THE PRESIDENCY has given Victor Smith of the Weekly Standard newspaper and the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) a 14-day ultimatum to retract their allegations that President John Agyekum Kufuor is indebted to some Kuwaiti oil suppliers to the tune of $5billion.
Failure to heed the warning, according to Andrew Awuni, Press Secretary to the President, may expose the entities involved in this ignoble act to legal quandary.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Osu Castle yesterday, Mr Awuni stressed that government would resort to legal action if the aforementioned persons and entities failed to issue an official statement to justify the allegation.
“We will advise ourselves”, Awuni sternly warned on behalf of the President, adding that the allegations are wicked and highly malicious.
For some weeks now, the Weekly Standard, a pro-NDC newspaper edited and published by Victor Smith, former aide to Jerry John Rawlings, has been publishing that the President owes some Kuwaiti oil suppliers about $5.5billion and that his personal properties are being appropriated to defray the debt.
As a result of this, according to the paper, the President is being dragged to The Hague and that a certain unidentified Queen is intervening on his behalf.
As if this is not enough, some members of the NDC have been moving from one radio station to the other repeating this same wicked allegation and as well issued an official statement to drag the President's name in the mud.
The Press Secretary described the allegations as blatant lies deliberately hatched from the campaign strategy document of the NDC to smear President Kufuor and his government in the run-up to the elections.
“This allegation is not true. It is a wicked lie. President Kufuor does not have dealings with any Kuwaiti oil suppliers! The President does not own any oil company! President Kufuor does not owe any Kuwaiti oil suppliers or any company anywhere for that matter,” he charged.
He said NDC's deliberate decision to use the vehicle of deception, falsehood and even violence to achieve political power clearly shows that they disrespect the truth and do not intend to play fair, and that they would resort to anything that could give them power irrespective of whose reputation is destroyed; whose blood is spilled and whose lives are lost.
“On a daily basis, they manufacture lies and publish them in their sponsored newspapers or even print them on ordinary sheets of paper for distribution,” he pointed out, and cautioned Ghanaians to be wary of the pervasive communist antics of the NDC and reject them absolutely.
The Press Secretary noted that some mischievous propagandists have produced and are circulating what he described as a so–called list of government officials, accounts numbers and some huge mounts, explaining that the amounts listed in the document were so huge that their sum total would exceed the sum of all deposits in all banks in Ghana put together.
Mr Awuni said some opposition politicians have decided on deception as a means to political power and would repeat these lies irrespective of how many times they are confronted with the truth.
He contended: “That is how disingenuous the originators of the documents are and yet they are moving from chop-bar to chop-bar, lorry station to lorry station spreading these lies”.
Continuing, he said, “Sadly, these evil plotters have made the military barracks another destination for distributing this document, when they know very well these are total fabrications and lies.”
“What is the motive? It is to provoke ill-feelings of the military against the President and the good people of Ghana?”
He said the international community is better equipped to find out what President Kufuor is involved in, than an eight-paged newspaper produced in the dark alleys of nowhere.
By Sheilla Sackey