A founding father of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe has challenged his party’s Flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo to distance himself from, and condemn, in no uncertain terms, alleged tribalistic comments made by fellow party stalwart Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo to the effect that even though close to 90 per cent of Ghana’s resources are concentrated in Akan-dominated areas, it is non-Akans who come from areas without resources that are at the helm of governance.
“Nana Addo, to save this party of ours, must come down: either he distances himself from the statement of Yaw [Osafo-Maafo] or apologises to the people of this country…I personally think he is trying to take us for a ride,” Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe toldIbrahim Alhassan in an interview Monday.
He fears the comment could frustrate the party’s electoral chances in the 2016 national polls just as similar comments in the lead up to the 2012 elections hurt the NPP’s chances. “In [the] 2012 elections, we nearly won power, but for some of these statements. We would have won power, [but] similar statements were made by certain people just before the elections and that cost us a lot,” he observed.
The former finance Minister’s Office issued a statement on Monday February 23, 2015 saying his voice was doctored on the secret tape.
A male voice resembling his is heard on the a gathering at Koforidua in the Ashanti region that: “…You have all the tape telling resources, but you have no say in the management of your resources, and that is what is happening. Your development depends on the one who has no resources.”
“You can’t say this openly,” he cautioned the Council members of the party’s Eastern regional branch when he met them, but added that they are at liberty to talk about it among Asantes.
“We should protect ourselves, we should protect our income. No one, who is the source of income, the source of revenue, the source of resources; allows another person without those resources the chance [to rule over them].
“It’s never done anywhere in the world. In the world over, it is the group with the most resources that rules and not the other way around,” the voice said.
In the estimation of the voice, “86.5 percent of resources in Ghana come from five regions: Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central. This is where 86 percent of the resources of Ghana come from… And the oil was also discovered in the West. It will change the formula to about 90 percent. We cannot ignore these five regions. We should not,” the voice added.
In the denial statement signed by Special Assistant Emmanuel Bediako Mamfe, the former Flagbearer-Aspirant’s Office said: “Some of his remarks have been distorted as advocating tribal or ethnic sentiments, trying to create the impression that he is a tribalist. In all his public life, he has striven to do what is right for Ghana and not for any sectional interest.
“We therefore wish to state the following:
(i). The alleged tape purported to be his voice has been doctored, mischievously re-arranged and pieced together, using modern technology, to create a false impression.
(ii). This meeting took place on 29th January, but this concoction has been mischievously released to coincide with and try to overshadow the recent successful “Won Gbo” demonstration of 18th February.
(iii). The release of this doctored tape is a desperate attempt to divert the attention of Ghanaians from REAL problems facing Ghana – widespread corruption, rising levels of unemployment, economic hardships and mismanagement of the economy.”
Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe, however, says Mr Osafo-Maafo is running away from his own voice. “…I have listened to it several times. I know Yaw [Osafo-Maafo]. I know the voice of Yaw. The tape itself is not disjointed anywhere, so if Yaw claims the tape has been doctored, he should let the people of this country have the original tape for all of us to [listen].
In his vice, the statement from the Engineer’s Office berates the intelligence of Ghanaians. “Somebody who was once declared as the best finance Minister in Africa, I’m greatly disappointed. I think Yaw must credit the people of this country with some intelligence. He forgets himself that day-in and day-out, people are growing. And as a leader, if he is faced with such a challenge and finds the easy way out, I don’t think that is good for this country…definitely he must be sanctioned one way or the other…I don’t know what they takes the people of this country for, to come out with such a statement and he thinks he’ll be believed by anyone?” he wondered.
According to Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe, the leadership of the NPP must not let Mr Osafo-Maafo off the hook. [Dr Charles] Wereko-Brobbey had a problem with the party on a very minor scale, he was sanctioned and suspended. I mean what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I’m really disappointed in Yaw. Yaw himself should have been bold enough to come out and say I made such a statement, I‘m sorry to the people of this country and people will give him tremendous respect, but what he has done, he’s finished as far as politics in this country is concerned.”