Foreign

The lies And Insults Must Stop Africa-watch responds to Nana Akufo-Addo

We at Africawatch pride ourselves on being one of the most uncompromising, unbiased and truthful pan-African magazines, and it was in that spirit that we covered in our August issue the health
status of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,the presidential candidate of Ghana’s main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). We felt it was a story of vital national and international interest, with ramifications for Ghanaians in the upcoming election as regarding Akufo-Addo’s personal health
and ability to withstand the rigors of the presidency.

In that cover story, we stated that we had clear medical proof that the NPP presidential candidate did not have only prostate cancer but also other serious complications.

We said he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer as far back as June 2013 at the Wellington Hospital in London and that he had since been undergoing treatment at that
hospital.

From Akufo-Addo’s medical records that we obtained, it is obvious that he has an acute kidney injury as well as an enlarged heart, all of which are life-threatening diseases, and for which he has been receiving medical attention at the Wellington Hospital and, indeed, has undergone
catheterization at that medical facility.

We wholly sympathize with Akufo-Addo
as he battles against these serious diseases.
Our thoughts and prayers are also with
his brother, Edward ‘Bumpty’ Akufo-Addo,
who is also seriously ill at this time. Edward
has been at the side of the presidential
candidate since the 2008 elections as a
leading member of his personal finance
team. We understand Executive Editor Steve Mallory that with two key
Africawatch l September 2016 7
Nana Akufo-Addo is at a
crossroads, as he faces the
very real challenges of serious
ill-health both to himself and his
brother, while his political party,
the NPP, faces financial
problems and internal strife.
members of the Akufo-Addo family being
critically ill at the same time, this is a very
difficult situation for the family to bear, and
we ask the Almighty God to bring them to a
speedy recovery.
As we stated in the Akufo-Addo cancer
story, illness is, of course, a very private
affair, and sharing such information is
usually an individual decision for any
private citizen, just like Edward. But when
one is making a run for the presidency,
such as Akufo-Addo is doing, then the entire
public has a right to know the state of that
candidate’s health, because of the massive
responsibilities that come with the position.
Akufo-Addo is no longer simply a private
citizen, so his health status is no longer just
a private matter, and the people he seeks
to govern have the right to know about
his illness, and such medical transparency
far outweighs Akufo-Addo’s right to such
privacy.

In as much as we sympathize with Akufo-
Addo, we were duty-bound to report his
diagnosis of prostate cancer and his medical
complications.

President Atta Mills’ example
Akufo-Addo’s cancer story is extremely
important and necessary to enable an open
national discourse regarding the personal
health of anyone running for such an important
and powerful office as the presidency
of Ghana. The country has been through
this before, when President John Atta Mills
was impaired by serious illness while in
office, and how that was kept secret until his
sudden death while still in power, leaving
the country in a very vulnerable state
during the transition period.
We at Africawatch believe that the
medical records that we have made public
revealing the true state of health of Presidential
Candidate Akufo-Addo are of
national importance and we have only those
interests in mind. Nothing more, nothing
less!
We published the story purely out of
duty and obligation to the nation. Whatever
anybody may say, the nation deserves to
know the health status of its leaders or
aspiring leaders. Being a president is a very
serious and stressful job that deserves to be
done by healthy persons elected to do so by
the people.
There is no virtue in electing a president
whose ill health would impair the person’s
ability to execute his or her presidential
duties and mandate properly. Such a president
would spend much time in hospitals
abroad (usually abroad, never at home, an
admission that African presidents don’t
believe in the health services they build for
their own people), while the duties of state
are farmed out to subordinates who may not
be up to scratch or may abuse such power
suddenly thrown into their laps, to the
detriment of the nation.
Since our August issue hit the Ghanaian
newsstands, people from Akufo-Addo’s
faction within the NPP have attacked
Africawatch in a well-orchestrated campaign
full of lies and insults, and many of these
attacks have been directly upon me, both
personally and professionally.
We believe that our credibility and reputation
are strong enough to absorb these
unwarranted and provocative attacks.
Akufo-Addo’s men engaged in very crude
diversionary tactics, some using absurd
language, but none of them has responded
directly to the substance and actual facts
of the report. So far there has been no clear
denial by Akufo-Addo himself or his people
of what Africawatch reported.
When a big man lies …
What Akufo-Addo’s men have done is to
bring forward a local Ghanaian doctor, Prof.
Adu Gyamfi, who claimed that he has been
treating Akufo-Addo for the past two years,
in an attempt to refute the substance of
our report. He stated that Akufo-Addo’s
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) was not the
extremely high 89.9 which we reported, but
was only 0.03.
But when asked whether his famous
patient had ever been to Wellington Hospital
in London, Prof. Gyamfi responded that he
didn’t know. This response from someone
who has been treating a 72-year-old man for
the past two years is striking. Prof. Gyamfi
appears to suggest that he took on Akufo-
Addo as a patient at the age of 70 without
checking his prior medical history before
treating him. If he had done so, he could
have easily given at least a yes or no
response to the simple question of whether
Akufo-Addo has ever been to the Wellington
Hospital.
This alone calls into serious doubt his
assertion of a current PSA count of 0.03, or
anything else he may have to say regarding
the candidate’s state of health. It would
appear the professor doctor has been far
from truthful in this important matter.
Which brings us to the substance of our
report. Akufo-Addo’s one clear response to
all the issues raised by our story was to state
at a rally in the Northern Region: “Now, they
say I have cancer, it will not work.” This, of
course, neither confirms nor denies the truth
of the medical facts as we have reported
them. And not denying those facts speak to
8 September 2016 l Africawatch
The Ghana edition of the August
issue of Africawatch ran this
important cover story as we believe
such reporting and transparency
is for the ultimate good of an
informed public.
In as much as
we sympathize with
Akufo-Addo, we were
duty-bound to report his
diagnosis of prostate
cancer and his medical
complications. … We at
Africawatch believe that
the medical records that
we have made public
revealing the true state
of health of Presidential
Candidate Akufo-Addo
are of national importance
and we have only those
interests in mind. Nothing
more, nothing less!


