A correspondence from the University of Oxford, one of the world’s leading higher institutions, has affirmed that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was not expelled from the university.
A statement issued as far back as February 27, 2012 by Professor Ewan McKendrick, Registrar of the University, said, “Mr. Akufo-Addo was at the University during the 1962/63 academic year.
“We have searched our archives and found no record to indicate that Mr Akufo-Addo was expelled by the University.”
An NDC sponsored group called Research and Advocacy Platform (RAP), led by Felix Kwakye Ofosu, who was recently sponsored by government to study oil and gas at Dundee University, Scotland, stampeded Nana Akufo-Addo with publications about how the presidential candidate omitted Oxford from his Curriculum Vitae (CV).
They wanted Nana Akufo-Addo to publicly explain his inability to complete his degree at Oxford, leaving the school shortly after he enrolled in the early 1960s.
As if that was not enough, Tsatsu Tsikata, a former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), also jumped into the fray saying that the inability of Nana Akufo-Addo’s handlers to deal with the candidate’s question cast a slur on his (Akufo-Addo’s) integrity.
Tsatsu, who worked under Nana Akufo-Addo as research officer, told Asempa FM, an Accra-based radio station that as a fresh student at Oxford in 1969, he heard that Nana Akufo-Addo had left the school under strange circumstances.
Mr. Tsikata said there were rumours then that Nana Akufo-Addo was dismissed from the university, but could neither deny nor confirm the rumours, saying, “There were so many rumours but whatever I will say will be mere speculations.”
The enquiry, which many believe was sent by the NDC, had requested the university to establish whether Nana Akufo-Addo was a student at Oxford, the course(s) he pursued, the college in which he was as well as whether or not the NPP candidate was expelled and for what reason.
However, the registrar said, “I do not believe that the disclosure of the course he followed at Oxford is necessary to satisfy that public interest.”
“We have already disclosed a significant amount of information about his time at Oxford and have now added to it through our revised response. Disclosure of the course he followed would add little or no value to the information already disclosed,” Prof McKendrick said.
The university found the request a bit strange since “he (Akufo-Addo) does not appear to use his (limited) Oxford connection to try to secure an advantage in his political life and in the forthcoming election in particular. There is no reference to it on his personal website or Facebook or Twitter accounts. Similarly, I could find no reference to it in the first 20 hits produced by an internet search for ‘Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo’”.
“You have sought to identify a specific UK interest in disclosure by referring to the grants made by the UK government to Ghana. However, it seems to me that the course Mr Akufo-Addo took at Oxford for one year only has no bearing on this issue.”
The NPP Communications Director, Nana Akomea, had revealed that Nana Akufo-Addo’s father, Edward Akufo-Addo, had withdrawn him from Oxford because he thought it was more prudent to educate his son at the University of Ghana.
“Nana Addo went to Oxford University, his father withdrew him to come to Legon, that is what his father did; this is an 18-19-year-old boy.”
He denied claims by the pro-NDC group that his party’s flag-bearer had been sacked by the institution, saying that Nana Addo did not leave Oxford because he had done anything “untoward”.
According to him, it was the decision by Nana Akufo-Addo’s father to give his son a blend of Ghanaian and Western education.
“Nana Akufo-Addo’s father, I believe, wanted his son to have a blend so if you remember, he brought him to King Tackie Primary School at Adabraka in Accra, and then he took him to a public school in England, a very exclusive private school where he finished his secondary school, started Oxford and then the man [his father] brought him to Ghana. In my mind, you could see this is a man who is trying to give his son a blend of both worlds.”
By William Yaw Owusu