Claim: A letter purporting to originate from the camp of NDC Presidential flagbearer aspirant, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, has accused his contender, John Mahama, of being unfit to lead the party. The letter goes on to accuse the former president of being an alcoholic.
Verdict: The letter went viral on various media platforms and was doctored. A spokesperson for Dr Duffour says that the purported letter did not come from the team.
The opposition National Democratic Congress is heading to the polls to elect a flagbearer for the party as the party seeks to return to lead the country.
Barring any legal contestations, the election, scheduled for May 13, 2023, will see former president John Mahama, former Finance Minister Dr Duffuor, and former Mayor of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu contest in the flagbearership race.
On Thursday, May 9, a letter purporting to be coming from the camp of Dr Duffuor went viral.
The letter, “Urgent Matters of Concern,” commented on the former President.
“Team Duffuor wants to bring to the attention of our cherished delegates and party executives that Ghanaians are looking up to the NDC to elect a flagbearer who can roll out policies to fix the economy within two years. Therefore, we need to present a presidential candidate who is sincere and whose political record is not tainted in any way,” part of the letter reads.
“The current times, in which we are, require that we not elect a flagbearer with serious alcohol addiction issues. We need a flagbearer who will be sober enough to tackle the challenges we face as a country,” the letter added.
Several media platforms, including Peacefmonline.com, and Theghanareport.com, have published stories from the purported letter.
DUBAWA Ghana has also seen various users on social media platforms sharing the letter. Such can be found here, here, here, and here.
Our first point of verification was with the spokesperson for the Dr Duffuor’s campaign team, Antonio Edem Asinyo.
“This is outrightly fake news. It is not coming from us,” he told DUBAWA Ghana.
Mr Asinyo quickly added that the letter the team submitted to the party was a complaint about the voters registering for Saturday’s election.
“Upon initial review of the 220 constituencies Voters Register (Photo Album), we identified several discrepancies in the register that indicate it is incomplete and inaccurate. Having an incomplete and inaccurate register is a significant issue when going into an election because it undermines the credibility and fairness of the election process,” part of the letter Mr Asinyo says is authentic reads.
Similarly, DUBAWA contacted Kofi B. Kukubor, whose signature and name appeared on the two letters, to confirm which one he authored. He told DUBAWA to disregard the purported letter insinuating that Ghana’s ex-President is addicted to alcohol.
The final puzzle to unravelling the truth was DUBAWA’s contact with the staff at the headquarters of Ghana’s opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Simon Yaw Awadzi, who received the letter.
Asked which of the two letters he received, Mr Awadzi told DUBAWA he could not recollect this. He, however, claimed the letter he received was later taken away by the lady sent by the Dr Duffuor campaign team.
Also, a content analysis conducted by DUBAWA showed some great disparities between the two letters aside from the issues raised.
The original letter submitted by the Duffuor Campaign team was dated May 8, 2023, while the doctored document is dated May 7, 2023. Again, the position of the signature of Kofi B. Kukubor appears to be on top of the words “signed,” while the signature on the doctored document is on the same line as the words.
Another discrepancy is that the original letter copied the Elections Committee of the National Democratic Congress and Ghana’s Electoral Commission. However, the doctored document copied all delegates of the NDC.
Finally, whilst the letter which makes scathing attacks on the former President has gone viral, it is this one which highlights Dr Duffuor’s concerns with the voter register. This raises authenticity concerns.
DUBAWA can confirm some media organisations which published content of the doctored document, such as Peacefmonline.com, have deleted their stories.
The purported letter from the camp of Dr Duffuor, which could be described as making scathing attacks on former President Mahama, is not authentic.