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General News Wed, 22 Jan 2003

NPP to spend 25m cedis to infiltrate Ghana Palaver

Thursday 28 November 2002, will forever remain a “Black Thursday” for the Ghana Palaver. That was the day the future of Ghana Palaver under the NPP Government was finally decided, “signed, sealed and delivered.” On that day the National Executive Committee of the NPP met.

There was only one item on the Agenda-How did the Ghana Palaver get the material for its story Tuesday 19 November to Thursday 21 November 2002, Vol. 9, No. 13, with the caption “NPP’s US$1bn “IFC” Scam Loan-Why President Kufuor’s Cabinet Must Go”, which gave a graphic, detailed and accurate account of what had transpired at an earlier NPP National Executive Committee meeting held on 12 September 2002, at the NPP Headquarters; who must have given the minutes to the Ghana Palaver, and how the paper could be gagged.

At the meeting of 28 November 2002 Party Chairman Haruna Esseku brought out a copy of the Ghana Palaver of the said date and asked Party General Secretary Dan Botwe to read the offending story, which went like this;

“We are again aware, for example, that a meeting of the NPP National Executive Committee held on 12 September 2002 at the NPP Headquarters, the National Chairman announced that at an earlier meeting, it had been decided that the President should shuffle his Ministers and that those who are not doing well should be dropped.

According to Esseku as he told the meeting of the 12 September, this information was leaked to the Ministers, and some had accused him of agitating for their removal and were inciting members of the party against him, and urged that the practice be stopped immediately.”

After the story was read, Esseku said he was surprised about how the minute of 12 September meeting got to the Ghana Palaver for publication. (The Ghana Palaver story did not state that it was based on any minutes of the meeting though).

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The Party Chairman aired his suspicion that some NDC elements had been planted at the Headquarters who leaked information to the NDC and asked that the meeting consider the leakage very seriously.

National Organiser Lord Commey was the first to speak. He asked that all those who handled the minutes of the Party meetings should be investigated by the party and called for the selection and appointment of a reliable person to handle such minutes as a matter of urgency.

That would enable such a person to be held responsible for any information leakage. General Secretary Dan Botwe was of the view that if the NDC in opposition was using money to infiltrate their Headquarters for confidential information, then the NPP should do the same thing.

He announced that already, he has started talking to an NPP deserter who was in a high position in the NDC for possible recruitment for this purpose and asked for approval for the sum of 25m cedis for this urgent assignment.

Additionally, the person should be awarded a work contract as a motivation. Ghana Palaver has learnt the identity of the NPP deserter who is in high position in the NDC and who is being recruited as an NPP mole by General Secretary Dan Botwe.

We are withholding his identity for the main time in the hope that at best, he will not be tempted and at worst, he will play the role of a double agent. For now, we will only state that he is from the Western Region.

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Ghana Palaver has been at the receiving end of the NPP ever since the party came to power. Having succeeded in cultivating almost all the private print media, the NPP is not at a loss as to how to handle the Ghana Palaver.

It will be recalled that immediately on the NPP’s assumption of power, agents of the IRS sent a demand notice to the paper ordering the payment of large amount of money as overdue tax payments plus penalties.

Next followed the SSNIT, which also demanded the payment of back contributions plus penalties. Both of these developments were gleefully reported in the Ghanaian Chronicle newspaper.

Then followed an avalanche of court actions by NPP officials and activists against the paper. Foreign Minister Hackman Owusu Agyeman sued. The President’s brother George Kufuor also sued. GFA Chairman next sued. Indeed we suspect that the party has met and decided that the Ghana Palaver must be sued out of existence.

Ghana Palaver has overcome all these crude and subtle harassments and will definitely survive the latest attempt to put it out of business so that the NPP will be able to put into operation its real objective of creating a de facto one-Party state without as much as having to blink an eyelid.

Source: Ghana Palaver