THE DISMISSED Co-ordinator of the National Youth Council, Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, has dropped what looks like the deadliest bombshell on the National Democratic Congress (NDC), confirming media speculations that President Atta Mills has serious difficulties with his sight.
Sekou, who was relieved of his duties a few days ago, claimed that together with other members of the Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Committee, he went to the Osu Castle to present their report to the president just before he was sacked and saw something that struck him.
He came out of that meeting with the president, with news that he thinks may not be palatable to the ears of several Ghanaians who have been debating the issue of the president’s health for some time now, suggesting that Ghana’s president may be a ‘walking blind man.’
The issue of the president’s health has always received ferocious response from his handlers, who appear to have something to hide from the public.
Recently, Herbert Mensah, an inside operative of the NDC, made public that in the run-up to the 2008 election, the then candidate Mills was suffering from hallucination, which created panic among ‘insiders’.
Speaking on Oman FM’s ‘National Agenda’ programme and other radio stations including Radio Gold last Friday, Sekou Nkrumah said when they went to the castle, he and the other members of the committee had the opportunity of shaking hands with the president before they presented the report to him.
In the process, he said, something significant struck him which he thought might have triggered the reaction to the interview he granted and his subsequent dismissal since he believes what he said might have disorganized the president and the Presidency.
“That is the problem my brother but I don’t think people in this country will want to know the truth. I believe the president cannot see because I shook his hand and I don’t think he knew who he was shaking the hands with,” he noted.
Sekou said he had no bad intentions when he made those revelations because he was part of the delegation that accompanied then candidate Mills to the Nzema areas when he was campaigning to be president. “I just captured some of the things that I observed there,” he stated.
Sekou believes that his comments about the president’s health may have hit some raw nerves, thereby necessitating his removal.
In spite of that, the strong-willed Sekou said he had no regrets for what he said since they were said in good faith.
“So that’s the point, he looks fine health-wise but I’m not too sure whether he can see…I am talking about his eye-sight, that’s why I said if you read the interview, I think that is the raw nerve that I must have hit,” he said, emphasizing “I am saying that the impression I am seeing, the president cannot see and I am saying that is what triggered this whole reaction.”
Sekou added “the point is to do with NDC-made promises, is the NDC delivering. If NDC is not delivering, the buck ends with the president and that’s why I am saying he has to take the responsibility and that’s why if somebody is criticizing the president, I think it should be taken in good faith.”
For now, he said, it is for the NDC as a party to sit and reflect on whether or not to use President Mills in the next elections or look for an alternative.
“We are in government and I’m not too sure whether to continue with the same leadership,” he stated.
He believed there was more to the president feeling threatened and insecure in his position than the issue about Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings wanting to run for his position.
“Maybe to them, the people are threatening them, so if the president cannot see, does that threaten…can he do his job, does it threaten his position, does it call for his resignation?
I don’t know but I am saying that it looks like in this country, if people express themselves freely, then they are being victimized.
But I don’t know, those are questions I can throw out there because I slept over the matter, reflected deeply and realized that no, the way they are reacting about this issue there is something more to it,” he stated.
Asked whether Ghanaians should consider the president’s health, Sekou said “if that is why he seems to be unable to perform, yes, it is a question that can be raised and I think it’s a genuine question.”
Sekou said he was not going to let himself go down since he joined the NDC when it was in opposition and it could not have offered him anything.
He has decided to take a few days off to reflect and work with the party since “you don’t have to be in government to help the NDC.
I mean the party is there, I can find a way of trying to help the party to help grow stronger and we can also add the leadership that some of us think will be dynamic enough to lead a big platform like the NDC that will represent the interest of the ordinary people.”
Sekou said “life goes on” since he does not pretend and think more of himself, adding “I will be involved in the NDC, even more so now “because it looks like when you accept a position with the government, it looks like you cannot express your views and so on.”
“You know it was a harmless interview and I expressed opinion. I mean I didn’t insult anyone. I didn’t have any bad intentions and so on but then… is it if you are in government that means you are gagged. It’s never been my style.
I’ve always been a freethinker, somebody who expresses himself and that’s what I fought for, democracy in this country. We fought military dictatorship; we’ve come a long way…I still hold those values high and I will continue to do that,” he stressed.
Sekou questioned the vision of the very advisory board, headed by Esther Cobbah, which recommended his dismissal, asking rhetorically “what are they doing.
Do they have a vision themselves and what have they done since they have been in that advisory role?”
Asked whether he thinks the president has been fair to him, Sekou said “I don’t think so, I think it was the reactions of the publication because the problems I had with the board were issues… I don’t think they were very serious issues. I had stated in other interviews that it’s an advisory board, they seem to want to run the day-to-day affairs and that created some kind of tension between me and them.”
He recalled how the board, on the instructions of the sector Minister, cancelled a scheduled meeting they were supposed to attend when the story was first published in DAILY GUIDE and then asked him to render an apology for the comments he made in that interview since it was generating a lot of heat from within government circles.
“I said no, I was not going to withdraw it, I didn’t insult anybody or anything. I just wanted to make a statement and for that statement to be captured in the minutes, so I don’t think I was a big deal at all,” he said.
This, he said, was because he had the opportunity of reading the article on the interview he granted the magazine and discussed it with friends and thought there was nothing wrong with it, except the timing, coming at a time when former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings had stirred controversy in government and the party about her intentions to run for the flag-bearer position of the NDC.
Sekou may have joined the stables of the party’s founder, Jerry John Rawlings, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and Ras Mubarak, who have been critical of Mills and his style of government.
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