NDC plots smear campaign: Akufo-Addo, Bediatuo, Ken, Gabby, Asenso targeted

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Desperate to return to power in 2020, the opposition National Democratic Congress is convinced the surest way of achieving this is to engage in a smear campaign against the Akufo-Addo presidency. 

Its specific plan is to tag the New Patriotic Party government with corruption. 

The Daily Statesman can report that a “strategic” meeting where the plot was hatched was attended by top NDC activists, including national and regional officers and leading party communicators. 

Backfire 

Our sources say the plan is to target people seen as close to the President and to “sponsor” stories about corruption against them, creating the impression that the President is either corrupt or unable to fight the canker of corruption.

The targets include Nana Asante Bediatuo, Executive Secretary to the President; Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance; Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture; Edward Akufo-Addo, brother of the President; Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, founder of the Danquah Institute and owner of the Daily Statesman; and Deputy Chief of Staff Francis Asenso-Boakye, among others. 

The sources say the NDC smear group at first toyed with the idea of targeting the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, but eventually concluded that it would backfire and so dropped the plan. 

‘Strategic’ dirt 

Specifically, on the subject of Asenso-Boakye, the plot is to “sponsor” stories in the coming days which will claim that he is acquiring properties in Accra and Kumasi, including filling stations. None of these reports is true. 

For Nana Asante Bediatuo, the plan is a honey trap: the NDC wants to plant a woman on him to set him up and accuse him falsely of using his office to award contracts.

The plan for the President’s brother, the businessman Edward Akufo-Addo, familiarly known as Bumpty, which is already in force, is to accuse him falsely of being an oil and gas tycoon. But checks done by the Daily Statesman show that Bumpty neither owns nor operates any interest in the petroleum sector. 

NDC strategists calculate that Ken Ofori-Atta’s management of the economy is their biggest Achilles heel going into Election 2020, so they are scrabbling to find ways to smear the Finance Minister. Unfortunately for them, Ofori-Atta has a reputation for keeping his nose clean and burying his head in fixing the economy. 

For Agriculture Minister Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the NDC wants to go all out on him because he is seen as the President’s close personal friend. The NDC strategists also believe he has presidential ambitions. 

Their strategy is to bastardise the Planting for Food and Jobs programme and accuse him falsely of using it as a conduit for chopping public funds. 

Hatred

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a close relation and confidant of the President, is probably the NDC’s number one target. Mr Otchere-Darko, who runs a successful law firm in Accra, is seen as vulnerable to attack because of his eagerness to assist people to solve their problems. 

The NDC intends to whip up hatred against Gabby among NPP activists by accusing him falsely of being the key figure who helps Bediatuo to award contracts. 

Other matters 

Other matters discussed at the NDC “strategic” meeting included who will be elected the next national chairman of the NPP; the National Identification Authority/Ghana Card registration exercise; and the future of Charlotte Osei, the embattled chair of the Electoral Commission. 

The NDC strategists apparently want Stephen Ntim to win the NPP chairmanship because they calculate that this could lead to conflict between camps separately loyal to President Akufo-Addo and to the former NPP chairman Paul Afoko, eventually weakening the government’s grip on governance and party organisation in the lead-up to the next elections.

The plan, therefore, is for NDC communicators to use various platforms to speak in favour of Ntim and allege that the President dislikes him. They believe this could win Ntim “sympathy votes”. 

Does the NDC have a game plan to frustrate the Ghana Card registration project? What about the party’s interest in Charlotte Osei’s future? Stay tuned for more.

Culled from Ghanaweb