A mix of secret tape and hidden gun

BY: Jojo Sam

This thing concerning secret recordings of meetings and conversations, especially among politicians, is getting murkier by the day.

Ever since the tendency became a regular practice some years ago, quite a number of politicians have been burned, some rightly so and others for no justifiable reason except for political mischief.

A recent case that has received enormous attention lately involved the secret taping of a meeting ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor had with some clergymen and leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in his house.

The purpose of the meeting which was held behind closed doors, we are told, was to find ways to ‘douse the flames’ within the party. It was surprising that no sooner had the meeting ended than information surrounding the innocuous gathering was leaked to opposition media. Since then, there have been all manner of interpretations given to it.


Some have questioned the impartiality and political affiliation of the clergymen who attended the meeting.

The critics seem not to understand why of the so many men of God in the country, that particular set of priests were called to intervene in the dispute raging in the NPP, but have sought to brand them as having sympathies with the party. And this move is what I find so tasteless and dishonest.

When this whole secret tape thing began, I once wrote on the subject urging the country to be wary of the implicit conclusion that could be drawn from them but which may not represent the exact cases.

Many politicians have become victims of the trend of secret recording, including the likes of Kofi Adams and Yaw Boateng Gyan, both of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie and Mr Osafo Maafo of the NPP.

It is instructive to note also that some of the released tapes were contested as having been doctored and their authenticity very much doubtful.

Of recent, the NPP is becoming noted for release of secret tapes. What the party must do is to have an introspection in order to find out who the culprits are within their midst.

They can blame their opponents all they want, but the truth is that the mess is coming from among themselves.

Who among the eminent personalities that gathered in Mr Kufuor’s house did the taping? The scenario also calls into question the kind of security measures that are put in place before meetings are held. Could the person who did the recording have had the equipment planted before time?

Remaining apolitical

As a country, we need to accord respect where respect is due and not attempt to denigrate other people for political ends by having them publicly disgraced because we assume they are not on our side.

The fact is you cannot have everybody on your side, that is unattainable. The clergy at the Kufuor-initiated meeting were in a mediating role on the occasion.

The former President had the right to choose those he preferred for the role and so suggestions as to why he did not call some other priests as is being suggested in some political circles does not hold water for me.

Let us not forget that other political parties have invited and still continue to invite a particular set of clergymen to their functions and no farce has been raised.

My point is, let us not draw the clergy into divisive politics. This is because a large proportion of the population of the country are Christians who hold their clergymen in high esteem and if they are tagged with political parties the likelihood of causing a rift among the rank and file of the churches is huge.

I have learnt that the meeting called for by the former President was not a secret gathering but a private one. I think critics must learn to differentiate between the two.

It also does not necessarily mean that because it was not a secret meeting the press ought to have been invited as some would interprete.

Would-be assassin

I would waste no time but commend the court for swiftly sending the would-be assassin of the President to jail. It is for his own safety and that of the society at large.

It doesn’t matter whether he is suffering from schizophrenia, he ought to be quarantined before he commits crime.

A number of people have committed crime under the guise of being mad. His state of mind could be determined even as he is behind bars. If he is checked and found mentally ill, the right steps would then have to be taken.