Opinions Mon, 10 Mar 2008

Akufo-Addo Cannot Ignore This Drug Accusation


The presidential candidates' marathon trot from Axim to Paga is a long, laborious, and close contest so why is Akufo Ado willing to run with Kofi Wayo riding on his shoulders?

On February 12, Ghanaweb posted my article captioned 'Akufo-Addo Cannot Ignore This Drug Accusation' and 10 days later, Okoampa Ahoofe made a rather frail attempt to diffuse my argument in his version uncharacteristically entitled 'This Character Assassination Must Be Stopped'. My article raised questions aimed at pointing out things that make Kofi Wayo's charge that Akufo Ado is a hard drug addict believable. The article was calculatedly short and clear-cut (3 paragraphs) so as to keep readers focused on the questions but Ahoofe, in his most infinite professorial wisdom, shrewdly attacked the weakest of my points and opportunely ignored all others, hoping that nobody will notice. Ahoofe's only defense of Akufo Addo is that Wayo has nothing to lose politically so he can make false accusations about his rivals. Due to the gravity of Wayo's claim, I am going to elaborate on the questions with the anticipation that Ahoofe will come back and, this time, make an conscious effort to answers all my other questions.

I agree with Ahoofe that Wayo has very little (maybe nothing) to lose politically but I differ that, that gives Wayo the right to destroy other winnable candidates. If indeed Akufo is an addict he must be dropped like a hot cassava but if Wayo cannot provide evidence he (Wayo) deserves the severest punishment for hurting Akufo and attempting to influence the outcome of the elections by unfair means. Akufo's lawyers must take legal action against Wayo for serious punitive and compensatory charges that will impair him financially. But if Akufo's lawyers dispute Wayo's claim, what are they waiting for?

According to Ahoofe 'Mr. Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, arguably the most important lieutenant of the African Show Boy, once served jail time for unconscionably fabricating lies against Dr. J. B. Danquah', so why is the Akufo campaign team letting Wayo off the hook while Akufo's chance of becoming president is at stake? Why was Akufo's lawyers' denial so soft and why did it take them weeks after the accusation to come out? Why did they warn the news media when they know that the media only reported what Wayo said?

We know that Wayo later said that the editor of Searchlight newspaper told him about Akufo and the editor denied having said so but we are not interested in Wayo's source of information, we are interested in his evidence and the truth of the matter. As I stated in my earlier article, I heard the rumour in through grapevine several years ago, even before the NPP was formed, but it does not matter who started the rumour as much as the verity or falsehood of the matter. I know that it is very difficult for Akufo to prove a negative - that he is not a drug addict just as it is for Rawlings to prove that he is not a 'sasabonsam' or he is not planning a coup. Normally, the accuser has to provide evidence to support his claim but in this case the onus is on Akufo to exonerate himself because Wayo has NOTHING to lose and Akufo has EVERTHING to lose. Nowhere in the world will a presidential candidate ignore such a smudge in an election year!

In the past 2000 elections, as well 2004, when many people, this writer included, were fed up with Rawlings and the NDC and wanted a change, Attah Mills got about 43% of the votes while losing in his home region. Nduom is now a viable candidate in the coming elections and is likely to take, at the very least, Central and Western regions, the home base of the CPP, Nduom, and Mills. Also, keep in mind that Akufo did not win the NPP candidacy easily - a sign that his party may not be behind him as much as the CPP and NDC are solidly behind Nduom and Mills respectively. It therefore does not take a special person to advise the Akufo Ado camp that things will not look good for him if Ghanaians do not change their voting patterns and that he will be taking a chance of his political life by entering the race with an unanswered drug addiction charge. Remember that Wayo said Akufo IS (not was) a drug addict, indicating that he is STILL depending on hard drugs to the magnitude that he CANNOT stop. By implication, Akufo could have been breaking the same drug laws that he was in charge of prosecuting offender for as a Minister of Justice. With this serious challenge why would Akufo risk losing before he identifies the 'false' drug addiction charge as one of the causes?

Generally people make false allegation against others in high places knowing that the man at the top does not have the time to answer, and more so, if the allegation is implausible like Nkrumah having a pregnant woman in a zombie state (Kankan Nyame) that protects him spiritually and Kufour drinking human blood. Akufo's case is different in that he is now in competition with others to become president and the charge against him is not that incredible - as I stated in my earlier article, I heard the rumour in the grapevine several years ago, even before the NPP was formed. Akufo's campaign resources surely include expenditure for damage control and if the presidential race is about character, and ability to do the job, why is Akufo allowing Wayo to stain his character? Case in point: when Spio-Garbrah was vying for the NDC nomination, a Kumasi lady questioned him about the sale of a building in Washington, DC, that belonged to the Ghana government. In a few days, Spio-Garbrah, because his character was at stake, came out with an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the sale and the government coffer into which the revenue was deposited. Why is the vociferous Akufo not answering Wayo's challenge during one of his campaign talks? Why has Akufo left it to the voters to form 'wrong' opinions about him?

Ahoofe is hurting Akufo more than he is helping and this is why - Ahoofe is largely regarded as the number one character assassin on this forum. He attacks the NDC, CPP, and all politicians, dead or alive, excluding Akufo and Danquah, and including even NPP presidential candidates who challenged Akufo for the nomination. It is okay for Ahoofe to accuse Wayo of 'shamelessly using his smoking-pipe to transport sizable dosages of crack-cocaine for commercial distribution abroad' and that Wayo 'wanted to spend a torrid night at Hotel Roosevelt with a white-teenager' but once I pointed out things that make it seem true that Akufo is drug addict, as if he has seen the light, Ahoofe surprisingly pleads that 'This Character Assassination Must Be Stopped'. This is an indication that deep in his heart, Ahoofe believes that Akufo Ado may, in fact, be a drug addict.

It is Akufo's prerogative to answer the charges or not but because he has too much at state to remain silent, he does not convince many of us that he is not somewhat guilty as charged. If Akufo remains silent, win or loose, the drug addiction stigma will forever follow him like a shadow, even through his afterlife. By his silence, Akufo seems to be saying 'Que sera, sera', (whatever will be, will be), I cannot deny it, but I will not admit it. Let the voters use their judgment'.

I may be wrong but I doubt it.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Amonu, Kofi