General News Tue, 6 Sep 2011

Wikileaks: Nana Addo's Narcotic Breakfast

From the lenses of Wikileaks and from the lips of very close associates, some of whom have known Nana Akufo-Addo, the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for decades, came the bombshell - the NPP Presidential candidate appears to have substituted the smoking of marijuana for his early morning breakfast.

According ‘Comrade’ Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., the respected publisher and editor of the ‘Insight’ newspaper, Nana Akufo-Addo did not just smoke a lot of the illegal herb, but smoke early in the morning to get high always.

According to the latest leaks of diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Accra, when questioned about persistent rumors of Akufo-Addo's alleged cocaine habit, Mr. Pratt who was very fair to the NPP candidate admitted that he had personal knowledge of the candidate's drug use, but that it was not cocaine.

"Nana used to smoke a lot of marijuana," Pratt said, "and I'm telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to be a cloud around him and you could see that he was high. But I never saw him do cocaine, and I think that is just an assumption people made."

In another development, Dr. Kwesi Aning, another very respected security analyst who is head of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, is quoted to have admitted that Akufo-Addo had used drugs in his

younger days, but that was now "under control."

He added cryptically that "you can check with German intelligence on


The above revelations come in the wake of the embassy’s own conclusions of the assessment of the character of the NPP Presidential Candidate, that he was arrogant, lacked organizational skills, was out of touch with the ordinary Ghanaian and has the reputation of being a chronic womanizer who occasionally experimented with marijuana, a category of a Narcotic substance.

Mr. Kwesi Pratt Junior, true to his earlier public pronouncements even before the cables emerged, has refused to go into the matter.

His position was that he was not comfortable discussing in public information he gleaned about people whilst he was personally associated with them.

Mr. Aning, on the other hand, appears to be saying that the information he provided the embassy appears to have been embellished even though some of the cables appeared to be direct quotations attributed to him.

Please read below the entire cable:


¶1. (C) SUMMARY. Political commentator Kwesi Pratt (Protect) predicts an NDC win in a runoff election.

He says that NPP candidate Akufo-Addo has Libyan backing, lacks party support in funding his campaign, is less corrupt than others in the Kufuor government, and is innocent of charges that he has a cocaine habit. On the NDC side, Pratt contends that Atta-Mills is among the cleanest politicians in Ghana, and has no obligations to Jerry Rawlings.

In the event of an NDC election victory, Pratt says, the shadow that Rawlings casts over Ghanaian politics will be erased once and for all, but if the NPP wins, Rawlings could once again become a force to be reckoned with.


¶2. (C) Poloff met on November 21 with Kwesi Pratt, Jr.

(Protect), editor and publisher of the Weekly Insight and frequent commentator on FM radio stations, to get his take on upcoming elections.

Pratt, who is a well-known political gadfly with ties to the Convention People's Party (CPP), said he is practically alone in predicting a National Democratic Congress (NDC) win, but also expected that it would require a run-off election.

He said that much of the money flowing into the campaign of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate

Nana Akufo-Addo did not come from the party, but from outside sources, including the Libyans.

When Poloff pointed out that the rumor mill had consistently put the Libyans in the NDC camp, Pratt said that Akufo-Addo's funding did not come from Qaddafi, but from the Libyan foreign minister, with whom Akufo-Addo had established a close relationship during his days as Ghana's foreign minister.

He added that President Kufuor controlled most of the NPP party money that would normally flow into Akufo-Addo's campaign, and that "he hangs on to a lot of it."

¶3. (C) Pratt said that he has a long-standing personal

relationship with both Akufo-Addo and John Atta-Mills that goes back at least two decades.

He felt that Akufo-Addo had been unfairly tarnished by the assumption of corruption because of the high-level positions he has held within the Kufuor administration, but that he was in fact much cleaner than most of those around him.

Pratt has been a virulent critic of corruption in the Kufuor government, which he labeled as 'astronomical" and "an affront to all Ghanaians."

The amounts of money being pocketed by public officials had grown exponentially, he said, because of the discovery of oil and the ever-increasing narcotics trade, but he posited that Akufo-Addo, in his role as Foreign Minister in the second Kufuor administration, did not share in the spoils.

When questioned about persistent rumors of Akufo-Addo's own cocaine habit, Pratt admitted that he had personal knowledge of the candidate's drug use, but that it was not cocaine.

"Nana used to smoke a lot of marijuana," Pratt said, "and I'm telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to be a cloud around him and you could see that he was high. But I never saw him do cocaine, and I think that is just an assumption people made."


