General News of Monday, 23 February 2015
Former Finance Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo has said his voice on an alleged secret tape circulating on social and traditional media, in which he allegedly made ethnocentric comments, has been “doctored.”
On the secret tape, a male voice resembling that of the former Finance Minister is heard bemoaning that even though about 90 percent of Ghana’s natural resources are concentrated in mainly Akan-speaking regions of the country, it is people who come from regions without resources that are governing the country.
The tape was recorded at a meeting between the former Finance Minister and NPP’s Council of Elders in the Eastern region.
The voice, which mostly spoke in the local Twi language, but punctuated the delivery with some English, is heard complaining about why Akan-speaking people, whose regions are rich with natural resources, are not the ones at the helm of managing those resources.
“…You have all the resources, but you have no say in the management of your resources, and that is what is happening. Your development depends on the one who has no resources,” the voice said.
“You can’t say this openly,” he cautioned the Council members, but added that they are at liberty to talk about it among Asantes.
“We should protect ourselves, we should protect our income. No one, who is the source of income, the source of revenue, the source of resources; allows another person without those resources the chance [to rule over them].
“It’s never done anywhere in the world. In the world over, it is the group with the most resources that rules and not the other way around,” the voice said.
In the estimation of the voice, “86.5 percent of resources in Ghana come from five regions: Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central. This is where 86 percent of the resources of Ghana come from… And the oil was also discovered in the West. It will change the formula to about 90 percent. We cannot ignore these five regions. We should not,” the voice added.
However, a press statement from the Office of the former Flagbearer-aspirant, signed by his Special Assistant Emmanuel Bediako Mamfe said: “Our attention has been drawn to an alleged tape recording of a meeting in Koforidua held on the 29th January, 2015. At this meeting Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo made several remarks on the state of the Ghanaian economy, on political strategy and on economic and political empowerment.”
“Subsequently, some of his remarks have been distorted as advocating tribal or ethnic sentiments, trying to create the impression that he is a tribalist. In all his public life, he have striven to do what is right for Ghana and not for any sectional interest.
“We therefore wish to state the following:
(i). The alleged tape purported to be his voice has been doctored, mischievously re-arranged and pieced together, using modern technology, to create a false impression.
(ii). This meeting took place on 29th January, but this concoction has been mischievously released to coincide with and try to overshadow the recent successful “Won Gbo” demonstration of 18th February.
(iii). The release of this doctored tape is a desperate attempt to divert the attention of Ghanaians from REAL problems facing Ghana – widespread corruption, rising levels of unemployment, economic hardships and mismanagement of the economy.”