The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has activated a secretly planned agenda for spreading major misinformation on social media to court discontent for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the run up to the 2016 general elections, the Republic Newspaper can report.
Intelligence picked up by this paper indicates that the social media propaganda platform of the NPP is coordinated by one Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe, Nana Hesse Ogyiri and Rodney Boateng Nkrumah.
These individuals are alleged to be controlling hundred of NPP social media mercenaries who serve as conduits for these reported fabricated stories.
The past couple of weeks have seen an intensification of this agenda on social media, with the latest being a purported statement from the British High Commissioner, John Benjamin, alluding to a 1.3 million bloat in Ghana?s voters register.
The report was splashed on the front page pro-NPP newspaper -Daily Guide. The report has promptly been debunked by the British High Commission as complete fabrication.
?We are disappointed that certain media outlets continue to report inaccurately the British Government?s views, and have willfully misrepresented what we have said. Ghana?s voter register is a domestic issue for Ghana?s Electoral Commission to consider with political parties?The British Government is clear that the forthcoming elections in Ghana are a sovereign, domestic Ghanaian issue,? read a statement from the British High Commission debunking the peddled falsehood.
Also, through the same social media network, a Presidential Statement from the Flagstaff House was forged to give an impression that President John Mahama had sacked certain key ministers.
The ?statement? which was purported to have been released by the Communications Bureau of the Flagstaff House, designated Dr George Adja-Sipa Yankey to replace Seth Terkper as the Finance Minister; Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah to replace Ms Hanna Tetteh as Foreign Affairs Minister, whilst Ms Tetteh was supposedly moved to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to replace Nana Oye Lithur whose fate was not clarified in the statement.
The statement which caught official government communications outfit by surprise, designated Mr. Lee Ocran as Employment and Labour Relations Minister to replace Haruna Iddrisu and elevated Mr John Jinapor, the Deputy Power Minister, as the substantive minister.
The government had promptly responded by asking the general public to disregard such a statement.
Several other similar reports are currently being circulated by the social media agents, including a list of fuel stations alleged to be owned by some government Ministers such as Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Felix Ofosu Kwakye and Presidential Staffer, Stan Dogbe.
The NPP has a potent track-record for instigating such an agenda, especially since it had successfully used the tactic against its own officials; notably deposed National Chairman, Paul Afoko, whom a clique of communications executives in the party spread his supposed history with narcotic drugs in the UK and an eventual rehabilitation.
The trend ties in with highly confidential secret recordings intercepted by the Republic Newspaper which reveals an agenda by the Nana Akufo Addo-led NPP to target the First Lady, Lordina Mahama with series of allegations and scandals in an indirect attempt to draw angst towards President Mahama.
This particular part of the agenda is reportedly manned by one Captain Edmund Kojo Koda (rtd) who played a major role in the 1979 military Coup d?�tat and currently the head of Akufo Addo?s security apparatus.
It is currently unclear the national officer of the NPP coordinating this controversial communications strategy, but there are indications that Perry Okudzeto, a Deputy Communications Director of the party may be the overall boss coordinating the activities of these communicators on social media.
It is believed he is using his former circle of subordinates including one Michael Kofi Twum-Boafo whom in 2014 used the parties communications office extensively to mount the drug campaign against Paul Afoko. The incident forced Perry Okudzeto out of the shadows to admit that indeed Twum-Boafo was working for him.
The unchecked exploitation of social media for false public information has raised serious concerns among security experts who fear it may be used to forment trouble in the heat of the 2016 general elections.
One such expert, Ibrahim Irbad, has advocated a stiffer monitoring and counter-actions by government agencies to deflect the possible effects of the social media campaign by the NPP.
Mr. Irbad, who is also a Peace Ambassador, advised the Electoral Commission: ?The Electoral Commission of Ghana should have active and reliable social media handles so that it can pre-empt the dissemination of false results just like the INEC of Nigeria. People are free to campaign online. But if Facebook, Twitter and other social media are used to incite, photoshop, concoct results or try to mobilize for political violence, then the option of a complete blackout MAY be considered 48 hours before polls open and 24 hours after official and authentic results are declared by the EC” .