Africawatch l September 2016 9
the truth of what we reported. However,
Akufo-Addo seems to be openly implying
that we at Africawatch are “out to get him,”
giving his men the wherewithal to propagate
the same. But it is simply not true that
Africawatch is out to get Akufo-Addo.
Here, it is imperative that I explain some
few things, particularly my prior and
current relationship with Akufo-Addo.
Personal friendship
As public records will indicate, in the past
I was involved in the center-right politics of
Ghana and was active in that, helping raise
funds, as well as personally contributing to
the campaign of some candidates, particularly
Akufo-Addo. But I quit active politics
in 2009 to return to journalism, after which
I indicated clearly to Akufo-Addo, on several
occasions, that as a journalist I would
remain neutral in Ghanaian party politics,
and the magazine I edit would also remain
neutral in Ghanaian politics.
But as a friend, I have supported Akufo-
Addo in the past. For those who do not know
and are saying all sorts of things, I have
given Akufo-Addo money in the past to
support his campaigns, but he has never,
ever given me one cent or one pesewa for my
personal use, contrary to what his men are
alleging. I dare Akufo-Addo to prove me
wrong.
While I was in active politics, I did not
have any personal issues with Akufo-Addo.
My only concern was how Akufo-Addo’s
campaign funds were poorly handled and
misused. I am therefore not surprised that
people are not too keen this time around to
open their wallets in support of the NPP
2016 campaign.
I know people across the Ghanaian political
divide. But as an editor, I have to do what
is best for the country. I cannot and would
not allow friendships or personal relationships
to influence my job. And they have
never influenced my job.
I have always been objective and truthful
in my journalistic endeavors, and in the
course of my career, I have published stories
that may be interpreted as helping or
hurting all sides of the Ghanaian political
divide. All my publications are based on
indisputable evidence, and I am ready at any
time to produce evidence in support of these
assertions, including those related to the
recent story on the health status of Akufo-
Addo.
Doing Akufo-Addo’s bidding
A local newspaper, Daily Guide – run by
the acting chairman of the NPP, Freddie
Blay, and his wife, Gina – has alleged that
Africawatch was paid by the ruling National
Democratic Congress (NDC) to publish the
Akufo-Addo cancer story. Theirs was a
concocted accusation of course, but one
obviously published to do Akufo-Addo’s
bidding. But how do Blay and his wife, and
the master they want to please, square this
circle: When Africawatch publishes articles
that are critical of Akufo-Addo’s opponents,
does Akufo-Addo pay us for those stories?
Of course not!
We have always sought to remain neutral
in Ghanaian politics. We have stayed in the
middle and criticized the two main parties,
the NDC and the NPP, when criticism was
due and praised them when praise was due.
And we will continue to play this role.
But in their desperation to run down our
August story, and even Africawatch as a
magazine, Chairman Blay and his wife
have claimed in their newspaper that some
people had advance copies of our August
issue before it got to Accra, and so therefore
they must have had an inside connection
and foreknowledge of Akufo-Addo’s cancer
story. This is absolutely false.
Africawatch is an international publication
based in New York. More often than not
– and this happened with the August issue
– when the magazine is released in New
York, because of freight shipment difficulties,
it can take quite some time for it to arrive
in other countries, particularly Ghana.
So it is likely that some people in Ghana
Freddie Blay, acting chairman of
the NPP and owner of the Daily
Guide, has recently been publishing
false stories about Africawatch,
and he appears to be doing so
directly on behalf of Akufo-Addo.
Since our August
issue hit the Ghanaian
newsstands, people from
Akufo-Addo’s faction
within the NPP have
attacked Africawatch
in a well-orchestrated
campaign full of lies and
insults … We believe
that our credibility and
reputation are strong
enough to absorb
these unwarranted
and provocative
attacks.


