The rather abrupt, some would even say, rude, manner in which Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi reportedly presumed to put the private life and familial affairs of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo into the public domain is what probably “astonished” the prime target and subject of such obloquy. But in Shakespearean parlance, the story about Nana Akufo-Addo’s having sold off his family’s properties in order to finance his presidential ambitions has been out there for as long as I can remember (See “I am Astonished at Nyantakyi’s Fabricated Lies – Akufo-Addo” RainbowRadioOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 6/7/18). I have been aware of this story since at least 2008, when Nana Akufo-Addo took his first serious shot at the presidency and literally lost by the skin of his teeth.
I have heard this story told by family members, friends and relatives as well as total strangers. But I have not made much out of it, by way of taking it seriously for two significant reasons, namely, Nana Akufo-Addo is a politician, which means that broadly speaking he has absolutely no private life. You see, the lives of public figures are not necessarily bifurcated or compartmentalized into private and public, whereby the private or domestic or familial aspect of the same may be legitimately deemed to be out-of-bounds, as far as media coverage or public discussion is concerned. With public figures, the public is as private as the private is as public. There is some weird sort of mirror-imaging here.
Which is why politicians and public figures have a hard time suing people they deem to have either defamed or brought their image and reputation into abject disrepute, even where the respondents involved, largely media operatives, are found to be liable for such acts of defamation or even slander. Ultimately, everything boils down to a “Test of Malice.” In the case of the former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), criminal investigators must be able to prove that, indeed, when he alluded to the “fact” of Nana Akufo-Addo’s having sold off his heirloom or family properties to finance his presidential campaign, was it actually deliberately meant to hurt the person and/or reputation of the President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana?
From what we learn from the Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger-Eye PI-produced filmic documentary titled “Number 12,” this is a very treacherous act to prove for at least two reasons. On the one hand, Mr. Nyantakyi clearly appears to be looking out for the “comfort,” however dubious this may seem, of Nana Akufo-Addo, whom he categorically describes as a personal friend; while on the other hand, the man clearly, albeit inadvertently, comes off as disparaging the image and reputation of his “friend,” especially the rather facile implication that Nana Akufo-Addo would gladly receive a kickback in the quite decent sum of $ 5 million because he is deeply mired in debt, as a result of having rather unwisely auctioned off his shared family properties to selfishly finance his presidential ambitions.
I am caught somewhere in the middle. At any rate, as I observed in a previous column, any attempt to get the most accurate picture of the apparent climate of rank official corruption at the Accra Headquarters of the Ghana Football Association, would have to, perforce, examine the relationship between Mr. Nyantakyi and his closest associates, at least beginning from January 2009 and to the present, especially regarding the fact of whether the Mills-Mahama-led tandem governments of the National Democratic Congress had any monetary/fiscal dealings with the GFA, and precisely of what kind or nature. This is especially significant, in view of the fact that the former GFA President has been widely reported to have said that the GFA made a payment of some $ 8 million into the Presidential Campaign Chest of former President Mahama in the leadup to the 2016 general election. Some NDC operatives have vehemently denied that any such major suspicious transaction ever took place.
There may be some proverbial red-meat here, because in the leadup to the 2016 general election, Mr. Sylvester Mensah, the then-Executive-Director of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), was arrested on the orders of President Mahama; Mr. Mensah would have his bank accounts frozen and his passport seized, on grounds of the misappropriation of some funds earmarked for the operation of the Kufuor-initiated National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). At about the same time, it was widely rumored that Mr. Mensah was being meted such a raw deal because he had flatly refused to divert some monies into the Mahama Presidential Reelection Campaign Chest.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.