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Fact-check: Did Nii Lante Vanderpuye say Akyems ‘will take visa before entering Accra’?

Photo credit: adomomline.com 3 mins read

An online portal, tellghana.net, published a story with a headline which says NDC MP, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, had said Akyems will be required to apply for a visa before entering Accra if they do not stop their ‘nonsense’

False Headline: Vanderpuye did not explicitly state he was referring to Akyems as inferred by tellghana.net.

Full Text

A recent comment shared by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama on Facebook, referred to some members of the current administration as ‘Akyem sakawa boys’ caused an uproar over the past week.

The comment, originally made by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, came in the wake of controversies over the Agyapa mineral royalties deal.

But the comment drew widespread condemnation, especially from members of the government, when the leader of the largest opposition party shared it.

The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, at a meeting with the Catholic Bishops Conference at the Jubilee House on August 4, 2020, wondered why no public figure had not commented on the matter 

“Sometimes, one would hope when things come out, people will comment on them. The comment made by my opponent: ‘Akyem Sakawa’ people, I have not heard any public figure in this country or anybody comment on it. If I was to get up to make a comment about northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that will be in the country,” the President stated.

Some natives of three Akyem states, numbering over 500 embarked on a demonstration and demanded a withdrawal and an apology from the former president 

The demonstrators said Mr Mahama and the NDC would be barred from campaigning in the area should they fail to withdraw the statement and apologise.

But reacting to the demands of the group on Class FM 505 News, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodoo constituency, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, said the flagbearer of the NDC did nothing wrong in sharing the comment and will not apologise.

“This useless incitement doesn’t help anyone in this country. We are getting tired of this nonsense in this country and some of us are ready to face them. John Mahama is not going to apologise today, he is not going to apologise tomorrow,” he said.

“Some of us are even going to insist that some people will take a visa even to enter Accra,” he added.

An online portal, tellghana.net, published a story from the said interview, with the headline “If Akyems don’t stop their NONSENSE, they will take visa before entering Accra – NDC MP laments.”

Verification 

To verify this claim, Dubawa obtained a copy of the recording of the interview granted by the Odododiodoo legislator on September 9.

Below is the transcript of  the interview:

Their call is totally misplaced and uncalled for. So, should I also go and organize the Ga youth to say that Nana Akufo-Addo and his people should never campaign anywhere in Greater Accra? Because recently the Akyems decided to virtually take away some Ga lands. So is that the sort of country you want to… that politicians could go and hide behind faceless people and then get them to agitate and ask people to apologise. What did John Mahama say wrong? John Mahama reposted something somebody else has eh… and you think you are calling on him to apologise? Why didn’t Osarfo Marfo apologise to the rest of the country when he thought that there was nothing like any national resource coming from there and so they don’t deserve to inherit any position in this country? You see people should stop this, other than that we are going to break down this country. The unity of this country is threatened. In fact, never being so threatened in our history than today, that people could incite their people against the rest of the country or against other tribal groups. It is unfair, it’s so unfortunate. So, if today we the Gas get up and say that the Akyem should remove their so-called traditional office from Adabraka and carry it to Gyebi will it be good? This useless incitement doesn’t help anyone in this country. We are getting tired of this nonsense in this country and some of us are ready to face them. John Mahama is not going to apologise today, he is not going to apologise tomorrow. Some of us are even going to insist that some people will take a visa even to enter Accra. Why? Are we not in a united Ghana anymore? This nonsense must stop. Very soon some people will also ban some people from campaigning in another region. So, if volta people get up and say because of what the government did during the registration exercise, no NPP person should campaign in that region will it be fair?

From the transcript, even though the MP stated that 

“Some of us are even going to insist that some people will take a visa even to enter Accra,” he did not explicitly state if he was referring to Akyems as inferred by tellghana.net.

Conclusion 

Based on this, we conclude that the headline of the story is inaccurate and misleading. 

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