Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, October 26, 2017
The continuous publication of the report of Prof. Kwesi Botchwey-led 13-member Committee that investigated what actually caused the defeat of the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is causing uneasy calm in the largest opposition party.
The massive leakage of the report appears to have dazed the party’s leadership, which has been running away from the content, with some of the members of the party claiming that what the media have been publishing - particularly DAILY GUIDE - is fake.
The Kwesi Botchwey Committee’s report paints a damning picture of how the NDC lost the 2016 elections, exposing the weaknesses in the party’s structure.
It describes former President John Mahama as a ‘movie star’ and ‘naked’ as he was not in tune with the reality on the ground.
They are denying contents of the report, which is indicting some of its top officers, including John Mahama, for causing the party’s embarrassing defeat in the 2016 general elections, but are refusing to make public what they term the ‘accurate’ report.
Some of the party’s leaders are claiming that the continuous publication by DAILY GUIDE and lately, other media outlets, are false; but are at the same time, busily implementing the recommendations of the report on the unpopular biometric registration which the media earlier published.
Yesterday, NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia aka General Mosquito, waded into the issue and cynically claimed it is the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government which had prepared a fake report against the opposition party (NDC) and given it to the media for action.
He said the Akufo-Addo-led administration was instigating the negative publications against the NDC to cover up what he claimed to be the government’s current failures, adding that the NPP does not hesitate to refer to the report anytime it is in crisis.
“I believe sincerely that it is an orchestration by the NPP government to divert attention from the current difficulties that the masses are going through,” Mr. Asiedu Nketia told Citi FM.
“We’ve taken a position that Kwesi Botchwey’s report is meant for internal consumption so it has not been published anywhere so any commentary that is being run or any alleged capturing of Botchwey’s report and serialisation cannot represent any genuine document coming from NDC,” he said.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia continued, “The day there was news about the $2.5bn scandal and everybody was debating, then we came back to something allegedly coming from the Botchwey report; then we moved on to Maj. Mahama’s death and everybody was discussing it then bam! - another thing purportedly coming from Botchwey’s report. Then we came to the contaminated fuel matter, when it was being discussed then another thing coming from the Botchwey report.”
The NDC general secretary said, “What the media is writing about can never be the Botchwey report, so if you are deceiving yourself by publishing things and alleging things that it is coming from page ‘so so and so’ and it is coming from the Botchwey report, you are deceiving yourself,” adding, “If you go and fabricate things and put them there hoping that the fabrication will now force people to publish what the truth is, you’ll be deceiving yourself.
“If any media house alleges that there was something indicting Dr Omane Boamah, it is not Dr Omane Boamah who should prove that it is wrong. It is for that media house to prove that indeed, this thing exists, so we advised him to proceed against the media house and then the media house will have the responsibility of producing what they think is the Botchwey report then give them the source.”
When NDC deputy General Secretary in-charge of Operations, Koku Anyidoho, was called on Hello FM yesterday over the report, he declined to discuss the content.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia himself had earlier declined to discuss the report on the same network before switching to Citi FM to accuse the government of instigating the publications.
Allotey Jacobs Concedes
Interesting, while Asiedu Nketia was denying it, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, Central Regional chairman of the NDC, confirmed yesterday on Peace Fm in Accra that the media publications of the Botchwey report are authentic.
According to him, what is being published had been presented to the NDC National Executive Committee (NEC) members at a meeting and so there was no need to deny it.
He blamed some unknown persons at the party’s headquarters for the leakage of the report - which was kept like a state secret.
Allotey Jacobs believes some entities within the NDC are scheming to cause a "civil war" in the party.
Speaking on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo show,' he feared the worst thing might happen if such was the behaviour of some party members.
According to him, he suspects the portions of the Kwesi Botchwey report had been released to the media as a grand scheme to stir agitations in the NDC.
"Some aspects of what is being discussed in the public domain or in the media domain, some aspects of it, are true . . . I’m suspecting that the media is approaching some of our constituency, regional and national executives because the media is trying to unlock the Kwesi Botchwey report to make a fuss about it.
". . I’m suspecting that some people are talking to the press and it’s an agenda to create a kind of a civil war in the party," he observed.
Former National Organiser of the NDC, Yaw Boateng Gyan, who wants to stage a comeback, also admitted that the leaked document is true, after initially disputing it.
After he had been confronted with overwhelming evidence, Mr Boateng Gyan toed the line of Allotey Jacobs and ate the humble pie, conceding to the authenticity of the publications.
In the ensuing debate, former President Mahama, whom the report indicts heavily for wrecking his own second term bid, appeared to mock NDC’s political opponents and the media over the publications.
He posted on Twitter - a social media network - yesterday that “It appears ‘KB report’ has been adopted by some media as the new handbook for any challenge facing GH,” adding, “In the event of crisis, open any page and quote. Lol!”
Strangely, ex-President Mahama held a meeting with his former appointees sometime in April and conceded that he should be blamed for the NDC’s defeat.