NDUOM CROSS STRIKES AGAIN!; When wicked politics determines the fate of opponentsDr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, Chairman, Groupe Nduom and Founder of PPP

NDUOM CROSS STRIKES AGAIN!; When wicked politics determines the fate of opponents

There were/are excruciating lies told or are being told by Dr. Nduom’s adversaries to justify any of such devilish action(s) against one of Ghana’s most successful businessmen.

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After years of sojourning in the United States, it’s now becoming increasingly clear that perhaps Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom should have ignored that intuitive drive that compelled him to relocate to his home country to contribute to the Ghanaian public service.

Dr. Nduom often tells students during his special entrepreneurship lectures that one of his lifetime values is public service. Ironically, what otherwise should have been a strength of character is turning out to be a major regret because of how it’s being manipulated by fellow public office holders out of jealousy, greed, hatred and selfishness. His other pillars of strength include Faith, Family Value and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Nduom has been battling through these physical and mental tortures right from the day he relocated to Ghana in the Jerry John Rawlings’ revolutionary PNDC days through to the Kufuor administration of which he was a cabinet minister; then the Mills-Mahama administrations and currently the Akufo-Addo regime.

The wicked political cross of the agenda

There were/are excruciating lies told or are being told by Dr. Nduom’s adversaries to justify any of such devilish action(s) against one of Ghana’s most successful businessmen. For operatives of the current administration, it’s time to pay back Dr. Nduom for the political “sin” he committed against Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 presidential run-off with Prof. John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills.

For such Akufo-Addo backers, it was all about the parochial lump-sided Akufo-Addo presidency that mattered at the time and for someone who in their opinion had worked in their administration—the Kufuor administration, it was just a matter of course without any form of cajoling for him to join the Akufo-Addo campaign in the 2008 run-off. It was no brainer at all, they argued.

What they failed to consider was how that alliance would have impacted on the political life of Dr. Nduom at the time. The fact is the political temperature within the Convention People’s Party (CPP) which Dr. Nduom ran as its presidential candidate was so volatile that there was no way he would have entered into any form of alliance with the NPP at that critical moment.

That would not only have been politically suicidal, but also ended prematurely, Dr. Nduom’s political career. Long before the 2008 general election, hawkish elements within the CPP saw Dr. Nduom as an NPP mole and a traitor for the simple reason that he worked in the Kufuor administration although the latter day self-proclaimed CPP purists knew very well that he accepted to work in the NPP government with the tacit approval of the Central Committee, the highest decision-making organ of the CPP.

With this background, how could Dr. Nduom unilaterally accept to support the NPP in the run-off? And would he have had the moral temperament to seek his party’s approval considering the fact that his earlier association with the NPP led to a virtual boycott of his 2008 presidential campaign by the CPP leadership.

There is a limit to which any individual so much bastardised by his own party could go under such harrowing and tensed political environment. Human as he is, Dr. Nduom chose the safest option to avoid yet another possible backlash by his own party people. This is what perhaps some NPP folks are not aware of and are ignorantly using to justify rather cruelly their attempt to cripple Dr. Nduom’s business empire.

Confirmation of the political game plan 

Shockingly, the man at the thick of affairs is someone who easily could pass as the head of the kitchen cabinet of the President. The said inner cabinet member is ably supported by cronies such as the Governor of Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, and the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Reverend Ogbamey Tetteh.

This writer has it on authority how that inner kitchen cabinet member has been dropping the pain of Nduom’s refusal to support then candidate Akufo-Addo in the 2008 presidential run-off to friends and other party cronies to justify attempts to cripple Dr. Nduom’s business empire. For Ogbamey Tetteh and Ernest Addison, they have openly declared their cruel biases toward Dr. Nduom in either media interviews or meetings with the leadership of Dr. Nduom’s GN Savings.

In the case of the SEC director general, he asked aggrieved clients and customers of Gold Coast Structured Finance to go to court to retrieve their funds; leading to a shocked industry watcher wondering “how can a head of a regulator tell clients to go to court.”

