Dr.Tony Aidoo, Head of Monitoring and Policy Evaluation at the Castle has accused Britain and Netherlands of leading foreign countries to mastermind the defeat of the National Democratic Congress’s (NDC) in the 2000 elections and to bring the NPP to power.
Dr. Aidoo cited the UK Labour party as well as some commonwealth countries of engaging in various sinister activities to topple the then Rawlings-led administration.
He was speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem host Adakabre Frimpong Manso Wednesday, in reaction to reports by the Daily Dispatch newspaper Britain had a hand in the defeat of the NDC in 2000.
The paper quotes a former British Diplomat, Craig Murray as saying the British government conspired to push then President Jerry John Rawlings and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) government out of power through the 2000 elections by helping the opposition NPP tacitly.
Dr Aidoo said that President Rawlings had intelligence that his government was being undermined by West and presented a strong protest at all international conferences he attended.
The former Deputy Defence Minister said at a point when the actions of former British diplomat, Craig Murray became ‘too much’, then Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Victor Gbeho cautioned him to restrict himself to his diplomatic duties.
Dr Aidoo said he was therefore not surprised Craig Murray was reported as partly owning ARTOL, an oil company, “After all he was paid for the work he did for the NPP”.
The NDC stalwart stated that Craig Murray stormed the strong room of the Electoral Commission on voting day in 2000 when he did not represent any political party.
According to Dr. Aidoo though other people in the NPP have denied the allegations of Craig Murray, he believes in the claims of the former diplomat adding that he himself saw Mr. Murray at the electoral commission after which Kwabena Agyapong and Dan Botwe stormed the offices of the EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan insisting on the declaration of candidate Kufour as the president.
However, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman who has been mentioned in Murray’s book as the person he discussed the declaration of John Kufour as president at a meeting at Lababi Beach Hotel has described Craig Murray as “mad”.
He says he suspect Mr. Murray’s intention is to sell his book, else according to Mr. Hackman the allegations are completely bogus.
Mr. Owusu Agyeman recalls a call he received three days after the election when president Mills called on his phone and spoke to John Kufour who was then with him at a house at Airport area.
The Member of Parliament for New Juabeng North denies ever meeting Mr. Murray. “We won the election on a clean slate” said Mr. Owusu Agyeman.
He said he believes Craig Murray is making up those allegations to sell his new book, ‘The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I have known’. “I don’t know what is wrong with that man, I don’t understand his intentions. It is not true” screamed Mr. Owusu Agyeman.
In the 219 page book, the former diplomat who has become intertwined in Ghana’s Politics, claims he had meetings with NPP big-shots like Dan Botwe and others to persuade them not to declare Kufuor a winner as that would have proven an excellent excuse for the then President Rawlings to stage a coup.
On his part, Former General Secretary of the NPP, Dan Botwe, rubbished the allegations of Craig Murray. He conceded that though Craig Murray came to the strong room of the electoral commission on the voting day, he played no major role in the collation of the results.
Dan Botwe says he cannot understand why the former diplomat is making a big deal out of nothing.
Mr. Botwe who is also the MP for Okere admitted approaching the E.C. boss to state their intention to declare their candidate at the winner adding that he sees nothing wrong with that position since the NDC used similar tactics in the 2008 election.
“Look even you, radio stations call elections results after collating the results you receive from your reporters. It’s the same thing that we, the political parties do. And that is what we did” Mr. Botwe stated.
Though he says the parties can take a position in the trend of elections results, the final authority in elections is vested in the commissioner of the electoral commission.
Concerning Mr. Murray’s allegation that Mr. Botwe was nervous, the Okere MP admitted being nervous but explained that with the tension surrounding the elections, all those in the strong room were nervous.
On the credibility of Mr. Murray, Dan Botwe says the impression created by Mr. Murray that he played a key role in the voting is baseless and shows his own ignorance of Ghana’s electoral process.
He advised Mr. Murray not to take credit in the success of the NPP in the 2000 elections.