Kofi Annan, His Brother & Son Attacked
The National Democrat, a propaganda mouthpiece of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), co-shadow edited by the Special Aide of ex-President Rawlings - Mr. Victor Smith - and his (Rawlings') wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, has attacked Dr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the UN.
In its edition of Thursday, 18th August - Sunday 21st August, 2005, The National Democrat carried a banner headline:
"KOFI ANNAN'S SHRINKING CREDIBILITY...Yet Makes Himself Available for Millennium Excellence Award"
which claimed that many Ghanaians had expressed "shock, dismay and disgust at the arrival in Ghana of Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN to receive a Millennium Excellence Award at a time that his credibility is shrinking rapidly in the international community.
The publication came a day before the UN Secretary General was bestowed with the Millennium Excellence Award in Accra. According to the paper, Dr. Annan's handling of the UN's £20bn Iraqi oil-for food programme in 1995 had resulted in Ghana's image being dragged in the mud "as he, his son, Kojo and now his brother, Kobina, come under investigations by the US congress and a United Nation's Commission of enquiry".
"Like the incestuous criminal mess that President Kufuor and his son, Chief Kufuor, have created in Ghana, bringing the name of the Presidency into disrepute, Mr. Kofi Annan and his son have created a mess for themselves and Ghana at the UN and before the International Community", said the paper.
The paper quoted an alleged UN staff as saying "Mr. Kofi Annan has run the UN as if it were some Third World African dictatorship, handing out sweetheart deals in exchange for favours with an abandon that would shock even entrenched dictators like Mubarak or the house of Saoud".
It said that the oil-for-food programme was the biggest human-terrain scheme ever embarked upon the UN, adding that since the fall of Saddam Hussein, allegations of corruptions had surfaced forcing the UN to set up a Commission, headed by Paul Volder, the former head of the American Funeral Reserve to investigate the allegations.
According to the paper, Kojo Annan, son of the UN Secretary-General received at least $400,000 from Cotecna, a Swiss inspection company and awarded a contract of about $60m under the Iraqi-oil-for-food deal.
The paper said Mr. Annan had met Cotecna executives thrice - twice before the award of the contract and once after the contract had been awarded.
"The amount was almost double the sum previously disclosed, but payments were arranged in ways that obscured where the money came from or where it went", said the paper.
It continued that initially, it was Dr. Annan and his son who were under investigation, but recently, Dr. Annan's brother, Kobina, who is Ghana's Ambassador to Morocco, had also come under investigation.
The paper also made reference to a supposed quotation from one Royer L. Siman, which had been posted on the internet, thus "Father, son, brother... incredible, huh? Forget the mafia. Pretty soon, we'll be confusing the Annan's with the Borgias and Medici."
According to the paper, "the incestuous activities of Kofi Annan by involving his family in this oil-for-food program is similar to the kokofu football being played by the Kufuor family in Ghana under which only President Kufuor and his family, both nuclei and extended, get all the lucrative jobs in Ghana."
The story concluded by stating that Mr. Annan's shrinking image and hunger for the Millennium Award had left many Ghanaians wondering if it was the same Kofi Annan who took over from Mr. Boutros Boutros Ghali as UN Secretary-General.
An observer quipped, "Isn't it strange that a Ghanaian newspaper would be attempting to take such a swipe at Mr. Annan who is a Ghanaian and had worked his way to such an enviable position in the world?
He said the publication which to him was frivolous, was an indication of the desperation and the hopelessness that had become the lot of the NDC and the faction loyal to Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings.