Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
PRESIDENT Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration has denied that it is behind the alleged audio recording in which chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo is heard plotting assassination, kidnappings and other forms of violence.
After the about two-hour long audio surfaced on Tuesday, Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, came out to state the recording in question had been doctored, figuring the Akufo-Addo administration for being behind the recording.
He had alleged that government bugged the offices of the NDC to obtain the recordings.
But Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, told journalists at a press briefing on Thursday in Accra, that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government had nothing whatsoever to do with the recording.
He said the Government of Ghana as a matter of policy and practice does not bug the offices or homes of political parties and their leadership.
According to him, it was not the Policy or practice of Government to illegally interfere with the privacy or communication of persons or organizations in Ghana.
To do so, he claimed, will be an infringement on the constitutional provisions of privacy.
The Minister added that “Government therefore finds it distasteful that the said party chooses to bring the name of the state into disrepute in its attempt to respond to queries about the validity and origins of the said conspiratorial conversation.”
It was the view of the Minister and the Government that the practice of accusing the state and seeking to portray to the global community of democratic watchers that the state is involved in some illegality is unpatriotic and has the potential to undermine the growing respect that Ghana has for its resilient democracy and respect for rule of law.
He said “whilst President Akufo-Addo’s administration cannot speak for past administrations, including the immediate past NDC administration, this administration does not and has not bugged offices of Political parties, its key actors, individuals or organizations for that matter.”
The Ghana Police Service has commenced an investigation to determine for itself the level of seriousness that ought to be attached to the said recording.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said “it is our understanding that the police investigation will also determine whether or not indeed the leaders of the said party in a conspiracy to commit acts to cause insecurity within the Ghanaian jurisdiction.”
Call for support
Government has therefore called on all Ghanaians to “support this investigation preferably done with the support of the necessary international acoustic analysts to determine the validity, identities and the level of seriousness to be attached to the alleged conspiracy.”
The Minister observed that “matters of security are key to the cohesion and stability of the state and therefore must be handled with the highest level of seriousness at all times and Government urges the security agencies to do so in this incident as well.”
The alleged conspiracy, he noted, if true, puts at risk politically exposed persons, families and associates of the ruling party, women and children in Ghana
It also puts at risk state organizations such as National Peace Council and the Electoral commission.
He indicated the necessary steps therefore to ensure the security of such persons and institutions is being examined.
He noted “Government takes very seriously any attempt to attack constitutional and legal entities like the electoral commission and the national peace council or any conspiracy to deploy violence and panic through kidnappings and mob attacks using vigilante groups or in general any enterprise to create insecurity within the Ghanaian jurisdiction.”
To this end, the Minister pointed out, Government will continue to resource and assist the security agencies to forestall any conspiracies to commit crime or acts that create a state of insecurity in Ghana.
“The capacity and determination of the state to maintain peace and security and protect Ghana’s enviable image remains unchanged. And the Akufo-Addo administration will not renege on its responsibility in this field.”
He added that “the government urges all stakeholders of our democracy to seriously take a dim view of acts that have the potential to undermine the nation’s democracy.”
Leadership from across the Political and civil society landscape, according to him, should as a matter of urgency take a keen interest in complimenting the efforts of the state in further deepening our democracy and security.
He concluded by stating that “Government will continue to act in accordance with law and best practice in preserving the security and will deal resolutely with any persons found culpable in an effort to undermine the sense of the security in the state.”