Dr. Arthur Kennedy, a leading member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has responded to attempts by National Democratic Congress (NDC) members to misrepresent comments he made in July 2011 in order to create the impression that he expects the NPP to lose the upcoming election, calling the actions depraved.
In an unusually harsh tone, he said it that only demented minds that could think that his comments on a recently released tape were made in anticipation of an NPP defeat.
A pro-NDC group called Truth Ghana released the tape, calling it a testament to the fact that President John Mahama will win the election.
On the tape, Dr. Arthur Kennedy is heard telling an assembled group of people that no incumbent party in the fourth republic had lost a re-election bid and that it would therefore be difficult for the NPP to upstage the NDC on December 7.
During an interview in which he contextualized the comments, Kennedy said that anyone paying careful attention to year-plus-old tape would understand that he was simply cautioning his own party members against complacency.
Speaking on Election Headquarters on Joy News (radio and TV), he said that, “only demented minds will reach the conclusion,” that he was prophesying an NPP defeat.
He issued a statement on the matter, calling it, “a disgraceful attempt by the NDC to attain the highest office in the land through the lowliest path possible. These lies and distortions being told in the President’s name, by his campaign and its affiliates, dishonour the President’s name as well as the office that he seeks.”
Read the full statement as issued by Dr. Arthur Kennedy.
STATEMENT BY ARTHUR KOBINA KENNEDY ON NDC LIES REGARDING 2012 ELECTIONS
My attention has been drawn to reports by NDC media on a secret tape that claims that I have predicted the defeat of the NPP Presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2012 elections. This tape that is being distributed by the NDC Campaign and its affiliates is a gross wicked lie and President Mahama and his campaign must be ashamed of this.
I am saddened that so many in the media would repeat the claims of those who put out the tape without listening to it or talking to me. We deserve better from our media.
The circumstances surrounding this tape and the purposes for which it is being used are very similar to the “Otabil tapes” and the evil purposes for which it was procured. In that episode, Pastor Otabil, a respected leader in our faith community, had his voice shamelessly misrepresented and was later attacked by the NDC for defending himself. Once again, with barely a week to go for this election, the NDC, with no record to run on, has chosen to resort to lies and distortions. This is a disgraceful attempt by the NDC to attain the highest office in the land through the lowliest path possible. These lies and distortions being told in the President’s name, by his campaign and its affiliates, dishonour the President’s name as well as the office that he seeks. Indeed long before the Otabil saga, the NDC had successfully, with the connivance of some media and NPP members, temporarily cast my book, “Chasing the Elephant Into the Bush” as an attack on the NPP. With time, that book has been rehabilitated. I have, this morning, requested the NPP Regional Executive, to make available to the public as soon as possible the entire tape of the event in question.
Indeed, the said tape was not a secret tape and has been in the public domain for some time. In July 2011, the NPP Central Region Youth Wing, in line with the NPP’s “REFLECT, REBUILD AND RECAPTURE” approach, invited me to a meeting at Winneba to speak on the lessons from the 2008 elections. At the meeting, I said complacency, lack of candour and too much fondness for money cost us the 2008 elections and I stand solidly behind those assertions. I warned my party that it will be difficult to dislodge the incumbent party and I stand by that. I urged that we needed to work hard and I stand by that. Indeed, on the tape, the packed house repeatedly applauded my statements. Afterwards, the NPP Regional executive posted a newspaper report of my comments on the Regional office notice board.
The candour that permeates my remarks on the tape was and is consistent with my approach to politics, which can be summed as candour combined with charity for all and malice towards none. Every day, I pray, with Jabez, that “God would bless me and expand my territory.” That “he would be with me in all that I do and keep me from all trouble and pain.”
Since I delivered my “warnings in Winneba”, I have written and spoken about, amongst other things:
Why we are worse off than we were 4 years ago
The NDC plans to rig the 2012 elections by rigging the registration exercise
The NDC’s encouragement of violence through the formation of the “Heroes Fund”
The return of “Cash and Carry” healthcare
President Mahama’s lack of fidelity to principle in opposing Nana Addo’s “Free SHS” when he had also benefited from free education.
Finally, in the last couple of weeks, I have joined former President Kufuor and the NPP Candidate and hopefully, the next President, Nana Akufo-Addo on the campaign trail. While I regard the NDC’s fondness for my distorted opinions as a back-handed compliment, I remain irrevocably committed to and hopeful of an NPP Presidential and Parliamentary victory on December 7th, 2012.
Let us move to our future in unity, in candour and in peace.
Arthur Kobina Kennedy