Tabloid News of Saturday, 18 August 2012
Source: The Herald
*…To Increase His Height And Visibility*
The Central Regional Communications Director for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bernard Allotey Jacobs, has prescribed a rather interesting solution for Nana Akufo-Addo’s diminutive size.
According to him, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) must henceforth adopt wearing high-heeled shoes so he could be recognized and captured by television cameras when he attends public events.
“NPP did not do well by accusing GTV wrongly. It wasn’t good at all; just to chastise GTV that they didn’t put the camera on Nana Akufo-Addo. As for me my suggestion is that they should look for a designer to design a pencil heel shoe for him. It can be a new design…” Mr. Jacobs said.
The late Zambian President Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba and the late Gabon President Omar Bongo, had specially designed platform shoes that gave them extra heights and saved them from being dwarfed by their retinue.
Interestingly, Nana Addo’s father, Edward Akufo-Addo, onetime ceremonial president in the Busia regime, had a pint-sized beer bottle named after him due to his small size also.
The NDC guru was speaking on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” Morning Show, in response to the controversy sparked by an NPP Deputy Communications Director, Titus Glover that Nana Addo was deliberately ignored by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), when he filed past the mortal remains of President John Mills.
Mr. Glover, interestingly accused President John Mahama and managers of the state-owned GTV of scheming to ensure that the NPP flag bearer was not captured in the television coverage of mourners on the first day of President Mills’ funeral at the State House in Accra, last week.
The largest opposition party contended that the GTV camera crew probably took instructions from higher authorities not to show Nana Addo on its screen as he filed past the late President Mills’ body.
But Allotey Jacobs rubbished the NPP accusations and suggested to the opposition party to get someone to design pencil heeled shoes for their flag bearer to make him a bit taller.
Ridiculing the height of the NPP flag bearer, he urged him to stop accusing GTV of sabotage since it was as a result of him being too short that led to him going unnoticed.
He added that Nana Addo should also have heeded to a 2008-advice from his party’s National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, that he should reduce the number six-foot men around him.
Jake’s document, prepared in 2008, identified certain personality flaws in Nana Addo in apparent reference to his diminutive figure, Jake’s memo recommended that “the number of six-foot men around him should be reduced”.
But this recommendation appears to have fallen on deaf ears as Nana Addo continues to swarm himself with lots of people to an extent that he gets missing amongst them.
The document, which was prepared by the NPP 2008 Campaign Committee headed by Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, said Nana Addo “dresses badly” and “on TV he looks disinterested when other people are talking” whilst “on radio his voice is inaudible”.
Interestingly, the document at the time mentioned that the then NDC running mate, John Mahama, who is likely to be endorsed at the NDC Congress in Kumasi on September 1, this year, as NDC flagbearer, complemented Prof. Mills’ “strengths, however, he lacks courage to speak his mind in public”.
NPP members, who were present in the meeting that discussed these personality flaws and physical inadequacies of the NPP Presidential Candidate, were Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, Brigadier Joseph Odei, Victor Newman, John Boadu, Dan Botwe, Lord Commey, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor.
Others were Dr. Arthur K. Kennedy, Kwabena Agyapong, Yaw Buabeng-Asamoah, Prince Aboagye, Miss. Saratu Atta, Miss. Fosua Newman and Mr. Isaac Ato Mensah.
What was seen as a crisis meeting on Nana Akufo-Addo where the serious revelations were made, specifically, took place on April 23, 2008.
To address Nana Addo’s personality flaws, the then ruling NPP directed the use of funds from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as part of an elaborate plan to shape and polish him up for the December elections.
The NPP also advised that “Whatever clothes he wears must be selected such that he stands out from the background,” and directed that “he should wear simple shirts that go over the belt.” Nana Addo should also “wear a smile on his face in public”.
Furthermore the then Campaign Team again “suggested that he should be in an open-top car so people can see him and the number of six-foot men around him should be reduced”.
The suggestions were contained in one of the several documents that were leaked from the stables of the NPP, detailing its strenuous strategies for the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections to project and market Nana Akufo-Addo, who was painfully subsequently defeated by the late John Mills.
The document disclosed that the above flaws were to be added to the other weaknesses of Akufo-Addo which were not mentioned in the document.
Jake’s committee directed that Mr. Ras Boateng, the then Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) must be made to do a half- page advertisement in the newspapers and other NHIS commercials, specifically for Nana Akufo-Addo.
The committee also purposefully advised that Nana Akufo-Addo must be made to advertise the insurance scheme, to further project his image.
The committee also observed that the perception of corruption, the rot with the School Feeding Programme, high fuel prices, disaffected foot soldiers, high cost of living, armed robberies, crime, problems with MASLOC and power and water shortages, were threats to the NPP’s success, at the 2008 election.
In the assessment of the Campaign Committee, Nana Addo should be marketed as a candidate with five Cs, namely; Courage, Commitment, Competence, Compassion and Confidence, as his strengths.
It noted that the fact that the NPP presidential candidate was born and raised in Accra and speaks Ga is a strength for him.
Another of Nana Akufo-Addo’s strength, according to the document is that “his wife is also Ga and half Dangbe,” and demanded that the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of wives of the other presidential candidates must be known.
It directed that the NPP presidential candidate must be gotten into radio and TV interviews, with articles also written about what the NPP had done in power.
It said, “Starting from August this year, the NPP should show it would be doing something greater when elected into office”.
In one paragraph, the NPP Campaign Committee said of Prof. John Atta-Mills, the then National Democratic Congress (NDC) Presidential Candidate, had one of his strengths as having been Revenue Commissioner from 1995-1998, and mentioned worse revenue collection in Ghana, during that period as his only weakness.