Ebo Quansah in Accra .
In the beginning, there was an audio recording. The party hierarchy went to many frantic lengths to keep its contents away from the general public. Many versions of what the tape contained were rendered in a grand job of deception.
Then a second theory emerged. The tape did not exist after all. Even if it did, it had been doctored. The Chairman of the party could never be credited with those appalling things said to be contained in the recording. The audio recording was doctored, many party faithful competed with themselves to proclaim.
Before long, a third version made its entry on the political and social scene. It was the government of the day that conspired with itself to release the tape to discredit the party Chairman. It was also released to conceal the effect of corruption in high places, especially after Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ latest exposé on officials appointed by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to police galamsey offenders, who were caught on tape allegedly collecting money to allow miscreants to carry on polluting our river bodies for gold.
The interesting bit in the whole drama is that when the man accused of making politically-incorrect statements on the tape had a golden opportunity to speak on the topic, the National Chairman, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, a front pew-occupying Elder of the Church of Pentecost, rather muddied the waters.
He conveniently ignored owning up or not to the tape. Rather, he chose to play out his party credentials. He chronicled his rise through the ranks of the party Jerry John Rawlings signed into existence with his blood.
Just by the way, no one has done any scientific analysis on the weight the Founder himself puts on his blood on the official constitution of the party. For instance, Papa Jay conveniently dogged the party primary election to elect a flagbearer to contest the sitting president during the 2020 presidential election.
I am told that is understandable, given the array of talents he nurtured politically and who contested the primary. How important that exercise is to the Founder and his blood has not been researched into. But how the man who staged the 1979 coup d’état, and, indeed, returned to head the military junta in 1992 and finally turned his Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) into the National Democratic Congress (NDC) contrived to miss the Thanksgiving Service of his party after John Mahama’s victory, seems to give the game away.
The Founder’s absence did not obliterate the notion that the party Chairman chose to ignore the issue that mattered most on the tape. By playing out his credentials as a cadre who has gone through the mill, the National Chairman succeeded in generating enough party support to his cause, instead of owning up as the person who uttered those controversial words on the recording.
First reports indicated that the party leadership resolved to walk in solidarity to the police station yesterday. You and I were not there. But ubiquitous Joy News reported that cars, and perhaps, buses, were actually ferrying party supporters to the Police Headquarters in Accra, for the NDC picket.
Whether the idea of swamping the Police Headquarters with foot soldiers, while the party Chairman wrote his statement following his charge, did not amount to party vigilantism, would be an issue for future discussions. I have just been reminded that vigilantism, as a political weapon, is very much alive.
The issue would only ‘Rest In Peace’ when the two parties have summoned both the umbrella and the elephant to a contest of ‘jaw jaw’ at a venue to be determined by, guess who, Mr. Samuel Ampofo hoisting the Umbrella and Freddy Blay holding the tail of the elephant and riding, perhaps, on one of the 275 buses he promised in the run-up to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Delegates Conference at Koforidua, which has since remained a taboo topic.
Just before writing this piece, a nephew called in wanting to know why the bus for the Ekumfi Constituency, for instance, has never been seen at Ekumfi Ekrawfo, which has two of the party’s safest polling booths in the constituency.
My answer was for him to call his Constituency Chairman to table his concern at the regional head office at Cape Coast. Read the Chairman’s lips at the end of a peace walk in Accra. “We have given the clear signal that the NDC is united, and any time the NDC is united, then victory is beckoning us. That is why the NPP cannot sleep; because we have a Chairman who is a peaceful person – a chairman who is reconciling his party and bringing his party together in unity to win 2020.”
I do not know about winning or not. What I do know is that the Chairman of the party and Elder of the Church of Pentecost is failing to tell Ghanaians whether he, indeed, addressed the NDC communication team at the party head office and stirred the hornet’s nest, as is being alleged.
As you read this piece, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo is holding all the cards to the audio recording very close to his chest. We mortals of this earth are left to brood on the controversy. Did he or did he not say those words on the controversial recording?
In politics, nothing is that straight forward. But the party flagbearer has put the matter to rest, I would like to believe. On Sunday, the NDC hierarchy trooped to the Perez Dome to thank God for a successful primary.
No one has explained why the party gurus chose to hobnob with Mr. Charles Agyin-Asare, Founder and Leader of Perez Chapel. Once upon a time, the church sported a different signpost. The church, occupying the premises of the former Meat Marketing Board, was called Word Miracle Church International.
It was one church synonymous with miracles. It is difficult to compute how many miracles were performed under the direction of Mr. Bishop Charles Agyin-Asare given the miracle pronouncements of its Founder. One could hazard a guess. Perhaps, the NDC, in its desire to win the 2020 Presidential and Legislative elections, is looking for miracles.
That is only a guess! What is still unresolved is the mystery of the Ofosu-Ampofo audio recording. Did he actually call for an attack on the Chairman of the National Peace Council, and for what reason? Party gurus are still arguing about the contents of the recording and how it managed to escape the scrutiny of the party.
The cat, a very fat one, got out of the controversy via the mouth of Mr. John Dramani Mahama, the man enjoying state largesse as a former head of state and still eagerly contesting for a political office on the banner of a political party.
Now that the former head of state is an opposition leader, why are my taxes helping to prop up his new role? I do not think taxes of Ghanaians need to pay for his new role. But the law, they say, is still an ass.
Then again, it defies logic that the former President could mount a public platform and seek to justify an attack on the Chairman of the National Peace Council, as proposed by his National Chairman.
Mr. Mahama’s justification for an attack on Prof. Emmanuel Asante is premised on the grounds that the good old professor, and one-time head of the Methodist Church of Ghana, did not condemn the violence at the Ayawaso by-election before commenting on Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo’s ballistic missiles.
Read the lips of the immediate past head of state of the Republic of Ghana: “If you had condemned the violence and commented on the violence, and what the former president said, that would have been acceptable. So in the circumstances, of course, for our Chairman (Ofosu-Ampofo), who had witnessed the violence, the guy who was shot, the bone has shattered and the bone fragments were lying on the ground…Anybody who saw it will be traumatised. And so if a few days later, he was talking (leaked audio recording) and he says we should attack him, he didn’t mean we should go and beat the Peace Council Chairman. It means that we should criticise him.”
Someone said the other day that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. How Mr. John Mahama and his NDC could convince Ghanaians to believe that their Chairman’s call for attacks on the Chairman of the Peace Council could be atonement “for the sight of a guy shot and critically wounded, with his bone fragments lying all over the place,” is the difference between their reasoning power and the Ghanaian’s ability to discern.
And Mr. Mahama is a former head of state, who is expected to be a statesman, for which our taxes continue to oil his life-style. The former President is behaving like the typical African opposition leader. Where is thy honour, Mr. former President? That is not all. Read what he added at what was supposed to be a thanksgiving service.
For me, whatever the former President said is not as important as the fact that he gave the NDC game away. With everybody in the NDC claiming that there was no tape to talk about, or that the audio recording was doctored, the former president’s exposé has put all that to rest.
According to Mr. John Mahama, there was a recording. On that tape were certain comments deemed by most Ghanaians as uncomplimentary. And that those comments came from the National Chairman of the NDC, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo. These are very interesting times.
I shall return!