It has finally become evident that there was a fourth culprit in the elaborate plot to rig both the election and the public’s right to accurate election figures. It’s the Fourth Estate-the Chicken Media of Ghana.
The chickens have come home to roost for several mercenary electronic media houses in Ghana who unequivocally called the presidential election results for the incumbent President Nana Akufo Addo candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Whilst their poker faced presenters lied on live TV that there was a strong back room where vigorous coalition was ongoing, unknown to the public, their producers had plugged into the the collation of application of the incumbent NPP and were churning out misleading numbers information and in some instances outright lies.
In what almost borders on possible criminality, Metro TV, TV3, Citi TV, the Multimedia Group, the Despite Group, etc., were all fed their figures from the NPP, a party that had a vested interest in the outcome of both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
What is shocking is the fact that, none of the media houses acknowledged and attributed the data to the NPP.
Paul Adom-Otchere, the host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV and a known loyalist of the governing NPP and an appointee of the President after an internal audit of staff surfaced that he run a one man show as presenter and collater. He has now confessed that he was fed with data from the NPP.
Mr Adom Otchere even went further to state that he was not the only one in the scheme and that other media houses were involved.
It is now obvious that with just a few reporters, no single media house in Ghana, has the capability to project election results ahead of the EC. It was all ruse and systematic programming done by the NPP.
Aside Metro TV, which is owned by business mogul Joseph Agyepong, who through the connections of Adom Otchere has become close to the President, TV3 is another classic case. The station did not only fraudulently rig the elections for the incumbent, they even projected that the NPP had won a clear majority in Parliament with 149 seats.
Whilst Berla Mundi, a presenter on TV 3 in her attempt to parry off the dubious claims, said the figure came from the EC. Ironically, the EC itself is crediting the NPP with 137 seats.
Before the election, the rumor mill was ripe about a certain young NPP leader doling out cash to certain individuals at TV 3. There were claims that some staff had received Mercedes Benz as gifts from this young NPP politician.
Enter, Multimedia Group, they were also caught on live TV in an embarrassing vote swapping scandal in which votes belonging to NDC’s John Mahama was swapped with a lower number obtained by incumbent Nana Akuffo Addo.
On his show on the night of Tuesday, December 15, 2020, Adom-Otchere explained, “…The New Patriotic Party began the night of elections, we were in this studio […] and we all saw that the New Patriotic Party had set up a collation system by which they were collating the results of the election and at each point, they will send information across board. I got some of the information, I believe other journalists did. Different people got it, and they will tell you that they are at 70 percent reported pink sheets from across the country and this is what they are seeing.”
In the show, he went on location to the collation centre of the governing NPP and was shown around, to which he stated: “In fact, as far as their system was concerned, their presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took an early lead in the election collation processes. He led the system for a very long time and his lead began to dwindle a little bit towards the end and they were still confident that President Akufo-Addo would obtain a majority of 50 percent plus one (sic), which is the constitutional requirement to have won a first-round presidential victory.”
Paul Adom-Otchere’s admission has reinforced suspicions that the governing party socially engineered Ghanaians through paid media mercenaries to project their subjective results as unbiased results being collated by the media houses themselves.
Indeed, the actions of some of the media houses in the aftermath of their shambolic election analysis has also confirmed their guilt in relying on data supplied to them by an entity with a political interest in the overall outcome of the elections.
For instance, the Media Group, owners of TV3, was on Monday forced to attempt an apology for the deceptive election projections they made, by admitting in a statement that “We wish to state that all projections we made on the number of parliamentary seats by the parties were based on the information we had received at a particular time.”
In fact, on December 8, 2020 (a day after the December 7, general elections), TV3 had boldly stated that President Akufo Addo was the winner, even though the majority of the collated results were not ready.
It is instructive to note that none of the media houses in Ghana has the capacity to cover all the 38,000 polling stations used in the elections. Indeed, none of the media houses in Ghana sent out correspondents to cover up to 1,000 of the 38,000 polling stations.
Confirming that no media house covered up to 1,000 of the polling stations, Citi News’ anchor, Umaru Sanda Amadu wrote: “There were over 38,000 polling stations this election. No media house has sent up to 1,000 journalists to cover the election. Team Citi did around 400. How can we have a parallel tally with 400 people against 38k stations?”
Yet, when the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) held press conferences to clarify that the projected numbers of the media were largely false and that they have a more authentic collation from their polling agents, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah held a fiery press conference on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, claiming to debunk the claims of the NDC and consequently endorsing the questionable numbers being churned out by a cross-section of the media.
“The Ghanaian media is littered across all the 275 constituencies and their collation centres, you [the media] are the ones reporting this. If indeed anybody had gained 140 seats by now, you will know…We do not think that it lies in any candidates mouth…you the media are observing at all the 275 collation centres across the country and you yourself can confirm that they do not have a parliamentary majority,” Oppong Nkrumah stated.
Indeed, there are reports that the Minister of Information personally bribed several of these media houses to regurgitate whatever dubious election results that would be fed them by the governing party.
The systematic media hijack by the governing party was apparent subtle result manipulations were spotted in what all the so-called media houses with specialised election coverage desks were projecting.
The manipulations comprise subtle reductions and increases in the results of any of the two main presidential contenders: John Dramani Mahama and incumbent President Akufo Addo.
In some instances, the media has simply switched the results of the two candidates and had projected it on their screen.
In other instances, the media organisations have simply dubiously miscalculated the aggregates of the two candidates.
A classic example of these number massaging is the Builsa North Constituency in the Upper East Region, where the Declaration Form (Pink Sheets) signed by the agents of the incumbent Akufo Addo and John Mahama shows that Mr. Mahama won the polls with total votes amounting to 16,654 while President Akufo Addo managed only 6,931 votes.
Already, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has rejected the results of the presidential elections, citing rigging. The Electoral Commission (EC) has not made matters easier either, as it has kept tweaking the presidential results more than six times after the Electoral Commissioner Jean Mensa had officially declar.