Mr Ampofo’s ambition to run for the presidency is still alive, playing the Eastern Region card, Daily Guide can confirm.
However, when he was asked to prove his academic credentials, he failed woefully, according to Bismark Tawiah Boateng, the current Eastern Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“When there was a vacancy at the presidency following the death of President John Evans Atta Mills, he (Ofosu Ampofo) wanted President Mahama, who was then acting, to select him as his vice,” Mr. Tawiah Boateng told Yaw Amofa Boakye on Oman FM’s morning show, ‘National Agenda,’ last Friday in reaction to the Prof. Kwesi Botchwey Committee’s damning report.
“He called some of us together to help him to become the vice president when he was the Local Government Minister and I even asked him to tell us about his educational qualification so that we would know how to lobby for him,” the regional chairman, who was given a negative spin in the Kwesi Botchwey report, revealed.
“I attended the meeting together with our Regional Women’s Organizer, our then Chairman (Julius Debrah), our Youth Organizer and Nana Mamfehene in the presence of Mr. Kofi Attor at the Ministry of Local Government in Accra and Ofosu Ampofo asked us to lobby for him to become vice president.”
Mr Tawiah Boateng, who sounded disappointed, said he suspected that the query he issued to Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo over his vice presidential ambition had become the basis for mounting smear campaign against him (Tawiah Boateng) and concluded, “If that is why Ofosu Ampofo hates me, then that’s up to him.”
Mr Ofosu Ampofo aka‘Bra Sammy Foto’ because of his previous profession as a photographer cum pupil teacher, has not yet responded to the allegations made against him; but DAILY GUIDE can confirm that the former Local Government Minister is lobbying hard to be selected as running mate to partner whoever gets the nod to lead the NDC for election 2020, provided the person is not from an Akan enclave – having lost the slot to Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur in 2012 after the death of President Mills.
Mr Amissah-Arthur is not likely to be selected by John Mahama, in the event of he (Mahama) securing the NDC slot, Amissah-Arthur having performed abysmally in his own Central Region – which gave key parliamentary seats to the NPP.
The NDC regional chairman, who was commenting on a portion of the Prof. Kwesi Botchwey-led 13-member Committee report that states that he allegedly pocketed campaign cash, was particularly incensed that it was Ofosu-Ampofo who is believed to be prosecuting the agenda in the report.
He accused Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo – who was the NDC Director of Elections when the NDC lost miserably – of spreading falsehood about him and said it was clear that it was the Elections Director who had given that false information to the committee, when he knew very well that it was a lie.
Mr Tawiah Boateng said that since he decided to move away from regional organizer to become regional chairman, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo had continuously undermined him by making false allegations against him.
He said emphatically that Mr. Ampofo never gave him any GH¢1 million as being alleged asking, “10 billion old cedis? In what vehicle did they he carry such an amount to me?”
When he was told by the programme host that there were rumours that Ofosu Ampofo brought GH¢100,000 to him, Tawiah Boateng answered rhetorically “so it is no longer GH¢1 million?
“He brought GH¢100,000 and said the region should take GH¢50,000 and security personnel should take GH¢50,000 and everybody got his share and that does not mean that Tawiah Boateng pocketed any money,” he admitted.
“The GH¢100,000 came to the region but it was not from the pocket of Ofosu Ampofo. It was given to me in the presence of party officials, including the Regional Treasurer, and I handed it over to my secretary who runs the day-to-day administration of the party in the region.
“They brought money for the officials to tour polling stations on election day at 3:35 pm (15:45 hours). We could not distribute it to the members because it was only an hour-and-a-half for polling to close. It was the following day that we directed that anybody who pre-financed the activities should have a refund.
“From the time we lost the election, nobody mentioned this until we are set for another election and these things have started coming up, There was a Campaign Coordinator; he was in-charge of all resources. We have a treasurer, you can find out everything from him,” Tawiah Boateng stated.