Feature Article of Friday, 7 December 2012

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

Why Was Akufo-Addo Dismissed From Oxford University?

Why Was Akufo-Addo Dismissed From Oxford University? VIII

Feature Article, By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

This is an issue of trust and the need for transparency. That is why it shall never go away until Nana Akufo-Addo speaks to it. For the first time, since the past four years that this issue was first raised, the NPP is on record to admitting in the General News of Tuesday, 27 November 2012, that Nana Akufo-Addo was indeed a student at Oxford, but “he was withdrawn”. See: Akufo-Addo was withdrawn from Oxford by his father, Akomea reveals, Source: Joy Online. The story went, “It has emerged that New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate Nana Akufo-Addo was withdrawn from Oxford University in the UK by his father.”

This is after years of calls by the Research and Advocacy Platform (RAP) asking “the NPP flag-bearer to publicly explain his inability to complete his degree at the prestigious institution, leaving the school shortly after he enrolled in the early 1960's.” Mr. Felix Kwakye Ofosu, the group's spokesperson, the report explained, “could not fathom why the NPP flag-bearer would hide the fact that he attended a high profile university like Oxford and by excluding it from his CV. This unusual move, he said, suggests that Akufo-Addo was probably dismissed for misconduct.”

Apparently, this is what compelled the former presidential spokesman for the NPP, Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong to appear on Joy FM’s news analysis programme News File Saturday “to confirm that Akufo-Addo had enrolled in Oxford University but was unable to complete his courses there. He refused to go further into why this was the case.”

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, though, NPP Communications Director Nana Akomea revealed that Akufo-Addo’s father had withdrawn him from Oxford University because he thought it was more prudent to educate his son at the University of Ghana.

“Nana Addo went to Oxford University, his father withdrew him to come to Legon, that is what his father did; this is an 18-19 year old boy,” Akomea reported. It was actually reported in the news that “According to him, it was the decision by Nana Addo’s father to give his son a blend of Ghanaian and Western education.”! And these are his own words:

“Nana Addo’s father, I believe, wanted his son to have a blend so if you remember, he brought him to King Tackie Primary School at Adabraka in Accra, and then he took him to public school in England, a very exclusive private school where finished his secondary school, started Oxford and then the man [his father] brought him to Ghana. In my mind, you could see this is a man who is trying to give his son a blend of both worlds.... When he finished University at Legon, he took him back so he could finish his Law and polish it up in France and so on,” Akomea explained.

So whilst Akufo-Addo had enrolled at the Oxford University, his father brought him to Ghana to enjoy Ghanaian education as a pupil teacher at Accra Academy for two years before finding a place at the University of Ghana, where he had to begin his entire undergraduate studies all over again? Mr. Akufo-Addo read Economics at Oxford, and also at the University of Ghana, Legon, so why did he have to do it all over again again like a fresh student, without any credits from his first year at Oxford?

For some of us, even though this is still not good enough, it marks a quantum progress on the part of the NPP, and the Akufo-Addo handlers. About a year ago, they were on TV arguing, “For a fact Nana Addo never went to Oxford; he never got admission or applied to go to Oxford. It is his father who went to Oxford”. So we can say that there has been some progress. The only problem is that they have simply improved their lies. The first try was untenable, so they conveniently threw it away, without any apologies, and came out with another one.

One thing that all these lies have in common is to do everything in their power to prevent Nana Akufo-Addo form accounting for his alleged use of narcotic drugs. It is a matter for which no one has a right to know, according to the NPP. Mr. Kofi Ata, who simply wrote to Oxford University to confirm or deny whether Nana Akufo-Addo was ever a student at Oxford Universally, has been maligned and his own words distorted all in efforts to deflect attention from the need for Nana Akufo-Addo himself to respond to these allegations. This is Mr. Ata wrote:

“I am still trying to find out why Nana Akufo Addo disappeared from Oxford and why he avoids the fact that he was a student at Oxford, but in the mean time, I challenge Nana Akufo Addo to confirm or deny that he was a student at Oxford. I also challenge him to tell Ghanaians why he left Oxford before I make it public. Nana Akufo Addo is a potential President of Ghana and Ghanaians have the right to know about his past. I have e-mails and letters from Oxford University and the Office of Information Commissioner here in the UK to prove what I am saying. If Nana Akufo Addo or Oxford University dispute the contents of this article, let them say so and I will provide copies of correspondence to them.”

Some NPP supporters on Ghanaweb, sought to malign the author. For instance, one Justice Sarpong imputed motives by removing the opening words of this paragraph: “I am still trying to find out why Nana Akufo Addo disappeared from Oxford and why he avoids the fact that he was a student at Oxford, but in the mean time, I challenge Nana Akufo Addo...” He began to quote from “I challenge...” in order to mischievously give the impression that Mr. Ata had “promised” in his first article, that he knew why Akufo-Addo left Oxford, even though he clearly never said that!

The next phase is character assassination based entirely on disingenuous lies. They want to present him as a liar, simply because they claim that he said he knew, even though he never said he knew, and that he would be revealing the facts in his next article. This is a clear example of character assassination. Meanwhile, the citizen journalist who is simply fulfilling a patriotic duty, has questions on his character based on lies, whilst his questions on Akufo-Addo's character, based on hard facts, go unanswered!

If there is anything that these series have achieved, at least, we have demonstrated by the shameful silence of Nana Akufo-Addo, which continues up to this minute, the level of arrogance and contempt for being held to account for a legitimate issue of trust. We are happy to be ending these series without any response from Nana Akufo-Addo. It has been a classic exposure of arrogance, and incompetence of the highest level, on the part of Nana Akufo-Addo!

As the lawyers do in court, after asking a few questions, they “put it to you”. I am putting it to Nana Akufo-Addo that his withdrawal from Oxford had something to do with his smoking of marijuana, and that this is a habit he never really stopped! That is why he is unfit to govern this nation. We cannot afford a President receiving important international and national duty calls completely stoned at the end of the line!

We want a transparent government. Akufo-Addo has proven to be a paragon of opacity itself. Not only that we have seen several examples of attempts to lie and cover-ups over this simple matter. This is a good reading of the type of government they are likely to run, if anyone makes the mistake of voting them into power! So far as this matter is concerned, Mr. Akufo-Addo has behaved in a manner far too arrogant than anyone asking for a democratic vote could ever dare! And it is about time that he pays dearly for that mistake!

The fact that some people see the earth as being flat, does not mean everybody else is obliged to do the same thing! And we shall not allow anyone to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians! The whole idea that Oxford University has no records on one Akofo-Addo, and therefore a Mr. Akufo-Addo has been cleared is so ridiculous! It is just like saying that Akufo-Addo has no birth certificate, therefore he was never born! Is this not a matter of serious concern, most especially as this is an issue of trust, above all else?

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Nana Akyea Mensah, P-AI, Social Media Campaigns | December 5, 2012 SocialMedia@panafricanistinternational.org

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