A mission by Mr John Agyekum Kufour to do some serious cocoa politicking last week in the Central Region hit a bad patch of rust when he was caught out in blatant misrepresentation of the facts by a cross-section of the society, including a farmer from Asunafo in the Brong Ahafo Region, Hon. Collins Dauda, former Member of Parliament and currently the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, and by Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, Minority Spokesman on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs.
Asiedu Nketiah was especially acerbic, as he concluded in a statement he fired off to the press on Thursday, “The President must check his facts before speaking!” These were the last words in a statement that was not only erudite in its brevity, but also marvellous in its clarity with the facts. Most agonizingly, GTV's penchant to grant wide coverage to Presidential utterances is proving to be Mr Kufuor's undoing in an appalling instance of barefaced misrepresentation of the facts to suit political advantage.
According to Hon. Asiedu Nketiah, on Sunday 8th August 2004, GTV carried a news item, which showed Mr John Kufour addressing a durbar of chiefs and people of Ajumako in the Central Region. He said that in his address Mr Kufour claimed that the producer prices paid to farmers by the previous NDC government was 40% of the world market price, that proceeds from the sale of one bag of cocoa could not enable the farmer to purchase tow bags of cement at that time, and that now under His NPP government proceeds from one bag of cocoa can pay for two bundles of roofing sheets.
“Since I served under the previous NDC government as the Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of crops at the time H.E. the President referred to, and also the current spokesman of the NDC on Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, I consider it my duty first to point out to H.E. the President that all the three statements are factually incorrect, proceed to make the facts known to correct any wrong impression that might have been caused by these statements among the public and further more urge H.E. the President to check his facts well each time he makes such public statements because of the weight the voice of a president carries in our Ghanaian situation.”