A dirty little secret of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has blossomed up, as a hireling who was used to secretly smuggle Ivorians into Ghana to vote for the NPP in 2008, pesters Flagstaff House in his capacity as debt collector.
B.A. Bimpong, self-described as a former journalist, claims that after the ruling party had used him in the dangerous enterprise to compromise the 2008 elections, he was abandoned by the party.
Debt that resulted from the rigging enterprise has, for eight years, rendered him poor and made life miserable for him, as creditors pestering for payback eventually landed him in jail in Ivory Coast.
In an open letter that has since been in the media, Mr. Bimpong names a host of NPP bigwigs, including Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yoofi Grant and Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, as bankrollers of the plot to rig the 2008 elections for Akufo-Addo.
A. Bimpong’s letter also reveals that his criminal activity to the benefit of the NPP has been known to President Akufo-Addo and Chief of Staff, Frema Osei-Opare, but instead of arresting him, the Presidency is actually considering compensating him, as the self-confessed electoral offender frequents the seat of government, Flagstaff House.
The whole story revolves round how Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, as the NPP’s Campaign Manager for the 2008 elections, hiring Mr. Bimpong to secretly organize Ivorians and smuggle them into Ghana to vote in the 2008 elections for the NPP.
According to Mr. Bimpong, who says that he had been a journalist corresponding from Parliament at the time, he had left his job and gone to the Ivory Coast to organize the smuggle over.
While there, Ambassador Blay-Amihere had organized hotel accommodation for him in Abidjan throughout the operation. Mr. Bimpong lists current Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who was then a financier of the Akufo-Addo campaign, as one of the people who financed his work.
Others are Ofori-Atta’s business partner and the 2008 Chairman of the Finance Committee of the NPP campaign, Keli Gadzekpo, current Chief Executive of the National Investment Promotion Centre and then a financier of the Akufo-Addo campaign, Yoofi Grant, and one Asenso Boakye, who was a member of the Akufo-Addo campaign team.
Mr. Bimpong also names Yaw Amfo-Kwakye, who was personal assistant to Akufo-Addo, while Akufo-Addo was Foreign Affairs Minister in the Kufuor regime, as a witness who can testify to his work.
He says that even though he performed the task given him to the admiration of Dr. Konadu Apraku and the other conspirators, they soon abandoned him after the elections which the NPP had lost in a second round to former President Mills.
In an eight-year period of suffering, Mr. Bimpong said he was even jailed in the Ivory Coast over his failure to pay the car owners who had secretly transported the Ivorians into town to vote for Akufo-Addo in 2008.
The aggrieved NPP loyalist reveals that, since 2008, he has been petitioning the office of Akufo-Addo without any response from him, saying he has at least forwarded 20 letters to the President.
He reveals in the open letter that he eventually was constrained to go and submit a petition at the Presidency after he had arrived back in Ghana from Ivory Coast in January, after an eight- year absence because Dr. Apraku and others only tossed him about.
“I arrived in this country on the 20th January, 2017, the first time in 8 years. I called Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku whom I had earlier informed of my coming. He replied with a text message directing me to Mr. Yaw Kwakye, the then personal assistant to you.
“In getting in touch with him, he referred me to the party headquarters. I got to the party Headquarters but the best answer I could get from the Acting General Secretary was that if I like I can cause an arrest of Dr. Apraku or I can proceed to court and make my claims from Dr. Apraku, the 2008 Campaign Manager,” Mr. Bimpong stated.
The revelation that NPP party executives are aware of Mr. Bimpong and his activities but refused to hand him over to the police was less shocking compared to the revelation that even the Flagstaff House know about him and is actually trying to compensate him for the illegality.
According to him, on the 2nd of February, this year, he went to meet Chief of Staff, Frema Osei-Opare, to hand her a petition.
“The political assistant to your chief of staff later informed me that, he and Mr. Asenso Boakye have been mandated by the Chief of Staff to look into the matter and make recommendations.
“In early April, I was called on phone from the office of the Chief of Staff that the duo have finished their findings and requested me to submit my report for compensation apart from the outstanding debts or claims, of which I did.”
He reveals that, thence from submitting his compensational estimates, he has frequented the Flagstaff House for a long time but that all his visitations have led to postponements even as he was not arrested and handed over to the police.
In frustration, he said, he was constrained to complain to the Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe ll, but still nothing has been done.
Mr. Bimpong therefore pleaded with President Akufo-Addo to live up to his calling as a human rights lawyer and ensure that the compensation due him for working to rig the elections for Akufo-Addo is paid him.
According to him, “I sacrificed everything, including my life for that risky task. Little did I know I would be rewarded with impunity, unnatural wickedness and extreme cruelty. I now find myself depressed, and oppressed in life.”
The revelation by Mr. Bimpong, puts into interesting perspective, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s crusade in the buildup to the 2016 elections to get borders in the Volta Region closed and names of Voltarians removed from the voters’ register on the basis of claims that the then ruling NDC was scheming to smuggle Togolese into the country to vote for the NDC.
Dr. Bawumia, in his capacity as Akufo-Addo’s running mate, had vilified the Electoral Commission and created the impression that Voltarians are electoral scoundrels claiming that 76,000 names of Voltarians on the register were Togolese that the NDC aimed to smuggle in to vote for the party.
All the while that Dr. Bawumia was at it, B. A. Bimpong had been petitioning Akufo-Addo about compensation for the Ivorian smuggling job that he had done for the NPP in 2008.
Also, the revelation that Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, was involved in the Ivorian smuggle has heightened a seeming infamy around Mr. Ofori-Atta as a mastermind of election-related illegalities.
In 2016, sacked National Chairman of the NPP, Paul Afoko, revealed that Ken Ofori-Atta had secretly smuggled Serbian mercenaries into the country to train NPP goons in preparation for the 2016 election.
While in the country Mr. Ofori-Atta had hosted the Serbians in a hotel at Mile 7 in Accra and paid them for their services.