Feature Article of Monday, 19 September 2011

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

Stop the "Wiki-Wee" Tantrums Against Mr. Pratt Now

*Does Akufo-Addo Prefer Cocaine To Wee?* * *Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

Stop the "Wiki-Wee" Tantrums Against Mr. Pratt Now!

Does Akufo-Addo prefer cocaine to wee? I hope not! Extremely hostile articles like the recent one from Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., of the Danquah Institute, calling Mr. Pratt a "foreign agent" simply because of this same WikiLeaks revelation, have compelled me to pose a question whose answer I thought was much obvious to every sane person. Apparently, it does not seem that obvious to some people. So dear reader, please, don't be offended by the question. Suffer me to wonder aloud! Considering vociferous nature of those leading the charade, I don't even have a choice other than to wonder whether I am wondering aloud enough!

The problem is that this is a question that some supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo have not even allowed him to answer for himself. This is unfortunate. From their behaviour, they are rather creating the sad impression that they prefer the cocaine addiction charges to the smoking of marijuana. Instead of attacking Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., who was rather seen exonerating Nana Addo from the cocaine addiction charges in the WikiLeaks revelations, this should have been seen as a God-sent opportunity to effectively lay the allegations to rest.

This was a moment Akufo-Addo could have seized upon himself to do a major damage control exercise. He could have confessed to the smoking of marijuana, denied sniffing cocaine, and quickly add that he had even stopped the marijuana a long time ago! It would have been a chance for him to sound a little credible in this saga and show the Nima boy in him to improve his image as a snobbish aristocrat. I am sure he could have dealt with the fall-outs with the list of past American Presidents who used to smoke pot, and still got elected. Some his more resourceful supporters are already busy distributing on the Internet exactly such a list. End of story? Maybe not, but far better than attacking Kwesi Pratt, as any form of defence!

If Nana Akufo-Addo has decided to bury his head in the sand like an ostrich and to keep quiet about the matter, then he needs to talk to his people attacking Mr. Pratt without any sense whatsoever, "not to go that way"! There shall always be an effective response against any such silly attacks on Mr. Pratt on this issue. And the more it gets vexatious, the more this cocaine story shall have a life of its own. Why attack Kwesi Pratt? I find this very baffling because I thought that for legal, social, and political reasons cocaine is labelled as a hard drug, whilst marijuana is not, thus it makes a lot of sense to admit the later and deny the former, whilst speaking the truth at the same time!

It is not anyone's fault if Nana Akufo-Addo used to smoke marijuana "first thing in the morning!", as Jeremiah Vandermeer of Cannabis Culture put it in his article, "Wikileaks: Ghana's Opposition Leader Likes To Wake 'n' Bake". Shocking as it is for those who might not have heard about this before, the fascination is understandable, but why blame Mr. Pratt? Is he the person who leaked that supposedly "confidential" information to the press?

Interestingly enough, Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., is clearly seen on the same record vigorously defending Nana Akufo-Addo against the charges that the flag-bearer of the NPP is a cocaine addict. This is why I believe that Mr. Pratt has been unfairly attacked by many Akufo-Addo cronies. Even though Mr. Pratt does not wish to confirm nor deny the account, it is eloquently evident in the context that he was speaking in DEFENCE of Akufo-Addo concerning the cocaine charges and was clearly being honest and straightforward about it.

People like Okoampa need to know that the best way to defend Mr. Akufo-Addo is not ny attacking Kwesi Pratt. My own intention here is not to attack Nana Akufo-Addo, but to dissuade those fooling around with Kwesi's name from doing so. I ask all those on Kwesi's neck to leave him alone! Otherwise they will hear more of these from me! Not from Kwesi, because some of us want him to use the time needed to defend himself to continue with his excellent work without any silly distractions.

The quote below is from the same WikiLeaks report. I am intentionally isolating it and then put it in context later on. Here is what Mr. Pratt specifically said in response to whether or not he considers Nana Addo as a cocaine addict:

Reference id: 08ACCRA1509

Subject: Ghana Elections: Political Pundit Predicts NDC Win aka wikileaks id 180455:

"¶3. (C) ...I never saw him do cocaine, and I think that is just an assumption people made."

