There comes a time in the life of every man when they will be expected to take the bull by the horns and prove a point, especially when it is about their credibility and reputation. An Ewe proverb states that, good name (integrity) is better than gold.
The Catalyst had received with joy the reported threat from one Nana Asante Bediatuo who has been touted as one of New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's lawyers, as carried by the New Crusading Guide of Friday, 22nd 2011, as follows:
“Lawyers of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, standard bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have affirmed that they are considering a legal action against the Daily Post newspaper and members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have accused him (Nana Addo) of smoking 'wee' or using other narcotic drugs. Nana Asante Bediatuo, one of the legal luminaries from Ampem Chambers, in an interview with this paper via telephone, noted that “perhaps, a redress at the court will bring an end to the falsehood perpetrated against the NPP flagbearer.”
The Daily Post and its editor, Mr Mike Dokosi, have alleged that Nana Akufo-Addo was arrested at JFK Airport in 2007 with a quantity of marijuana (wee), which the NPP flagbearer claimed was for his personal use. Mr Dokosi is also daring Nana Akufo-Addo to take him to court if he has nothing to hide.
Conceivably, this is the first time that the NPP flagbearer has been explicitly dared by someone who is not only accusing him on the basis of drugs but bold enough to challenge him to go to court since he and his newspaper were ready to prove the allegation.
More striking is the fact that the Daily Post in its publication made a categorical statement of fact, not a statement of an allegation. Any form of allegation regarding drugs is quite serious, especially when that allegation is made against a presidential candidate of a party whose tenure of government- which ended just a little over two and half years ago- was saddled with a boom in the narcotic drugs trafficking. Against this backdrop, one would have thought that there could not have been a more opportune time than this for the NPP flagbearer to proceed to court and prove his numerous accusers wrong. Disappointingly enough, that situation may never arise, given the indifference posture of the NPP flagbearer. Having waited for years for the day Nana Akufo-Addo would proceed to court to set the records straight, the threat by his lawyer was welcome news for us on this paper. But the threat now appears to be veiled as that does not seem to be the real intention of the man at the centre of the raging storm. Nana Akufo-Addo seems to be apathetic to the head-on confrontation by the Daily Post and that is disappointing.
This is because in commenting on the Crusading Guide publication attributed to him on Citi Fm an Accra-based radio station on Friday, Nana Asante Bediatuo seemed to have softened his position and instead of reiterating his threat, he rather surprisingly appeared to have softened his earlier stance and gave the indication he did not consult his high profile client before rushing to speak to the New Crusading Guide in a threat-laden telephone interview.
Nana Asante Bediatuo told the station that Nana Akufo-Addo had not yet given any such orders as to make him proceed to court but that the defaming remarks against the NPP flagbearer's person has gotten to a head and must be reined in. Then, he shifted the goalposts and said that either the NDC government which has constantly used the drug allegations against Nana Akufo-Addo prosecutes him or shuts up. “If those affiliated with government who have access to the whole state security apparatus are not able to proactively, demonstrate that what they say is true, by making a report to the police, BNI or national security, then they should keep quiet.” So it is obvious that the Akufo-Addo lawyer is in a dilemma since he has jumped the gun whilst his client appears to have gone mum as usual on the allegation of drug use against him.
This paper will however like to remind Nana Akufo-Addo of his status in the Ghanaian society. Even though we have firm conviction he can never be president, he has a huge responsibility towards his political party. It is thus imperative that he leads by example.
Akufo-Addo must not think or act as though, this is his personal issue and therefore can choose to ignore it or allow his lawyers to either issue veil threats or challenge the NDC government to report to the police or prosecute him.
The onus lies on the NPP flagbearer to prove his innocence from drug use for his followers to have their peace of mind because his silence is becoming too deafening, a situation which clothes the issue in its recurrence nature. And we think that there cannot be a better time to do this than now.
Source: Darko, Desmond
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