10 September 2016 l Africawatch
obtain electronic or hard copies of the
magazine directly from New York City or
other distribution locations before the bulk
consignment arrive in Accra.
What is more: In their rashness to diminish
or damage the influence of Africawatch
in Ghana, Blay and his wife reported in the
Daily Guide that we circulate only 1,000
copies a month in Ghana and that for the
August issue we shipped 4,000 copies there.
That is simply ridiculous.
Since its founding in 2009, Africawatch
has made a good connection with its Ghanaian
readership, one that is reflected in
our sales every month. We are in about 160
outlets throughout the capital, Accra, and 50
additional outlets in Kumasi. We also have
a considerable presence on the newsstands
in all the 10 regions of the country – no other
magazine has that reach in Ghana! Regarding
the August issue, we shipped a total of
17,750 copies to Ghana and this figure can
be verified with the appropriate authorities
at the Kotoka International Airport.
Chairman Blay and his wife are out of
order propagating lies intended to tarnish
the reputation of Africawatch just because
they want to please their master. That is
unethical.
Greedy Blay
Let me take this opportunity to share one
of many interesting stories regarding the
character of Blay, the man behind the Daily
Guide, who in his own way, possibly altered
Ghana’s history. While a Member of Parliament
for Ellembelle on the ticket of the
Convention People’s Party (CPP) some years
ago, the then-ruling NPP government was
very generous to Blay, even making him the
First Deputy Speaker of Parliament. He
almost got everything he wanted from the
NPP, and yet he was never satisfied.
At the time, some people inside the NPP
had realized that John Mahama, then the
MP for the Bole-Bamboi Constituency, could
someday become president, so they were
scheming to offer a cushy international job
in the UK as bait to get him out of the
country. Unaware of this plot, Mahama went
ahead and applied for the job.
But when a letter arrived in Parliament
inviting Mahama to come over to London for
his interview regarding that job, the Speaker
was out of town, and this invitation fell on
Blay’s desk, so he secretly replaced Mahama
with himself. He then went for the interview
in London, failed miserably and returned
home quietly. Blay’s greed destroyed that
plan, and as fate would have it, Mahama
finally became president.
Perhaps if Blay had not been so greedy,
Mahama would have gone for that interview,
gotten himself hired, and moved to London
for the job as it had all been arranged. Then
the history of Ghana may not have been as
it is today. But this fact does not change: The
NPP was wrong with Blay then, and it is
wrong with the man now.
But enough of the past. The truth remains
that Akufo-Addo’s ill health does not allow
for a sustained and rigorous election campaign,
and it does not do any favors to the
party and even the presidential candidate
himself. The man is struggling to maintain
a sustained period on the campaign without
breaking it off to seek medical attention.
Playing hide and seek
On September 8, after two weeks or so of
his faction in the NPP raising hell about the
Africawatch report on his prostate cancer,
Akufo-Addo sneaked out of the country on
a British Airways flight to London for a
routine medical treatment. Because of our
story, no announcement was made about
Akufo-Addo’s sudden departure to London.
In fact, he used a lecture in Accra on
Ghana’s economy by his running mate, Dr.
Mahamudu Bawumia, as a cover to slip
out to London. Akufo-Addo showed up at
Bawumia’s lecture all right, to keep up
appearances in fact, but after the event,
when everybody was digesting what the
former deputy governor of Ghana’s central
Now it appears
Akufo-Addo has hit a
snag that poses a threat
to the NPP campaign.
Three critical factors
have come into play:
The first is the fact that
Akufo-Addo’s ill health is
taking a serious toll on
him. Second, his brother’s
deteriorating health has
become a major distraction
for him as well. Third, the
Akufo-Addo family is
financially weak and the
NPP is almost broke.
Supporters of the New Patriotic
Party are now facing troubling
questions about the internal
workings of their own party as
well as the health and welfare of
their presidential candidate.


