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Feature Article of Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Columnist: The Herald

Nana Addo Wanted Cheap Publicity At Mills' Funeral

On Wednesday, August 8, 2012 as Ghanaians went somber mourning the loss of their President, a man, his wife and a huge party entourage left his Nima Junction residence in Accra, with a rather strange mission even though he carried in his hands a wreath, as if he was going to mourn the departed man.

But minutes after filling pass the mortal remains of late President John Mills, Nana Akufo-Addo’s true intentions for going to the State Banquet Hall was laid bare by his aides, who issued a statement suggesting that he had gone to the state funeral for publicity stunt, but not to mourn his ex-university and football mate.

Despite the estimated 700 journalists including foreign media houses who covered the highly rated event, aides of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag bearer, singled out the state television, GTV, accusing it of not capturing Nana Addo when paid his last respect to the man who beat him at the polls in the December 2008 presidential election.

Nana Addo was in the company of NPP National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, and other members like Fred Oware, Yofi Grant, Lord Commey, Alan Kyeremanten, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Samira Bawumia, Becky Akufo-Addo, Ken Ofori-Atta, Nkrabea Effah-Datey, Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Kofi Konadu Apraku, Esther Ofori, Steve Amoah, Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John and huge number NPP supporters.

A member of the NPP communication team, Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover said the NPP was shocked at the attitude of the state broadcaster and would file a complaint with the National Media Commission (NMC) in order to correct it.

He strangely blamed President John Dramani Mahama and Directors of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), for deliberately not capturing their presidential candidate, Nana Addo in the television coverage on the first day of the late president’s funeral.

He described the development as unacceptable, stating that the state broadcaster is funded with the tax payer’s resources.

Mr. Titus-Glover said they had the feeling that the camera crew probably took instruction from higher authorities. He challenged the President to come out and state his position on the issue if he had nothing to do with it.

The member of the NPP communication team rejected the suggestion that the cameras may have missed Nana Addo because of height; rather, he said it was impossible for the cameras to capture other members of Nana Addo’s delegation but miss Nana Addo.

However, some viewers’ interviewed by this paper claimed that the GTV cameras had captured Nana Addo on that Wednesday and on the last days of the funeral, except that he was not asked for an interview.

“If it is a case of not speaking on camera, I am sure that could be an oversight, but not a deliberate slight as they would want us to believe”, said a viewer who asked for anonymity.

Nana Addo and his campaign team is gaining notoriety for the planting false stories in the media to court attention to hype him.

Recently, the campaign team claimed that Mr. Daniel K. Eshun, the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Ellembele in the Western Region, had destroyed a bridge linking two towns to thwart a campaign tour of the NPP Presidential candidate to the area.

But Mr. Eshun has rubbished the allegation saying that the work being undertaken by the engineers was on the bridge not on the instructions of the Assembly.

He said it was rather the Ghana Gas Company which sponsored the work. The DCE said that if the Assembly wanted to frustrate Nana Addo’s tour by removing a bridge, it would have destroyed a bigger bridge leading to the Ellembele District, insisting that the media report was false.

Days before the Ellembele incident, Nana Addo in June claimed that National Security operatives, under the command of Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (rtd), committed a diplomatic gaffe when they rudely a meeting between him (Nana Addo) and a Danish diplomatic team at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, insisting they had to be part of the meeting.

A “Daily Guide” story claimed that Nana Akufo-Addo’s invitation by the visiting Danish Foreign Minister, Villy Sovndal, in the company of his country’s envoy to Ghana, Ambassador Carsten Nilaus Pedersen, at the hotel, apparently attracted a horde of National Security operatives whose unsolicited presence at the hospitality facility boggled the minds of those who spotted them.

The story with a blazing headline “Gbevlo Boys Chase Nana” said “If their presence in the hotel was amazing, their weird demand to be part of the meeting startled the diplomats and their hosts. About six operatives of National Security allegedly turned up at the hotel where Mr. Pedersen and Mr Villy Sovndal had invited Nana Addo for a meeting, which centred on the 2012 general elections, and Nana Addo’s commitment towards a peaceful, free and fair polls”.

Mustapha Hamid, an aide to the NPP flagbearer, confirmed this in an interview with Peace FM last Friday. He disclosed that when the NPP presidential candidate arrived at the venue, the Danish delegation informed him that some government operatives had approached them and wanted to be part of the discussion.

“The Denmark embassy invited Nana Addo to a meeting at the Movenpick Hotel but when Nana got to the venue, he was informed by the Danish Ambassador that National Security officials have invaded the venue and wanted to be part of the deliberations. According to the diplomats, the security operatives said they do not understand why the Danes will want to confer with an opposition leader…” Hamid was captured as saying.

There are other instances where Nana Addo on his “Restoring Hope” tour, met empty chairs and canopies but his campaign team claimed that he was mobbed at the various towns and villages he went to campaign.

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