The presidential nominee of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Mahama, has suggested that the personal physician of fellow flag bearer Nana Akufo-Addo should make an authoritative public statement to set the records straight concerning festering rumours that his boss has been diagnosed of cancer as reported by the Africa Watch Magazine.
Mr Akufo-Addo, while speaking to the Bolgatanga Traditional Council in the Upper East Region on Sunday, August 28 during his campaign, told the crowd that the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and President John Mahama were fabricating lies about him in their quest to retain the presidency in the 7 December polls.
“First, they said I was a drug addict; it didn’t work. They said I was sick; it didn’t work. They said I was too old; it didn’t work. They said I was a hunchback; it didn’t work. They said I was a dwarf; it didn’t work. They said I was in a wheelchair; it didn’t work. They said I am a murderer; it didn’t work. They said I would die in June; it didn’t work. They said I was a dictator; it didn’t work. They said I was intolerant; it didn’t work. They said I was violent; it didn’t work. They said I had a secret agenda to destabilise the country; it didn’t work. Now, they say I have cancer, it will not work.”
Mr Akufo-Addo stressed further that “it appears the only way the President will get a third term is when I am sick or I am dead. That is the only ground on which he will get his third term.”
Buttressing Mr Akufo-Addo’s comment, Mr Mac Manu told Naa Dedei Tettey in an interview on 12Live on Class91.3FM that “this is a campaign of political destruction” which incumbent parties employ “when an incumbent government is losing an election in Africa”.
“…I’ve seen it in Nigeria where they painted all kinds of gloomy picture about Buhari: Buhari is dead, Buhari has cancer, Buhari is on a sick bed; the same things they are saying about Nana Akufo-Addo [now]. I want to tell them, NDC, that whatever they learnt from President Jonathan which didn’t work there, they should drop it because it is not going to work in Ghana … Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is not sick of any cancer. …They want to throw mud at Nana Akufo-Addo, they want to distract us from the key issues and the key government matters. … This campaign is about the eight-year rule of the NDC … it is a referendum of the eight-year rule of the NDC,” Mr Mac Manu added.
“…It’s false and if the NDC will pay people to spread false news as was in Nigeria in the case of Buhari, fine; they can, but the Ghanaian voters are discerning like their counterparts in Nigeria, and history is going to repeat itself here. …We are not bothered…”
But Deputy Communications Minister Mr Felix Kwakye Ofosu, who is also a Deputy Campaign Spokesperson for the NDC told Naa Dedei Tettey on 12Live that: “Today, you will not find one example of any NDC person who has said anywhere that Nana Addo suffers from any disease, let alone cancer, or kidney disease or heart disease as Africa Watch has published. So, let the NPP focus on answering the specific claim made in the publication and leave the NDC alone. They believe that by peddling this falsehood about the NDC, they’ll benefit from sympathy,” Mr Ofosu said.
Adding his voice to the debate, Dr Mahama, a medical doctor, said it is imperative that Mr Akufo-Addo’s Doctor clears the air on the matter. “Since they are accusing Nana Akufo-Addo of this, it will be good if Nana could get his doctor to let Ghanaians know he is OK and if there is any other accusation about any individual’s health, he might also do the same.”
“Let me add: there is a proverb that says, ‘It is not the sick who dies; anybody can die.’ So, basically even as we take steps to make sure that the nation is not saddled with the sudden loss of a presidential candidate or the president himself, which will usually bring the country into a [standstill], which is why they are looking at his health, we must also know that it is not the sick who die; death can come unannounced and somebody who is reasonably healthy by accident or by some catastrophic event can die.”
According to Dr Mahama, developed democracies such as the United States of America do not shy away from public disclosures of the health of politicians. “Doctors by nature are the ones given the custodial rights of pronouncing on the health of individuals and I think even in the USA, Donald Trump’s doctor released a statement and I think Hilary’s doctor released a statement, so I think so long as it has become an issue, we need to put it to rest.”