Attempts by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to hung the medical reports of Nana Akufo-Addo, to launch a supposed preemptive strike against its bitterest rivals; the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Monday, by trusted family members and friends of the 2016 flagbearer, ended up exposing something that has been under wraps for nearly four years now.
Long before last Monday’s publication in Nana Addo’s own New Statesman Newspaper and the Acting NPP Chairman; Freddie Blay’s Daily Guide Newspaper, The Herald, has since 2013, been taking delivery of Nana Akufo-Addo’s copies of clinical notes from the expensive Wellington Hospital in London, where he had been undergoing various medical treatment for kidney injury, enlarged heart and Prostate Cancer.
The three medical reports, which formed the basis of the Africanwatch magazine report, have been available to The Herald through the paper’s international contacts in Europe.
Indeed, according to the contacts, Nana Addo and his wife; Rebecca Akufo-Addo, have many times been captured through closed-circuit television camera (CCTV camera) entering the Wellington Hospital.
In one of the videos, Nana Addo, was captured sleeping and had to be angrily awoken by his wife.
Also Available to The Herald, has been a bone scan on Nana Addo, to determine his bone density and whether or not his skeleton is strong enough to carry his body.
The three sad, but damning reports on the health of the opposition leader is available to The Herald, with the names of the various medical experts and the dates he was examined copiously captured on it.
The first of the medical reports which was made when he took leave in June 2013, from the Election Petition hearing at Supreme Court and flew to the UK, which according to his then Press Secretary, Herbert Krapa, in a very short press statement on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 was for “scheduled engagements including his regular medical checkup”.
Ahead of Nana Addo’s UK trip and Mr. Krapa’s statement, a publication by The Herald Newspaper, had revealed that Nana Akufo-Addo, suffered a heart attack few days earlier, and had to be rushed, first to the Akai House Clinic in Osu and later referred to the Cardio Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for emergency treatment.
Apart from the June 14, 2013 medical report done during the Election Petition hearing, The Herald, also has the one dated August 8, 2013- done few days to the court’s verdict on August 29, 2013.
The third clinical report is January 14, 2014. What is not yet available is a fourth report dated January 11, 2014, which insiders say, touched on renal impairment for the patient.
The publication of Nana Addo’s medical reports by Africawatch magazine has coincided with the NPP’s Director of Communications position that, Ghanaians must know the health status of Presidents and others seeking to lead the country.
Nana Akomea, believed it would serve the interest of such people, especially presidents, to take that giant step and make their medical records known, so that he would be treated with care and caution, especially by his opponents.
“When you have a serious medical condition the people deserve to know. When you go to other places, when the president is having a condition it is known, it is known. When the Queen goes to hospital, the Queen of England, they don’t hide it…..she’s not a superwoman. When she goes to hospital it is known, television cameras go there when she is coming out”, Nana Akomea, said in a recent interview on Accra-based Class 91.3 FM.
The NPP Director of Communication insisted, “if Prince Charles were to be hospitalized, it would be known. We are not saying that when, when you have a headache or you have a cold it should be on the front page of the Graphic”.
But when asked, if it was prudent for presidential candidates to also disclose their health status, Nana Akomea hurriedly jumped in, saying “No, no, no, no”.
While swerving the question whether or not presidential candidates should be made to disclose their health status, he noted that “If you are presidential candidate and you have a sickness that affects your campaign, people will actually see it”.
Speaking to Moro Awudu on his Inside Politics live radio show three weeks ago, the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Okai Koi North, indicated that it was most appropriate for presidents to make known their health conditions, especially if they are life threatening ones.
Though, Nana Addo, is not president yet, he is seeking to be one, even after he had tried in two attempts and failed.
The magazine which is now making waves in the country, wrote that the three times presidential candidate “is suffering from prostate cancer, acute kidney injury and an enlarged heart, all of which have serious implications for his political career”.
Nana Akomea, had argued that in other jurisdictions, it is usual for such leaders to make their health records known, because the people they seek to govern deserve to know.
To him, it is the people who voted for such people who are going to foot the bills of such leaders and so it is only fair that they know what they are spending their taxes on.
“When you have a serious medical condition, the people deserve to know, because it is the people who are bearing the cost of the treatment and the people deserve the right to know about the state of the person they have entrusted national leadership. They deserve the right to know”, he said.