¶3. (C) On the subject of the NDC, Pratt said that Atta-Mills was one of the most incorruptible politicians in Ghana. It is just not in his character to take bribes, and in fact that was why former president Jerry Rawlings chose him as his running mate in 1996. About a year before that election, Pratt said, Rawlings had paid a visit on Atta-Mills, who at


the time was the director of Ghana's Internal Revenue

Service, to check on income figures he had been given by his finance minister, Kwesi Botchwey. When those tallies didn't add up, Rawlings lost faith in Botchwey (who resigned shortly afterwards, following 12 years in that position) and somewhat like Diogenes searching for an honest man, Rawlings chose the political neophyte Atta-Mills as his vice-presidential candidate. (NOTE:

An interesting historical aside: Rawlings

and his first-term vice president, Kow Arkaah, never got

along well, but Arkaah's fate was sealed when Rawlings

suddenly attacked him, punching and kicking him, at a cabinet

meeting on December 28, 1995. Even after the beating, Arkaah

stubbornly remained in his position, and one year later,

while he was still sitting as vice president, John Kufuor,

the opposition NPP flagbearer, chose him as his vice

presidential candidate, giving Arkaah the strange distinction

of running against his own government while still in office

for the same position he already held. END NOTE)

¶4. (C) To prove his point about Atta-Mills' character, Pratt

said that Rawlings had tried to extract a promise that

Atta-Mills would allow him to name four key cabinet positions

-- Foreign Affairs, Interior, Defense, and Finance -- in

exchange for Rawlings and his wife actively campaigning on

Atta-Mills' behalf. According to Pratt, Atta-Mills refused,

and when Pratt asked him why, saying that he could have said

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yes and then reneged on the agreement after being elected,

Atta-Mills reportedly said that he couldn't do that, because

he is not a man who can go back on his word. In the end,

both of the Rawlings have been campaigning vigorously for

Atta-Mills because, Pratt said, Nana Agyemang Rawlings is

convinced she will go to prison if the NPP is victorious.

¶5. (C) Repeating what the Embassy has been hearing from other

sources, Pratt said that Rawlings has no real influence over

Atta-Mills. The two men, whose personalities are

diametrically opposed, have little in common, but have

arranged a political marriage of convenience that will be

annulled as soon as Atta-Mills is inaugurated. If the NDC

wins, Pratt is convinced, Rawlings will no longer have a

political voice that resonates with the people, and the

victory "will put an end to the Rawlings factor forever." In

the case of an NPP win, however, Pratt fears that Rawlings

could gain a new lease on life in national politics,

re-emerging as a redemptive figure hailed by an army of

disillusioned and disenfranchised youth. They will lose

faith in the political system as represented by moderates

such as Atta-Mills, and more readily succumb to the spell of

Rawlings-style demagoguery.



¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Dr. Kwesi Aning, a researcher at Kofi

Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC),


told PolOff that post-election violence could still take

place if the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) perceives that

it is losing the election. He expects the elections to be

free and fair, and predicted that a runoff will be necessary.

He called narcotics trafficking the biggest problem facing

Ghana, accused President Kufuor and the NPP of widespread

corruption, alleged that Kufuor and NPP presidential

candidate Nana Akufo-Addo have a deep-seated antipathy for

each other, and stated that as many as 700,000 small arms and

light weapons are in the hands of Ghanaians, presenting a

significantly higher threat to national security than is

generally perceived. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (U) After hearing him speak in dire tones about the

threat of violence during Ghana's upcoming elections at a

forum sponsored by the Center for Democratic Development

(CDD), PolOff decided to call on Dr. Kwesi Aning, the head of

the Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution Department

(CPMRD) at the KAIPTC. Aning holds a doctorate degree from

the University of Copenhagen, where he spent 20 years

teaching before moving to Addis Ababa to work with the

African Union on defense and security policy. A Google of

Aning shows that he is a widely-published academic on

subjects of African security and counter-terrorism.

¶3. (C) Aning began the conversation by admitting that he is

affiliated with the NPP, that he is in fact an advisor to

Akufo-Addo, whose record on human rights in Ghana he admires,

and that the glasses he wears are a result of beatings

received during the years of Jerry Rawlings' military regime.

Despite his NPP leanings, he said, he had been disillusioned

by the party's corruption, in particular the involvement of

members of the current government in the growing narcotics

trafficking in Ghana. He claimed that the drug trade, if not

brought under control in the next five years, threatens to

destabilize Ghana. He said that trafficking reaches into all

sectors of the government, including high levels of the

judiciary, which is complicit in allowing those involved in

the drug trade to escape any punitive action. He discussed

several high-level officials who have been involved in drug

trafficking, including NPP MP Kennedy Agyapong, current

Kufuor Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani, Akufo-Addo's

brother-in-law Raymond Amankwah (who was arrested in May in

Brazil for trafficking), and Assistant Commissioner of Police

Kofi Boakye (on administrative leave from his position and

still pending trial).

