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Minority Leader Breaks Silence On Secret Tape   
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Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu
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The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has responded to the recent remarks attributed to him in a so-called secret tape recording, describing it as mischievous.

“The distorted remarks were bereft of important qualifiers, thereby robbing them of the desired impact,” the MP for Suame in Kumasi said.

The Minority Leader was said to have criticised people close to the 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for displaying extravagant lifestyle in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

On a secret audio recording currently in circulation, the Minority Leader alleged that some people around Nana Addo spent lavishly during the campaign when the candidate was modest.

“…Akufo-Addo sleeps in a private residence anytime he visits Kumasi. Apart from some people who cook for him, most of the people follow him because of other interests when it comes to the Ashanti Region,” he said.

Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu is purported to have said a coterie of followers of Nana Addo went to sleep at the Golden Tulip Hotel at the cost of $90,000.

He was also reported to have said on the tape that the vuvuzelas imported for the campaign cost $1.5 million.

However, the Minority Leader, who arrived from a Commonwealth Parliamentary engagement in Cameroon yesterday—shortly after which DAILY GUIDE got in touch with him for his take on the so-called secret tape—said the conversation was at a parliamentary caucus meeting and that the tape had been spliced for mischief.

“The discussion was in my office with about 40 MPs,” he said, explaining that he was only expressing his opinion about how to make the best of the resources available for the campaign machinery of the New Patriotic Party.

“Unfortunately, whoever put out the remarks left out the qualifiers tendentiously because they were conditional statements. It was a caucus meeting in my office on the need to restructure our campaigns,” he said.

He asserted, “I led the discussion and said that we have overly concentrated on our presidential candidates.” This, he said, was to the detriment of constituency organisation.

On the issue of vehicles, he said that there was the need to manage these for optimum benefit to the party.

He, for instance, noted that some of the vehicles which were new did not spend more than three months during the campaign rounds.

“In my view, you do not need new vehicles, some of which are delivered two weeks before time,” he posited.

“If resources earmarked for such purchases,” he said, “were directed at constituency organisation, we could win more constituencies for the party.”

On the vuvuzelas, the Minority Leader was also of the opinion that the amount of money spent on them could have been put to better use.

He disputed the details about what he said about Nana Addo’s visits to Kumasi, pointing out that it was a distortion of what he said.

“I never said that Nana Addo slept at Golden Tulip Hotel when he went to Kumasi. I said that while Nana slept in a private facility in Kumasi, other members of his team preferred sleeping elsewhere and incurring avoidable cost to the party. “The incurred cost could win a constituency,” he noted.

“I had travelled outside the country to Cameroon and barely listened to all the contents of what was captured,” he said, explaining further that the crux of the discussion was constituency organisation.

Meeting Nana Addo

The Minority Leader, a strong supporter of the 2012 presidential candidate, said that after the discussions he met with Nana Akufo-Addo and laid bare what he and his colleagues had brainstormed over.

“I have been to Nana Addo’s house and told him about the discussion. My surprise is that what was supposed to be an internal critique of party organisation has been given a twist and put out without the qualifiers,” he bemoaned.

He added, “Whoever was behind this, intending to create bad blood between Nana and I, should bow his head in shame.”

Meanwhile, Nana Ohene-Ntow, spokesperson for flagbearer hopeful, Alan Kyerematen, has indicated that more damning tapes would be released soon, giving the impression that the Kyei Mensa-Bonsu tape was from their camp in order to do damage to Nana Addo, who is favoured to win the October 18 NPP presidential primary.

Kennedy Agyapong

Responding to the allegation on the tape, Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, said the cost of the vuvuzelas was only $13,000 and not $1.5 million as suggested on the tape.

According to him, 100,000 pieces of vuvuzelas were imported at the unit cost of 13 cents, bringing the total cost to $13,000.

He also said the campaign vans were imported from China at the cost of $9,000 each and not $30,000 as put out.
Source: A.R. Gomda/Daily Guide

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