Citing examples of diseases that needs to be made public, Nana Akomea said, kidney and prostate cancer are such that, they can affect one’s performance in government and so it is right that, they are made known, so that the public does not demand too much from that leader.
“If you are a president and you have prostate and it is affecting your work ….some of these sicknesses are such that it would affect your work…. it will; if you have kidney worries, you have to go for dialysis maybe twice a week, people would have to know that you have a kidney problem”, he said.
Using the late president John Evans Mills as a case study, Nana Akomea said, there are simple ailments that can not affect a person’s performance, while president, and so those ones can be left out.
But in the case of Prof. Mills he continued, there were visible signs that he was not well and he believed that, if his handlers, had made it known, he could have earned some level of sympathy from Ghanaians, which by extension, wouldn’t have affected him the way it did.
“I mean if you have a backache that is nothing. It doesn’t affect your work. So the lesson is that with the kind of sickness that Professor Mills had, and everybody could see that he was sick, they would have benefitted, if they had told Ghanaians what was happening. They would have gotten a lot of sympathy and it probably, would have been less stressful for him”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, the NPP has accused the governing NDC of being behind the publication to score political point. Though no NDC member has said anything about the NPP flagbearer’s health condition, Nana Addo, has jumped on the publication in faraway Upper East Region, claiming the accusation won’t work.
The 72-year old man, however, failed to admit or deny the medical records from the Wellington Hospital, as his.
Deputy Minister of Communication and member of the NDC Campaign team, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has said the report was to gain sympathy votes from the electorates.
According to the Deputy Minister, the NPP needed to take the magazine on, instead of pointing accusing fingers at the NDC as done by the Daily Guide and Daily Statesman newspapers owned by Freddie Blay and Nana Akufo-Addo himself.
He urged the NPP to scrutinize the people around the flagbearer and leave the governing party alone.
Interestingly, Daily Guide and Daily Statesman newspapers owned by Freddie Blay, Gabby Okyere-Darko Nana Akufo-Addo, have on various times used their newspapers to project late President Mills as sick and dying, therefore unable to government.
The Africawatch magazine captured in particular the roles of Nana Akufo-Addo and Nana Akomea in President Mills health status prior to his death.
The magazine edited by Steve Mallory wrote “Incidentally, the health of political leaders is almost a taboo subject in many African countries, including Ghana where an obviously unwell President John Atta Mills passed away in July 2012, six months before he was due to contest in another presidential election.
His death was a moment of great sadness for the people of Ghana with many attesting to his gentle demeanor. Many held the view that had issues surrounding President Mills’ health been properly managed and his obvious ailment not repeatedly denied by himself and his ruling party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ghanaians would have been better prepared to receive the news of his death when it eventually came on that cloudy Tuesday of July 24, 2012.
As fate would have it, members of the opposition NPP were fierce in their criticisms of Mills and his handlers regarding his health. They opined that Mills’ true health status was kept secret in order to prevent calls for him to step aside as president. According to the NPP, Mills’ ill health seriously affected his ability to govern the country properly. Before he died, there were even open calls for him to make his medical records public.
No wonder that one month after Mills’ death, the NPP communications director, Nana Akomea, stated in a radio program in August 2012 that “President Mills’ health was handled in a manner that did not show candor, transparency, and integrity in governance.” He accused the NDC of having gone to “absurd lengths to perpetuate false- hood and lies on Ghanaians” regarding Mills’ health. Uncannily, prior to Mills death, rumors had been circulating for months, especially on social media, about his ill health. Claims that he had died were regular in the Ghanaian media – the most notable being the one that made the rounds on June 16, 2012, on both the social and traditional media that reported the president had died. However, the rumors were put to rest when Mills appeared at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra to announce that he was in fact going to the USA for a “routine” check- up.
A day after his departure, his then political rival, Akufo-Addo, issued a state- ment saying he had “learnt last night from President Atta Mills that he was on his way to the United States to see doctors for medical treatment.” Akufo-Addo wished Mills well, saying he hoped “the checks go well and he comes back fit and strong” to continue his duties as president.
This statement drew the ire of NDC stalwarts who perceived it as a veiled attempt by Akufo-Addo to exploit his opponent’s ill health for political gain. Eventually, because of the “political nature” of President Mills’ health condition, he was compelled to show how fit he was and his ability to govern by jogging on the tarmac of the Accra airport, under the glare of TV cameras, when he returned from the medical trip abroad. He passed away just a few weeks later”.