Indeed Rev. Ogbamey Tetteh made those unguarded statements on a private radio station in Accra. What’s more intriguing is the fact that on similar platforms other officials of SEC claimed they were still considering a proposal presented by GCFM on how to deal with clients’ funds and essentially for the Fund Manager to be liquid enough to run as it has done for the past 25 years. If GCFM has presented a plan to help deal with clients’ funds, why the mad rush by the SEC boss to kill off GCFM, if the motive is not political? Of course, some industry watchers are not the least shocked at Rev. Ogbamey Tetteh’s position. After all before his appointment as SEC boss, the High Priest investment banker was one of the owners of Databank, a competitive brand of Dr. Nduom’s Gold Coast Fund Management (GCFM) and so the unlikely collapse of Gold Coast will surely provide Databank the competitive edge.

From a stuttering position of imminent liquidation, but for the magnanimity of the John Mahama administration, Databank now boasts of more than 25 or so branches and still counting; and this is simply because many of the owners are a part of the current administration. On the other hand, GCFM controls over 30 per cent of the country’s investment banking portfolio; meaning any competitive brand like Databank would seize any such fertile climate provided them by a body as powerful as the government of the day to overtake the pacesetters like GCFM.

It is not necessarily because of the repeated lies being peddled round by assigns of the current government that GCFM and others owned by political opponents are insolvent. What is happening to GCFM and others are purely political! Other than politics, what could be the motivation for SEC to attempt to liquidate a company that had sunk billions of Ghanaian Cedis in government infrastructure projects and others, an angry GCFM client quizzed, after being briefed about how much government owed GCFM.

The aggrieved customer continued: “even a capitalist country like America, once upon a time, saw the need to bail out its distressed industries immediately President Obama assumed power and today such companies are up on their feet and contributing to the economic growth of the USA.”

Dr. Addison on the other hand declared at a meeting with heads of GN Savings that he regrets down-stepping GN Bank to a Savings & Loans company. In his opinion, GN Bank should have suffered fate similar to other banking and financial institutions that has been taken over by government.

Lubricating NPP’s propaganda machinery  

Immediately after Dr. Nduom’s GN Bank was reclassified as a savings & loans company the current administration set its goons and hit-gangs on red alert to snuff out any possible negative fallout of Bank of Ghana’s action. That explained why a man in a stature of the Majority Leader, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, went out loosely to spew pure lies to justify the obvious government-controlled Bank of Ghana’s action against Dr. Nduom’s GN Bank.

Before then, the maverick Kennedy Agyapong had been cautioned about the inherent dangers in going to town on the GN Bank issue without proper briefing. He had to keep his silence since then just as Mensah- Bonsu also went silently to apologise for his loose effusions. Yet the demonic agenda of the administration would not end there. It had a plan B; and that was to further direct its hate-game at Gold Coast Fund Management (GCFM)—the oldest of Nduom’s companies in Ghana—with over twenty five years of professional service to clients and customers.

History of political witch hunt against Nduom

Dr. Nduom is perhaps the one single Ghanaian individual whose public life has been hit with so much cruelty. His opponents had latched on often harmless issues to nail him simply because he refused to acquiesce to overtures such as the one by the NPP in the aftermath of the 2008 presidential run-off.

One of such dark days of Dr. Nduom’s public life occurred during the heady revolutionary days of Jerry John Rawlings. It is believed Dr. Nduom refused somewhere along the line to join the Rawlings’ regime when he returned from the US. Indeed, as a raw been-to, Dr. Nduom felt comfortable working as a consultant helping to re-structure many distressed public institutions. In fact, he needed time to adjust and study the political terrain very well before taking any decision bordering on his political life.

Then the unthinkable happened! Rawlings and his cohorts could not fathom how on earth anyone could criticise the untouchable PNDC administration at the time. But that was exactly what Dr. Nduom did during the 5th anniversary lecture of Kofi Coomson’s Ghanaian Chronicle newspaper. Immediately after that lecture at the Golden Tulip Hotel, all of Dr. Nduom’s contracts with government were cancelled.

