A member of the opposition National Democratic Congress’ communication team, Ako Gunn, has refuted claims that former President John Mahama bussed people to the Independence Square recently during the senior high school placement exercise to court disaffection for the government.
Mr. Gunn said such claims are laughable and should be ignored. The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Napo) on Tuesday alleged that he had seen messages from the NDC which purport that Mr. Mahama ferried people to the venue to cause chaos.
Hundreds of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates have been thronging the Independence Square with their parents since Monday, 16 September 2019, in connection with the placement of students into senior high schools (SHSs) and technical and vocational institutes (TVIs).
The aggrieved parents and candidates besieged the Accra Solution Centre set up by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to handle concerns relating to the placement of prospective students in SHSs and TVIs.
Seven people, including four female students, a pregnant woman, and two male students, collapsed during the process and had to be rushed to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital for medication attention, after which they were discharged. According to Dr. Prempeh, however, over 90 percent of the BECE candidates have been placed into second-cycle institutions and that the crowding at the Independence Square was staged by opposition elements to paint a bad image for the Akufo-Addo government.
Dr Prempeh, who was a guest on Asempa FM’s Ekosiisen show on Tuesday, 17 September 2019 said he had messages to buttress his claim, stating: “Please, it is from the NDC camp”. The minister said one of the messages forwarded to him from the NDC camp read thus: “Dr, some of the people who were at the Independence Square, about 50% were bussed by JDM. The agenda is to use it and see if they can let people forget about the issue in Kumasi”.
When he was told by the host, Osei Bonsu that the message he read implies an allegation against someone (Mr. Mahama), who could take him on, the minister said he was not perturbed by any consequential action by any individual whose name has emerged to be influencing the crowd at the Independence Square. “He should take [me on],” he dared, adding, “He thinks I’m afraid?”
But speaking in an interview on the Ghana Yensom show on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday, 18 September 2019, Mr. Gunn said: “There is no iota of truth in what the minister was saying”.
“Mr. Mahama is seeking to be Ghana’s President again, so, why will he create confusion in the country? How possible? The claim by the minister should be ignored by all Ghanaians because it is not true.”