From Explosive Tribal Comments
Former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Oda, Yaw Osafo Marfo, who served under several ministerial portfolios, during the John Kufuor-led administration, has been caught on tape making damning statements, which some say have the potential to threaten the unity of the country.
But like many of the party’s bigwigs who have in recent time been captured on secret tape recordings, the ex-Minister of Finance and one-time Managing Director of the collapsed Bank for Housing and Construction (BHC), has figuratively taken to his heels and started running away from his own voice, he denied making the comments.
His comments were anti-Ewe, anti-Ga and anti-Northern, but preached Akan supremacy and dominance.
The content of the tape, which has since gone viral on both social media and played on some radio stations, was part of a discussion Mr. Marfo was involved in with the NPP’s Council of Elders in the Eastern Region, where he hails from and serves as an elder of the party.
On the tape, the former flagbearer aspirant of the NPP, was heard expressing disgust on why Akans, who make up five of the country’s ten regions and possess all the natural resources, hardly govern the country, but it is rather those who have nothing to offer in terms of natural resources, who are always at the helm of affairs.
It said, “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.
“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.
“You can’t say this openly,” he cautioned the Council Members, but added that they are free 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.
It is obvious that the one-time Minister for Education, is pained that since the Fourth Republic, two non Akans, former President Jerry John Rawlings from the Volta Region and the current president, John Dramani Mahama from the Northern Region, both from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), have led the nation, while the late President, John Evans Atta Mills, and former President John Agyekum Kufuor, both Akans, have shared the remaining terms.
Per the statements on the tape, it should have been only Akans, who should have ruled Ghana since they are the ones who provides for everyone.
The comment, has since been condemned by many, especially the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), who in a press conference on Wednesday described the content of the tape as “tribal bigotry” and “primitive”, Mr. Osafo Marfo “incendiary and ethnically divisive” remarks to the effect that non-Akans whose home regions are bereft of natural resources, are rather those at the helm of the country’s affairs.
A Deputy Communications Officer, Fred Agbenyo at a press conference on Wednesday, said, “We in the National Democratic Congress unreservedly condemn this extreme form of tribal bigotry exhibited by Mr. Osafo Marfo.
“We are utterly dismayed that in spite of his years of education, exposure and experience, Mr Osafo Marfo will hold such primitive views about national leadership, and proceed to make comments that have the potential to tear apart the very fabric that bind us together as one people with a common destiny.”
Following the publication of the secret audio on the airwaves, the former Finance Minister in a bit to save his face has said although he recalls speaking at a forum in the Eastern Region not too long ago, on a wide range of issues, he doubts a secret tape circulating on which he is heard spewing tribal venom is genuine.
The ex-MP, who could have led the NPP to the Castle as President after the 2008 election should the party at the time endorsed him as it flagbearer, therefore, requested for a copy of the tape for thorough listening before making any comments about it.
Mr. Marfo who is also known as “Oyeadieyie” is not alone in this denial.
In recent past, the likes of Sammy Awuku, who is the National Youth Organizer of the NPP, Anthony Abayifa Karbo, an ex-Youth Organizer and now Deputy Communications officer, former MP for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah; MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea; Northern Regional Chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu; Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu; former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Tamale, Amin Anta; have all been caught on secret tapes on different occasions, but denied the recording or said sections of the tapes were doctored.
Meanwhile, Pollster and Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch, Ben Ephson, has said that the alleged tribal comments have the potential of costing the NPP party the 2016 elections.
The veteran journalist said, the governing party, could take advantage of the comments for political capital ahead of the 2016 elections just as the party did ahead of the 2012 elections regarding a similar tribal comment made by NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo at the time.
In the run-up to the 2012 general elections, similar secret tribal comments were made by the party’s presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, who at the time also met party members in the Eastern Region, where he comes from.
The Loud-mouthed MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, was also not left out in the heat as he also in a reaction to an incident that happened in Odododiodio in the Central Business District of Accra, remarked that Akans kill Ewes and Gas.
One other NPP ex-MP from Koforidua and an ex-Minister and ex-UN diplomat and a trader, who leaves at American House in East Legon, behind closed doors and secret party meetings, referred to Ewes from the Volta Region as “gluttons” and beggars.