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13.05.2022 Opinion

Manasseh should render an unqualified apology to President Mahama on the Ford saga

By Dr. John-Baptist Naah
Manasseh should render an unqualified apology to President Mahama on the Ford saga
13.05.2022 LISTEN

The most recent revelations by Manasseh on 7th May 2022 during News File discussions with Mr. Samson on declining press freedom in Ghana under President Akuffo-Addo’s regime were highly revealing indeed.

He contrasted press freedom in Ghana between Akuffo-Addo-led regime now and that of his predecessor, President Mahama. Manasseh in his submissions confirmed he felt safer under President Mahama’s regime than under Akuffo-Addo’s government now despite his infamous ‘Ford gift’ Saga in 2016 when Ghana was getting ready to elect the next government. Mr. Manasseh further buttressed his claim by giving a detailed number of times he was threatened and left the jurisdiction of Ghana under this government to seek shelter.

On the Ford gift saga, Mr. Manasseh revealed that before his story was aired, a common friend of his and that of President Mahama’s camp asked him to either delay the publication of his Ford bribery story for that election year or equally publish a counter-story on the then-candidate Akuffo-Addo. He also said an ethnic card was played in the process as well as a suggestion of payment of monies to him to kill his story. I was left in shock as this was shared in public and I was asking myself for what purpose now? Did Manasseh then take money from the NPP to publish that so-called bribery story on President Mahama by all means?

From Manasseh’s confession, he clearly knew the enormity of the political cost of his planned Ford gift Saga story on President Mahama and the NDC Party before the 2016 general elections, but he ignored all that and went on to break the story on the Ford bribery scandal. The presidency and the NDC Party at the time explained to Ghanaians that that single Ford Expedition vehicle was indeed received from the Burkinabe businessman, Mr. Djibril Freres Kananzoe, but it was kept in the presidential fleet of vehicles for public use. This very matter was taken up by interested parties (CPP, Nana Adofo Ofori, and PPP) to CHRAJ. Subsequently, CHRAJ concluded its elaborate investigations on the matter and affirmed that the allegations against President Mahama were ‘not warranted and therefore dismissed’ on the 28th Day of September 2016. But the political harm has already been caused by his Ford gift saga.

Ghanaians have now well tasted the leadership style of President Akuffo-Addo of the NPP now and that of President Mahama of the NDC and are ready to speak loudly come 2024 general elections. Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni should unreservedly apologize to President John Dramani Mahama for his deliberate and ill-intended Ford bribery story against the former President in 2016 which partly cost his second term bid then.

Written by Dr. John-Baptist Naah.

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