Yes! This is what Kwesi is reported to have said! In addition to that, Mr. Pratt honestly and gentlemanly evaluated the charges of corruption against Nana Akufo-Addo as follows:

"¶3. (C) Pratt said that he has a long-standing personal goes back at least two decades. He felt that Akufo-Addo had because of the high-level positions he has held within the Kufuor administration, but that he was in fact much cleaner than most of those around him. Pratt has been a virulent critic of corruption in the Kufuor government, which he labelled as 'astronomical" and "an affront to all Ghanaians." grown exponentially, he said, because of the discovery of oil Akufo-Addo, in his role as Foreign Minister in the second Kufuor administration, did not share in the spoils." relationship with both Akufo-Addo and John Atta-Mills that been unfairly tarnished by the assumption of corruption and the ever-increasing narcotics trade, but he posited that The amounts of money being pocketed by public officials had grown exponentially, he said, because of the discovery of oil and the ever-increasing narcotics trade, but he posited that Akufo-Addo, in his role as Foreign Minister in the second Kufuor administration, did not share in the spoils."

After speaking his mind and defending Akufo-Addo, he continued to defend him of the serious charges of cocaine abuse:

"¶3...When questioned about persistent rumors of Akufo-Addo's own cocaine habit, Pratt admitted that he had personal knowledge of the candidate's drug use, but that it was not cocaine. "Nana used to smoke a lot of marijuana," Pratt said, "and I'm telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to be a cloud around him and you could see that he was high. But I never saw him do cocaine, and I think that is just an assumption people made."

As I said in a rejoinder to Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe's "Kwesi Pratt is a Foreign Agent":"I am sure Kwesi would not have volunteered the information if he had not been asked about Akufo-Addo and the cocaine allegations in the press. Kwesi clearly defended Akufo-Addo that he did not believe he had anything to do with cocaine. You see, sometimes, when you are defending someone from a very grave offence, you have to admit the minor ones. Kwesi said he did not believe in the cocaine stories, but he knows that the guy loves the weed. Which in a way exonerates Akufo-Addo from the very serious charges of cocaine abuse!" See: Kwesi Pratt Is Not A Foreign Agent!, Feature Article of Thursday, 15 September 2011

So, honestly, I do not understand the reason why they want Kwesi's head for a leaked information he has no hand whatsoever in. Neither in its writing, editing nor in its leakage! Those hinging their hopes that Mr. Pratt would come out to deny the allegations are naturally disappointed. But what if he had come out and did not deny it? Now, before you could say "Jack!", they have launched ridiculous attacks on the integrity of Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., whose gentlemanly nature, honest analysis, and integrity is abundantly clear even in the very same leaked cables!

I have reproduced below, a transcript for the benefit of those whom you may try to deceive to learn and know the facts. Kwesi is not saying he does not remember what he said. He is saying he will not come out to say "Yes" or "No" as to whether or not he knows Akufo-Addo smokes wee. strictly as a matter of principle.

Audio available, Listen to Kwesi Pratt:

"The fact is that when I was first told that I had been quoted in one of the cables, I was wondering how that was possible. Well, so far as I was concerned, I had not spoken to any official of the US Embassy. Is that joking? That is not joking! That is the reality. The reality is that I never believed that I was speaking to an operative of the US Embassy and so on. You understand? So that is the truth.

Now, it took some prodding from those that I had discussed the matter with even to recollect that this 21st November meeting had taken place.

Now, with regards to the allegation that Nana Akufo-Addo smokes wee or does not smoke wee and so on, I have taken a very principled position from the very beginning. And my principled position is that what you get to know in very privileged circumstances, is not for public disclosure. Now, as a journalist, even if you read our code of ethics, it is clearly in our code of ethics, that privileged information is not for public disclosure. So I am not going to say 'Yes' or 'No' to these questions.

Of course, I know there will be many people in the NPP who will be exceedingly happy if I came out and said 'Look, what was quoted is not true," or that " I made an error', and so on. They will be very happy if I came out and said "Nana Addo has never smoked marijuana", and so on. But, that is not for me to do. I want to remain principled. And the principle is what knowledge you obtained under privilege is not for public disclosure. And I intend to stick to that principle.

Now, the other issue which I think is important to raise is that, in the interest of Nana Akufo-Addo himself, I think he has to bring this speculation and all, to a formal closure, by using formal processes, if he has the confidence, to bring this matter to an end. Else, this will continue to linger, and linger for a very long time. I am not the one to clear him!" See: "Pratt: Let Nana Addo clear his ‘drugs’ charge himself, not me," by Isaac Yeboah, Myjoyonline.com, Ghana, Last Updated: September 14, 2011, 3:26 pm.

Why all these attacks? Anyone who wants to try on this particular issue after all these explanations, is welcome into my safe hands. I know there are thousands of right-thinking Ghanaians who will join me in dealing with them! Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., deserves the peace of mind to continue his good works and we shall make sure of that. Do people, like Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Jr., of the Danquah Institute, prefer the cocaine charges against Nana Addo to the wee allegations? Wee and cocaine, which one is more serious?