Africawatch l September 2016 11
bank had said in his lecture, the presidential
candidate took advantage of the din after the
lecture to make good his escape to London
for medical treatment.
While in London, as usual, he did other
activities as a cover-up. But insiders who
saw him on his return to Accra some few
days later said he did not look good. He
looked weak.
Now it appears Akufo-Addo has hit a snag
that poses a threat to the NPP campaign.
Three critical factors have come into play:
The first is the fact that Akufo-Addo’s ill
health is taking a serious toll on him.
Second, his brother’s deteriorating health
has become a major distraction for him
as well. Third, the Akufo-Addo family is
financially weak and the NPP is almost
broke.
NPP in a quandary
Worse, the acting chairman of the party,
Blay, who crossed carpet from the CPP to
join the NPP, is basically seen as a stranger
in the party by those leading lights of the
NPP who think that Blay is causing the
same confusion in the NPP as he caused in
the CPP before he left that party. Thus,
some NPP stalwarts refuse to recognize him
as their chairman. Rather, they see him as
a man planted in the office of national
chairman to do Akufo Addo’s bidding. So in
effect, the center of the NPP cannot hold.
Interestingly, when Akufo-Addo talks
about better managing the affairs of the
nation, people look at the NPP and see how
the party has been mismanaged and ask, “if
you cannot manage your own party, how can
you manage the nation?”
As Akufo-Addo shares his plans to maintain
peace in the country, people look inside
the NPP and see disgruntled party members
pulling daggers at each other’s throats and
they ask what the heck is he talking about?
When Akufo-Addo talks about bringing
unity to the nation, people look at the NPP
and see only divisions and confusion in the
party.
If Akufo-Addo talks about fighting corruption
nationally, people shake their heads at
how NPP stalwarts have illegally diverted
party funds with impunity, and ask how on
earth can Akufo-Addo fight corruption at the
national level when he cannot fight it within
his own party?
The fact of the matter is that the NPP is
in a quandary. Barely two months to Election
Day, the party is floundering.
But the Akufo-Addo faction within the
NPP has a greater control over the Ghanaian
media. So at the moment the local media
is overhyping Akufo-Addo, making it look as
if it is a given that he will win the presidential
race when, in reality, there are huge
odds stacked up against him and the NPP.
In the last two elections in 2008 and 2012,
the media again overhyped Akufo-Addo only
for him to fall at the finishing line. It seems
the same is happening again.
So Akufo-Addo and his men have become
very desperate and will do anything just to
win power, including insulting, maligning,
slandering and impugning others’ reputations
and characters by telling outright lies
or saying anything that first comes to their
head. That must stop.
As a publication of the strictest integrity,
Africawatch asks any member of Akufo-
Addo’s team who have made public attacks
on us regarding our story on Akufo-Addo’s
prostate cancer to respond to this simple
journalistic challenge: If any part of what
we wrote was incorrect, we invite you to
confront us with those facts, and we will
share them with the public – just as openly
as we have shared Akufo-Addo’s medical
records that came to our attention.
But if there is nothing forthcoming to
counter that important story – a story we
believe is more vital to the nation than
personalities or politics, one whose core
issues of transparency and power concern us
all, then we will continue to stand on our
position, with the same words that we closed
our original report with – that the people
have a right to know who they are electing
to lead their country, and what that person’s
condition truly is, both in body and soul. n
On September 8,
after two weeks or so
of his faction in the NPP
raising hell about the
Africawatch report on his
prostate cancer, Akufo-Addo
sneaked out of the country
on a British Airways flight
to London for a routine
medical treatment.
Because of our story, no
announcement was made
about Akufo-Addo’s sudden
departure to London. …
While in London, as usual,
he did other activities
as a cover-up.
Nana Akufo-Addo (left) and his
wife Rebecca (right) arrive at
London’s Heathrow Airport in the
early morning of September 9. As
before, while visiting there he did
other public activities to mask the
real reason for yet another trip to
the UK for medical treatment for
his prostate cancer.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top