Founder of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has said the perception that he wields enormous power in the government of his cousin, Nana Akufo-Addo, is merely a creation of opposition NDC figures.
There is a rife perception that Mr Otchere-Darko is the de facto Prime Minister of Ghana because he is deeply involved in key decisions for the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government
Although he holds no political appointment, some National Democratic Congress figures say Mr Otchere-Darko’s influence in government is consistent with Nana Akufo-Addo’s alleged strategy of running a family and friends administration.
However, speaking on Citi TV’s Face to Face on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Mr Otchere-Darko revealed that he has not even stepped foot in Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet room even though he has been in the governance space for a long time.
“I don’t get involved with the ins and outs of government, policy and all that,” he told host of the show, Umaru Sanda Amadu.
“Before the NPP won, I said I was not interested in a political job. And after we won in 2016, there were speculations as to which position I was going to be given…all manner of speculations and eventually when I didn’t take it…then they had to create one for me. They had to create something for me because they expected that Akufo-Addo was going to appoint me,” he said.
He is convinced that the claim that he is such a powerful person in government is fueled by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), arguing that that in itself is a positive thing.
“I am not even that powerful in my house…I think I have arguably been influential in the space for a long time; whether when [John] Kufuor was in office or Mills or Mahama or Akufo-Addo. It just happens that this time, the President is someone that I am known to be very close to and I think that is what it is,” he said.
According to the founder of the pro-NPP Danquah Institute, he is sometimes marvelled by the claims that he runs his cousin’s government from behind the scenes.
“Sometimes, I look in the mirror and I don’t recognise the person that I am seeing,” he said.
He also dismissed the claim that Nana Akufo-Addo is running a family and friends government, stating that leaders will typically recruit persons they are convinced will help them deliver on their mandate irrespective of their relationship with the ideal candidate.