Ghanaian actor, Henry Harding, popularly known as Pattington Papa Nii Papafio, aka Oesophagus, has sprung to the defence of his college actor, turned political rival, Agya Koo, in a rare show of solidarity.
Agya Koo recently came under a barrage of attacks and near insults after he launched the ‘Agya Koo Agenda 57 for Nana Addo’, and promised to vigorously campaign for Nana Akufo-Addo to win the polls with 57 percent of valid votes come the December polls. Oesophagus, on the other hand, has publicly endorsed the candidature of President John Mahama on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but says political rivalry should not be a source of division among creative arts players in Ghana.
“I believe we can all do a decent campaign for our candidate of choice without the type of attacks going on. The constitution allows us to associate with any political party of our choice so the personal attacks on celebrities who declare for political parties show that as a country we still have a very long way to go in our democratic practice.
“After December, the politics would end and we all continue to belong to the creative arts sector, therefore, we should not allow our political differences to divide us. We can disagree on matters of which party is best for Ghana but what I see is that some people have taken the issues very personal and are attacking personalities. Mzbel has suffered it, John Dumelo has suffered it, Lucky Mensah has suffered it, and Agya Koo has suffered it. It is unfair and should not be encouraged,” Oesophagus told NEWS-ONE.
The actor touted as Ghana’s king of jargons and vocabulary, however, pointed out to what he said were factual inaccuracies in the reasons Agya Koo gave for endorsing the candidature of the NPP.
“I have heard on radio and also read in the dailies that Agya Koo had said that within the last five years, no movie producer featured him in a movie because they claim there is no money and he is blaming that on the NDC government. Look, just last year, I was on a movie set with Agya Koo. About two or three years ago, Agya Koo shot ‘Okomfo Anokye’ and ended up in some controversy so it is false he has not worked for the past five years. Kweku Manu, Lil Win, Akrobetu and others are all shooting movies and making money under the same Mahama government.
“But I am happy Agya Koo himself admitted that President Mahama has worked hard. I am happy Agya Koo confessed his admiration for the first couple. I am sure if Agya Koo had taken his time to ask the right questions, he would have been convinced that President Mahama and the NDC ought to be given time to build on the structures and foundation that has been established for the creative arts sector,” Oesophagus added.
When asked if he was induced financially to endorse the NDC campaign, Oesophagus said he was never given a dime.
He explained, “The party has not given me anything; no one in the NDC came to speak to me to join. Even when I hear the party is going to campaign somewhere, I look for my own ways and means of getting there. There are some celebrities who are assisted to get there but I go on my own at my own cost because I believe in the leadership on John Mahama. I am encouraged by the initiatives I see being put out by the Creative Arts Ministry and when I speak to the minister, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, on what plans the NDC government has for creative arts, I believe the prospects for the future are bright and this is my inspiration. I am not only interested in following the national campaign but even at the parliamentary level; I am going round helping the MPs to campaign.”