¶4. (C) Because of the NPP's high levels of corruption and

involvement with movements of illicit drugs in Ghana, Aning

believes that the NPP "can't accept a loss in the election,"

and that it will go to great lengths to prevent a victory by

the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Aning admitted that

the transparent election process makes it difficult to steal

votes, and predicted that the NPP would rather "cause

commotion" after the election, intimidate, and make ballots


dissapear. (NOTE: Embassy finds this scenario lacks

credibility, and when pressed to elaborate, Aning could not

provide more specifics. END NOTE)

¶5. (C) Although Aning says he is a close advisor and friend

of Akufo-Addo, he feels that the NPP presidential campaign

has been disastrous, and would result in a close election

that could be won by the NDC. Akufo-Addo's biggest problem,

said Aning, is that he is an Akyem, he can't speak Twi

without stumbling, and has to be coached in the local

language. He speaks eloquent English and can delineate

social policies with great finesse, Aning said, but that is

of no use on the hustings away from Accra. Aning advised him

to wear traditional dress in the countless billboards that

dot the countryside with his image, but Akufo-Addo insisted

that western clothes (a navy-blue suit and red tie) made him

look more presidential, a move that Aning insists is costing

him votes.

¶6. (C) Aning stated that "Nana and Kufuor may salute for the

cameras, but they can barely stand to be in the same room

with each other." Kufuor has campaigned for Akufo-Addo just

three times, and absent the Rawlings factor, wouldn't mind

seeing him lose. Aning said that the breach dates back to

2000, when Akufo-Addo thought he was destined to become the

NPP's candidate, and felt that the upstart Kufuor had stolen

the nomination from him. Despite the antipathy, Akufo-Addo

campaigns on a slogan of "moving forward" as a continuation

of Kufuor's policies, a tactic which Aning thinks is

backfiring. He said that he had urged Akufo-Addo to adopt

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"New Hope for Ghana" as his campaign theme, and to distance

himself from Kufuor. Although Akufo-Addo has surrounded

himself publicly with NPP stalwarts and former ministers such

as Alan Kyeremating, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Jake

Obetsebi-Lamptey, and Kofi Apraku, his closest advisors,

Aning claims, come from his own family and clan. (If

Akufo-Addo wins the election, Aning says, none of those NPP

luminaries will have a place in his cabinet.)

¶7. (C) As a final example of the NPP's feckless campaign,

Aning pointed to the constituency of Teshie, where KAIPTC is

located. The incumbent NPP candidate for MP, Dr. Gladys

Norly-Ashitey, had set up several campaign events, and then

failed to appear at the rallies. She is highly unpopular in

the area, and won by just 43 votes in the last election.

When Akufo Addo appeared with her at a campaign stop there,

she was jeered and Akufo Addo was excoriated by the crowd for

lack of services, bad roads, and the fetid Teshie lagoon.

"He hadn't done his homework," Aning said, "and he paid the


¶8. (C) Aning still supports Akufo-Addo, saying he is a man

with strong feelings about human rights who deeply wants to

help the Ghanaian people. He seemed to separate Akufo-Addo

from the Kufuor administration's reputation for corruption,

saying that Akufo-Addo was a wealthy man before entering

government service and didn't need any more money. He said

that Akufo-Addo was driven more by a sense of history and a

need to uphold the family name (his father had been Chief

Justice of the Supreme Court and also President of Ghana from

1972-74). When asked about rumors of Akufo-Addo's cocaine

use, Aning admitted that Akufo-Addo had used drugs in his

younger days, but that was now "under control." He added

cryptically that "you can check with German intelligence on


¶9. (U) Aning thought the election would be close, because

even though the NPP has a huge cash advantage over the NDC,

the NDC campaign has been tight and focused, and Atta-Mills

knows exactly where to go after the votes he needs. He said

that the NDC had also done an excellent job in choosing where

to deploy Jerry Rawlings and its vice-presidential candidate

John Mahama.

¶9. (C) Finally, when asked about his assertion at the CDD

forum that weapons caches were proliferating in the northern

regions of Ghana, Aning contended that the number of small

arms and light weapons was vastly underestimated. He gave

PolOff a paper he had published in the April 2008 edition of

The Journal of Contemporary African Studies, in which he

estimates that as many as 700,000 firearms are in civilian

hands. He claims that Ghana's National Firearms Bureau

legally registered 400,000 guns from 1955-2004. Aning said

that the threat presented by these small arms was

significant, especially in the North, where rumors abound of

stockpiling by both sides in Chieftancy disputes which could

rise to the surface during elections. Aning also noted a

recent increase in armed robberies and violent crimes in

Ghana. (NOTE: Official Ghanaian estimates are 40,000

illicit small arms in the country. Aning's figures seem to

be considerably exaggerated. END NOTE.)

¶10. (C) COMMENT: Aning has a reputation as a no-nonsense

academic who steers an independent course. In his

conversation with Poloff, he toned down considerably the

fears he had expressed at the CDD forum concerning widespread

post-election violence. Going contrary to popular belief

that the NDC would likely be the instigator of any election

violence, Aning instead surmised that only the NPP would

resort to hostilities in the face of a pending election loss.

When asked why he assumed the election would require a

run-off, like most political observers, Aning had little

concrete evidence besides his gut feeling from "discussions

around the country."


Source: Raymond Archer
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