Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, has said that the government will not allow the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to further peddle lies to court the sympathy of Ghanaians in the lead-up to the 7 December elections.
He was speaking to the host of The Asaase Breakfast Show, Kojo Mensah, on Wednesday (28 October) after the International Monetary Fund denied reports that Ghana had been readmitted to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, which it exited 16 years ago.
“You will recall that a couple of weeks ago, we announced that as a government we were aware of efforts by the opposition to begin a process of churning out falsehood and false narrative with the hope of hoodwinking Ghanaians,” Oppong Nkrumah said.
“Unlike what happened in 2008, where a lot of these false narratives and falsehoods were allowed to gain traction ahead of the election, we will not countenance the publication of falsehood to confuse the Ghanaian public,” he said.
The Information Minister wants the NDC to desist from such practices as matter of urgency.
An oppostion with form
Nkrumah recounted six instances in which the main opposition party made major statements on Ghana’s economy which turned out to be false.
He listed them as follows:
- When the then finance minister, Kwabena Duffuor, gave false information to the World Bank and the IMF which led to the country being fined around 2002.
- When the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, led the government of Ghana to do the €2.2 million transaction with the assistance of the global investment firm Franklin Templeton. The NDC said there was a conflict of interest involving an individual called Franklin Templeton, so the US Securities and Exchange Commission should investigate him. The claims were found to be false.
- When Ghana embarked on the Sinohydro transaction, the NDC claimed that the government was miscategorising the transaction as a barter agreement rather than a loan. The party wrote to the IMF to demand that the Fund block the transaction. Its request was denied.
- The NDC accused the Government of Ghana of presenting cooked figures to the IMF relating to the fiscal deficit and a different set of figures to Ghanaians. Again the IMF denied this.
- John Dramani Mahama, the NDC flagbearer for this year’s election, alleged that the IMF had a new method of calculation which demands that whenever Parliament approves a loan, that loan must be added to a country’s debt stock. The claim proved false.
- The NDC is claiming that Ghana is back on the International Monetary Fund/World Bank list of heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC). In reality, Ghana is a newly minted middle-income economy.
Nkrumah argued that the NDC’s recurrent peddling of falsehoods has potentially negative consequences for the economy and government’s attempts to raise funds globally.