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HomeNewsWhat is wrong with my character?- Nyantakyi seeks answers

What is wrong with my character?- Nyantakyi seeks answers

Former President of the Ghana Football Association Kwesi Nyantakyi, has rebuffed suggestions that he lacks good character to consider himself worthy enough to become a Member of Parliament in Ghana.

Mr Nyantakyi is among nearly 10 persons seeking to contest for the Ejisu parliamentary seat on the ticket of the governing New Patriotic Party following the demise of former MP and Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah.

Many have questioned Mr Nyantakyi’s decision to enter the race particularly after he was exposed in the Number 12 investigative piece by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas for bribery and corruption leading to his lengthy ban from football activities by FIFA in 2018.

FIFA’s Ethics Committee banned Nyantakyi for life after he was found guilty of breaching ethics regulations on conflicts of interest, bribery and corruption and commission. The former FIFA Council member later had his life ban from football reduced to a 15-year sanction by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Nonetheless, he has not been spared harsh criticism in Ghana especially after he admitted recently that he bribed Anas Aremeyaw Anas with $100,000 not to show the incriminating documentary, a claim Anas has denied.

Some have expressed surprise as to why the NPP will even consider him as a worthy replacement for John Kumah, considering that in the bribery controversy that underpinned his grace to grass story, he implicated some government officials and the presidency, something that angered the government to consider legal action against him.

Speaking on Joy News’ PM Express on Wednesday, April 3, Mr Nyantakyi told the Host Evans Mensah that he does not consider his debacle as a threat to his chances politically in the Ejisu race.

“Controversies are not necessarily justified. Controversies may be motivated by considerations such as politics, such as envy, differences in opinion etc. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re justified.”

When the host reminded him that the NPP’s constitution requires that one can only pass the test of good character to be approved as a parliamentary candidate, he retorted, “What is wrong with Mr Nyantakyi’s character? I am a man of good character. Have I been declared to be a man of bad character by any court of competent jurisdiction in Ghana or by any committee or anything of that sort in Ghana? Have I?” he quizzed.

When the host made reference to the action taken against him by FIFA, he said, “That is an arbitration. It is not part of Ghana’s laws. Corruption in FIFA statutes doesn’t mean corruption in Ghana law. They’re entirely different in meaning. We’re operating within the laws of Ghana so you must confine yourself to the meaning of crime as defined in Ghana.

Ejisu Parliamentary race

According to Mr Nyantakyi, he had been approached numerous times by ‘well-meaning’ residents of Ejisu, urging him to run for the position of MP since 2012. He says he rejected the idea due to his busy schedule in football administration at the time.

“For a long time, I shied away from active partisan politics. Since 2012, I have received several invitations from well-meaning people of Ejisu to contest and become their Member of Parliament (MP). But I have on each occasion resisted the invitation on the grounds that I didn’t have the time. I was then busy with football.

“What I did to make amends was to establish the Annual Easter Games. So football was played in almost all the 45 towns in the Ejisu Constituency. I provided jerseys, footballs, and boots for the players. So I did that for a long time and that to me was my way of giving back to society what they had given to me,” he said on Wednesday.

The By-election

A by-election is scheduled to take place in the Ejisu constituency following the passing of its Member of Parliament, John Kumah. Reflecting on the political landscape in Ejisu, Mr Nyantakyi expressed support for the late John Kumah, who eventually became the MP for the constituency.

According to him, he endorsed Mr Kumah’s candidacy, anticipating a lengthy tenure akin to his predecessors.

However, the late MP’s first term was tragically cut short, leaving a void that reignited the calls for him to consider entering politics.

“The calls intensified again and this time, I am less busy and I want to give it a try,” he told host Evans Mensah.

He sees this transition as an opportunity to channel his leadership skills and experiences from the football arena into addressing the pressing issues facing Ejisu.

“This is a way of porting my capabilities, and experiences in the arena of football administration to mainstream politics,” he said.

The contestants

Meanwhile, nine persons, including three women who are members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region are eyeing the vacant Ejisu Constituency seat.
Four-time contender, Abena Pokuaa Boaitey, popularly known as ‘Ejisu Bronii’ is also staging her fifth come-back.

Wife of Bono Region Chairman of the NPP, Portia Acheampong Abronye has made her intention known as well as the current Presiding Member of the Ejisu Municipal Assembly, Helena Mensah.
Former Presiding Member of the Ejisu Municipal Assembly, Michael Owusu, has expressed interest too.

The current Constituency Chairman, Kofi Agyapong is also expected to battle it out with his 2nd Vice, Kwabena Boateng as both executive members have expressed interest in the race.

A lecturer at the Akenten Appiah Menkah University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED), Dr Evans Duah also has his eyes on the ball.