Akufo-Addo proposed to sponsor me contest Ayawaso West Wougon Parliamentary seat – Yvonne Nelson

20th June 2023

going forward, the actress would become a possible candidate for Parliament in the eyes of the NPP-led-administration

Actress Yvonne Nelson has said a close associate of the current Akufo-Addo-led government proposed to sponsor her to contest the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary seat.

According to the actress, the person who approached her is a member of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s family.

He was offering to sponsor her to contest the seat instead of the current Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Lydia Alhassan, in the 2020 elections.

The actress asserts that even if she wanted to be a Parliamentarian she was not prepared to be anybody’s “political puppet.”

The actress who has shared details of her life in a recently released Memoire titled: “I am not Yvonne Nelson,” recounts what led to that demonstration in Ghana against the then Mahama-led government.

It all began during what she describes as “one of the proudest moments of” her life, a moment that made her “voice heard on the Mismanagement” of the country and the messy state of affairs in which a rich nation like Ghana had found itself.

The actress revealed in her book that “the frustration had been building up in me for many years. When the time was due, it came out naturally and created the needed effect and impact”.

She detailed where her dissatisfaction with her country began.

“My dissatisfaction with my society, country and the black race as a whole started in my childhood. Long before America’s culture and lifestyle conscripted me through entertainment, I had begun to compare and question the things that were made in Ghana and those made in Europe, America or Asia.

“If I bought a pencil here in Ghana and saw another pencil from a classmate whose parent or other relative had returned from the United States or Europe with it as a gift, I compared mine with theirs. Most of the time, the difference was clear. There was always something about the foreign-made product that made the local ones look inferior,” the actress explained in the book.

She disclosed: “As I grew older, I began to see beyond the look and feel of foreign-made products. It began to dawn on me that Ghana, Africa and the black race in general, were helpless and had to look outside for solutions to the most basic problems plaguing them.”

She quizzed: “, I sometimes ask myself: if I were that white what would I make of blacks and their nations that are beggars? What respect would I have for a continent that is endowed with resources, but is so hopelessly helpless that when disaster strikes, its default position is to look to others for salvation?

“If we flipped the coin, would we genuinely think that we deserve the same amount of respect that should be accorded people of other races and continents, those who continue to make advances while we kill one another in greed induced civil wars?”

The actor also detailed why she began the rants on Twitter in 2015 on a phenomenon that had taken over the nation and was causing people to lose their livelihoods; regular power cuts referred to in local parlance as “dumsor.”

This would later translate into a non-partisan protest dubbed: “DumsorMustStop”

“I use Xalacom eyedrop, which needs refrigeration. I have a family history of glaucoma, and that medication, according to information available online, is meant to reduce “intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension”. I had to refrigerate the medication and since the national grid was almost always off, I had to keep the generator on. The cost of fuel was draining me financially.

“My most pressing need for an uninterrupted supply of power was to store medication. There were others whose very livelihoods depended on electricity,” the actress shared in her Memoire.

However, after the protest, though the Mahama-led-government was not pleased the actress had been able to garner other celebrities including Prince David Osei, Efya and others while the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) commended her for the effort.

“I received a call from someone who said I should hold on for the presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. In that brief call, he expressed his support for my cause and encouraged me. He said I was a true daughter of the land and that what I was doing was a good thing. He said I should push on and not be discouraged, for the whole of Ghana was behind me” portions of the book details.

The government of the day also reached out to the actress.

She disclosed: “I also received calls from the office of President John Dramani Mahama. The callers said the president wanted to meet me, but I told them I would only meet with the president on condition that my fellow organisers of the protest would be part of that meeting.

“The officials at the presidency insisted that the president wanted to meet me alone. I stood my ground, stating that if the president was not prepared to meet me with my colleagues, then the meeting was not going to happen. And it did not happen.”

However, going forward, the actress would become a possible candidate for Parliament in the eyes of the NPP-led-administration.

“Strangely, however, some close associates of the president thought I was a candidate to be drafted into their party and pushed to contest a parliamentary seat with their tacit endorsement and support,” the actress shared.

“Prior to the 2020 polls, an influential man in the Akufo-Addo circles came to see me and proposed to sponsor me to contest the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary seat on the ticket of the NPP. The NPP had lost its MP for the area and one of the ‘wives’ of the late MP won the by election in 2019. She was lacing her boots to contest the seat in 2020. When I drew the attention of the emissary to the fact that the party already had a candidate, he said the fact that he was contacting me meant that they had concluded their plans and would do everything within their power to pave the way for me to contest if  only I was interested. I asked him to give me a couple of days to think about it, but I had made up my mind the moment he broached the subject. I was not interested in the offer. Even if I was interested in going to parliament, who told him I wanted to do that on the ticket of the NPP? the actress quizzed.

She intimated, however, that even if she wants to go to Parliament, accepting to be sponsored by the NPP meant losing her independence and she would have none of that.

“What if I wanted to go as an independent candidate? And was I going to allow myself to be someone’s political puppet? Once you accept to be sponsored by them, you lose your independence and they expect unalloyed loyalty from you. This was something I wouldn’t do even if I was interested. This person was the president’s family member. And from the modus operandi of the Akufo-Addo ‘family and friends’ government, I wasn’t going to be their conduit, even if I was interested in going to parliament,” the Memoire added.

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