s job security which was not part of what was discussed at that place except to introduce the woman as the wife of the former Roads Director.”
Mr. Baako said further that “he calls candidate Akufo-Addo, your excellency. Those are all insertions. They were never part of the original,” adding “the original is longer than the fake one and the NDC communicators are saying it is rather the fake which is the original.”
“The whole thing happened while Akufo-Addo was not the President. He was a candidate. It happened in October 2016. If we have to discuss party campaign financing then that is a different story. We can discuss it. Didn’t you hear candidate Akufo-Addo ask for the name of the donor? He is taking a bribe and recording it in his notebook. Who takes bribe and records?” adding, “When you want to talk about political party financing you can do it, but when you talk of a sitting President taking bribe in order to secure somebody’s job, you are talking nonsense.”
By Ernest Kofi Adu