Former Finance Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo has said although he recalls speaking at a forum in the Eastern region not too long ago on a wide range of issues, he doubts a secret tape circulating on which he is allegedly heard spewing tribal venom is genuine.
The former flagbearer-aspirant of the main opposition New Patriotic Party has, therefore requested for a copy of the tape for thorough listening before making any comments about it, Joy News reported Thursday.
A secret audio tape circulating on both social and traditional media captures a male voice resembling that of the former finance Minister bemoaning that even though about 90 percent of Ghana’s natural resources are concentrated in mainly Akan-speaking regions of the country, it is people who come from regions without resources that are governing the country.
The tape was apparently captured at a meeting between the former Finance Minister and the NPP’s Council of Elders in the Eastern region.
The voice, which mostly spoke in the local Twi language, but punctuated the delivery with some English, is heard bemoaning why Akan-speaking people, whose regions are rich with natural resources, are not the ones at the helm of managing those resources.
“…You have all the resources, but you have no say in the management of your resources and that is what is happening. Your development depends on the one who has no resources,” the voice said.
“You can’t say this openly,” he cautioned the Council members, but added that they are at liberty to talk about it among Asantes.
“We should protect ourselves, we should protect our income. No one who is the source of income, the source of revenue, the source of resources allows another person without those resources the chance [to rule over them].
“It’s never done anywhere in the world. In the world over, it is the group with the most resources that rules and not the other way around,” the voice said.
In the estimation of the voice, “86.5 percent of resources in Ghana come from five regions: Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central. This is where 86 percent of the resources of Ghana come from… And the oil was also discovered in the West. It will change the formula to about 90 percent. We cannot ignore these five regions. We should not,” the voice added.
When Starr News contacted Mr Osafo Marfo via text messages to get him to speak about the tape and its content, he replied that he was in a meeting and could not speak.
Meanwhile Pollster Ben Ephson told Starr Today’s Bernard Nasara Saibu Wednesday that the alleged tribal comments have the potential of costing the NPP party the 2016 elections.
The Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch said the governing party could take advantage of the comments for political capital ahead of the 2016 elections just as the party did ahead of the 2012 elections regarding a similar tribalistic comment made by NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo at the time.
Meanwhile the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described as “tribal bigotry” and “primitive”, Mr Osafo Marfo “incendiary and ethnically divisive” remarks to the effect that non-Akans whose home regions are bereft of natural resources are rather those at the helm of the country’s affairs.
“We in the National Democratic Congress unreservedly condemn this extreme form of tribal bigotry exhibited by Mr Osafo Marfo.
“We are utterly dismayed that in spite of his years of education, exposure and experience, Mr Osafo Marfo will hold such primitive views about national leadership, and proceed to make comments that have the potential to tear apart the very fabric that bind us together as one people with a common destiny,” Fred Agbenyo, a Deputy Communications Officer of the party said at a press conference Wednesday February 18, 2015.