Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kwesi Nyantakyi has rendered unqualified apologies to some high-ranking state officials including a former president.
“I owe them my deepest apologies because in my interaction with the supposed Sheikh from Qatar and his agents, I made comments that were not responsible having regard to my stature and experience,” Mr Nyantakyi said in a statement released on Monday to tell his side of the story about an exposé by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
“Those comments resulted from a poor exercise of discretion arising on the spur of the moment and in circumstances in which I interacted with the supposed Sheikh and his agents.”
Mr Nyantakyi, who relinquished all his positions in football after the exposé, listed the president, vice president, former president – definitely John Dramani Mahama – ministers and deputy ministers, senior government officials, members of the two major political parties, and the entire football fraternity as the persons he apologises to.
“I also apologise to well-meaning and discerning Ghanaians, who I have by virtue of my indiscretion offended.
“I extend the same level of apology to my family, friends and associates for the anguish and hardship this issue has created for them.”
Explaining the facts in his statement, Mr Nyantakyi said he was introduced to one Qatar-based Ahmed Hussein Suale, who is a friend to Abdulai Alhassan, the resigned Chairman of the Nrothern Region Football Association.
When he met Mr Suale for the first time, Mr Nyantakyi said his guest had told him the Sheikh businessman gave Mr Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) $8 million for the 2016 elections.
“Mr Suale also said that the Sheikh was ready to offer financial support to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in mitigation of expenses incurred in the run up to the 2016 General Elections.
“He then sought our advice. I responded by saying that if Sheikh Al-Thani spent $8m on a party that had lost elections, it made sense to spend the same amount or more on the party that won the election.”
Mr Nyantakyi’s account was repeated in a statement to the Criminals Investigations Directorate (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, a media report of which might have irked Mr Mahama.
The former president tweeted after a media publication:
Over the years people fought & in some cases paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy today. When a supposedly respected media house like Multimedia allows itself to be used for political propaganda, it besmirches our common honour & the sacrifices we’ve made as a people— John Dramani Mahama (@JDMahama) June 5, 2018
“I did not know that I was being recorded. I certainly would have exercised a better discretion if I knew I was being recorded,” Mr Nyantakyi stated.