In fact, he was not aware of the cancellation until a family member hinted him on his way to give a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.  Dr. Nduom would return to a further hostile reaction from Rawlings and his goon of Commandoes who threatened one night to snuff the life out of him and possibly to annihilate his entire family. The matter became so serious that it took the intervention of then boss of the United States Information Service (USIS), Nick Robertson, to quell the aggression of the Commandoes on the Nduom family.

SFO & CIA tags

Yet that did not deter Rawlings to wickedly mark Dr. Nduom with an artificial scar. First, it was suggested that the intervention by the Americans meant Dr. Nduom was a CIA; then they put out a false and criminal document that suggested he had failed to pay his taxes in some crazy SFO report. It was even suggested by some agents of Rawlings that Dr. Nduom changed his maiden name just to beat the American system.

What such people did not know is that till today, Dr. Nduom travels with all his passports including the one that contained his maiden name to America and all other places. Perhaps they also thought the American system was so manipulative like ours that any criminal by sheer change of name could go in and out of the USA.

Again, which criminal could walk on the surface of the geographical area called Ghana during the torrid Rawlings era. Indeed if those accusations were true Dr. Nduom would have been a walking ex-convict by now. One of the ministers behind that dastardly act had to quietly apologise to Dr. Nduom for what they did to him.

Kufuor, Mills & Mahama Regimes

But for former President Kufuor, Dr. Nduom’s sojourning in the Kufuor administration would have been perhaps his biggest regret. That notwithstanding, actions of his former colleagues still make Dr. Nduom think whether it was worth considering that appointment.

It started with his grilling at the Parliamentary Vetting Committee. When then Minority Leader, Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, resorted to make hell out of Dr. Nduom’s nomination as Minister of Regional Integration and Economic Planning through some three days of hellish vetting, then Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey (of blessed memory), wondered why then President Kufuor would still support and defend the Nduom nomination.

But as astute politician as President Kufuor was, he stood his grounds until Dr. Nduom’s nomination went through because the former President knew every single allegation being raised by the then minority was a palpable lie. Again, the former President also knew how worthy Dr. Nduom would be to his government.  It later proved that the President was right in supporting Nduom’s nomination throughout the hostile vetting process. Dr. Nduom proved to be the best Minister under that administration.

Dr. Nduom’s brilliance in the Kufuor government ironically became the envy of many UP purists in that administration who thought the CPP man was attracting much attention than most of the core UP elements in that government. In one instance, a top cabinet minister in that administration became so furious that the President had asked Dr. Nduom to deputise as Finance Minister in the absence of the substantive minister.

In one other instance, Dr. Nduom informed President Kufuor of his decision to leave his government in order to contest the CPP presidential slot. President Kufuor who was out of town at the time asked Dr. Nduom to hold on to his decision until he returned from his overseas visit. In an attempt to make Dr. Nduom look bad in the eyes of the President, a high ranking member at the presidency leaked the official Nduom’s resignation letter which was marked embargoed to President Kufuor thus resulting in a rather sour turn of events between Dr. Nduom and the then President. It was after the President left office that the truth surfaced; but alas the harm had been done already.

Perhaps the biggest political wound inflicted on Dr. Nduom was when the Mahama-led NDC administration masterminded the disqualification of his Progressive People’s Party (PPP) from the 2016 election. It took Dr. Nduom a lot of energy and huge legal fees to restore the legitimacy of the PPP in the last election. And before the PPP went back to campaign, the die had already been cast. Many Nduom supporters had changed their PPP allegiance because both the NDC and the NPP had gone round abusing the minds of the electorate that Dr. Nduom and the PPP had been barred from the 2016 election.

Many political pundits had predicted that based on opinion polls at the time, Dr. Nduom and his PPP were likely to throw the 2016 election open and that easily necessitated the NDC induced plot to get Dr. Nduom out of the election. The NPP would not show how happy they were in the open; but clearly believed that an Nduom disqualification would rather inure to the benefit of the NPP rather than the NDC.