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In Ghana, Rumors of Politicians Employing "419 Scams"

In Ghana, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) warns against politicians who are using what are known as “419 scams.” It specifically accuses the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) of engaging in such acts to recruit members. 419 is the Nigerian criminal code that deals with fraud. The propaganda secretary for the NDC, Fiifi Kwetey, says politicians are using illegal tactics to poach NDC members and party followers. The NDC denies any wrongdoing.

Fiifi Kwetey spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about information implicating the newly formed DFP party.

“Over the past few weeks the national executives of the NDC have gotten reports from various constituencies of our party that there are a group of politicians who have been making attempts of seducing various members of our party. And they rig people about it using what we consider to be fraudulent methods. What these people really do is to sheave unsuspecting members of the public that they’ve set up a non-governmental organization with the aim of benefiting members of the community who sign up to join that organization. They will ask for your voters ID as a form of identification, they basically give you some money and tell you this is the kind of reward that the organization would be giving you for being members of the organization. Unknown to you, they already have what we call a pre-written covering letter which is stating all the people whose names are here and whose voter ID cards are here have all defected from the NDC.”

Kwetey says, “It is not the case at all that people are resigning from the NDC. Those who were former executives of the party who tried to occupy various positions at the congress and were beaten in a fair context. Many of them who have joined that new party clearly have demonstrated that they first and foremost do not believe in democracy. I mean you can’t just say that just because you went for a fair context and you’ve been beaten, therefore you are leaving the party to go and form a new one.”

The DFP refutes any involvement in “419 scams.” Beide Ziedeng is a leading member of the DFP. He says, “It is a statement that any serious minded person should laugh it off. Because it cannot be coming from any serious minded person, first and foremost I have said that, that statement cannot represent that views of any political party. It can only represent the views of an individual. We are not going to look at the content of that statement and then react to that. We are much higher than that, more respectable than that.”

Hesays, “No political party in the Republic of Ghana has bought the people of Ghana and kept the people of Ghana in its bag. No political party has bought the conscience of the people of Ghana. And kept the conscience in its bag. The people of Ghana are free people who have the opportunity to take any decision at any point in their lifetime as to what they want.”

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