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Politics of Thursday, 11 January 2007

Source: EGBERT FAIBILLE JNR for GHANAIAN OBSERVER (www.ghanaianobserver.com)

Akufo-Addo Is Fit To Be President - Coomson

Ace journalist and publisher of the The Chronicle newspaper has stated that Foreign Minister Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a man of stature who qualifies to lead the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Ghana.

In a no-holds barred interview with GO in Accra yesterday, the full text of which will be made available in our next Monday issue, Kofi Coomson described Nana Akufo-Addo “as a significant political icon of our times who is respected and supported by many Ghanaians.”

The interview which can best be described as 'explosive' touches on a whole range of matters ranging from Supreme Court judgments through to Tsatsu Tsikata and why Jake Obetsebi, Kwabena Agyepong, Dr. Apraku, Owusu Agyepong, Dr. Frimpong Boateng, Dr. Arthur Kennedy, Papa Owusu Ankomah and Capt Nkrabeah Effah Dartey cannot be serious contenders in the NPP flagbearer race.

Kofi Coomson also described Nana Addo as a fine man whose human rights defence records are without compare and in the same league with Kwesi Pratt Jnr.

Coomson was reacting to questions from this paper as to why he is fuelling the perception that he and his newspaper are on mission to destroy Nana Akufo Addo in favour of some flagbearer aspirants of the NPP.

He specifically denied using his paper to support Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo's bid. “I know all the candidates and in fact for some of them I am even more resourceful than them. Some of them may be richer than me but when it comes to the number of employees and tax obligations I am even more resourceful than perhaps all of them,” Coomson charged.

Coomson warned that he will sue any paper which publishes that he has collected money from Yaw Osafo-Maafo or any other candidate.

“I have placed myself at the service of other presidential candidates before. I recall working for Kwabena Darko in 1992 and providing some communication support for Kwame Pianim's bid but they were not for money and I will not do so now,” Coomson charged.

“What I have said is that I will not be safe with Nana Addo as President but I have never said and cannot say that the man cannot be President. He is a fine man who is also resourceful,” Coomson said.

“All I have sought to do is to educate or help open the eyes of Ghanaians to the best choice for Ghana's presidency. I have a professional and divine responsibility to do so,” Coomson added.

“I am not a delegate and do not have a vote so I cannot say that Nana Akufo-Addo cannot be President.”

He said though some of the aspiring flagbearers of the NPP have been to see him expressly and impliedly, Nana Akufo-Addo has not been to see him. “Even Kufuor came to my house to solicit my support for the 2000 election but Nana Addo has not done so,” Coomson stated.

He said though Nana Akufo-Addo has not personally come to solicit his support for his bid, some persons (name withheld for now) have come to see him to solicit his support for Nana Addo.

He mentioned a particular cabinet colleague of Nana Addo who has sworn not to support his bid because Nana Addo neglected to inform him of his bid in 1998.

Asked why he described the late Professor Adu Boahen as reeking of alcohol one morning when he (Coomson) went to see the late academic in the build up to the 1996 NPP elections, Coomson admitted writing so but stated that it was not to scuttle his chances.

“My mom and Prof. Adu Boahen's wife are friends and though I cannot change what I wrote I stand by what I wrote,” Coomson said.

He said he also stands by what he wrote towards the 2000 elections that President Kufuor will be a fine candidate if only he managed to keep his zipper up.

Coomson is being accused of trying very desperately to scuttle Nana Addo’s bid over what some NPP insiders allege amounts to ill-placed intentions.

Coomson himself has said time without number that he has an issue with Nana Addo because the latter ‘leaned’ on one of the juniors in his law practice not to continue representing him in a petition he filed at CHRAJ against some NDC ministers in 1996.

Evidence on the ground as made available by CHRAJ and in also in The Chronicle show that Coomson on his own volition presented a statement to CHRAJ citing among others weaknesses in CHRAJ’s ability to carry out the investigations against the said NDC officials.

The Chronicle of December 21, 1995 for example carried a front page comment titled THE WEAKNESS IN THE EMILE SHORT PROBE in which the paper stated what it describes as the ‘incipient weaknesses in the ongoing probe of the Commission for Human Rights.’ That issue had Kofi Coomson as the Editor-in-Chief. Look out for the full interview next Monday and other related matters.

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