More information dug out from the University of Ghana‘s Political Science Department, continues to reveal that the poll projecting the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, as the winner of the 2020 election was forged to sway the minds of electorates few days to the voting exercise.
Interestingly, President Nana Akufo-Addo and media houses continue to push the discredited survey.
The President, who is Central Region appeared on a radio station and welcomed the disputed poll but said he is not complacent about it.
The Herald had seen a text message sent out to both junior and senior members of the department, including the respected Prof. Stevens K. M. Ahiawordor and Dr. Lloyd Amoah, Prof. Joseph Atsu Ayee by its head, Dr. Maame Adwoa Gyekye Jandor, showing the department rather sought to dispute claims that it conducted a poll on the 2020 election.
Additionally, this paper has seen a draft document dated November 1, 2020, which also sought to distance the department and the University for that matter from a poll which had projected the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama as winner of the 2020 election.
The denial which was not published, was in reaction to Lawyer Edudzi Tamakloe’s post on Facebook which said that the same department had carried out a poll saying Mr Mahama was going to win the election.
The letter was not released because as the text message revealed, consultations with several people, including the Public Relations department, Legal Departments as well as Senior Management of the School, suggested publishing it will help fuel a fake news put out by Mr Tamakloe.
The Herald has also seen an email sent to the Dr. Gyekye-Jandor by Prof. Atsu Ayee, rasing issues about attempts to make the Political Science Department own the Survey must be titled ” Dear Madam Head:
Thanks for the message and attached invitation letter. As we discussed yesterday, the first line of your letter should have read “Some lecturers of the Department of Political Science undertook a survey …….”. The Department as an entity cannot own findings of a survey in which it did not make input into the methodology (questionnaire, etc.) and training of field assistants. In the past, the methodology including the questionnaire of the election projects that the Department undertook was discussed at the Departmental Lecture Room. It is true that you invited colleagues to be part of the project but if they did not participate in it at least the methodology should have been shared unless there is something to conceal.
The other thing is the letter inviting them event, which has become the practice rather than the exception.
As I keep on telling you, I have done administration to the highest level in the University system and I am very conversant with the best practices both in Ghana and abroad”.
The mail was copied to Prof. Ahiawordorm, Seidu Alidu, Abeeku Essuman-Johnson, Kwame Boafo-Arthur, Abdulai Kuyini Mohammed, Nene-Lomotey Kuditchar, Prof. Ransford Ed. Van Gyampo, Duku Kaakyire Alexender Frempong, Charles Amo Agyemang, Kwame Ninsin, Owusu-Mensah Isaac, Lloyd Amoah, Rosina Foli, Kumi Ansah-Koi, Emmanuel Yeboah-Assiamah among others.
The mail was in reply to the head of department’s mail dated Wednesday, 25 2020 at 05:43, from Maame Gyekye-Jandoh, which said “Dear Colleagues,Greetings, and I trust this meets you all well. Many thanks for supporting our PhD and MPhil thesis proposal defense presentations last week and this week. Appreciation also goes to our chairpersons for the six days – Prof. Essuman-Johnson, Prof. Ayee, and Prof. Debrah. Thanks for your great support.
I write to invite you to the dissemination of the KAS-sponsored survey on the issues and electorate’s views regarding the upcoming general elections. This takes place tomorrow at 9:30 am at the School of Law Auditorium, UG (for social distancing purposes). Please see the letter of invitation attached. You are cordially invited.
Thank you, and have a great day.
Best regards, Maame.Dr. Gyekye-Jandor’s text posted to the WhatsApp page of the department read; “Good afternoon, dear colleagues. I trust this finds you all well, and sorry for the seemingly long silence since that unfortunate news broke last week. Thanks to Prof. Ayee, we had a well written rebuttal that I looked at, very slightly edited, and sent to an official of the Public Affairs Directorate on Monday. She said she will speak to her boss and get back to me. A few minutes later she called me and said that Public Affairs would need authorization from Senior Management before they can put this out to the UG community and especially to the media houses. After consultations with some members of Senior Management, the advice was that this is fake news whose real origin we may not be sure of, and which they hadn’t even heard of, and that we may just be rehashing fake news or announcing the previously unheard news to others. It was, however, added that I should seek the advice of legal counsel if we still wanted to go ahead with it. This was now going to become an unnecessarily long process. And by the time all is said and done it would be stale news. I have discussed it with Prof. Ayee who wrote the rebuttal, and he agrees with my decision not to send any rebuttal now, but clarify things when we actually do our survey analysis. I have kept the rebuttal for any future purposes, but I think that based on the long process described, we should stay put and informally rebut, or inform folks who may ask of the fake-ness and untruths of that news. Thank you very much for your concern and understanding. Have a wonderful and restful Sunday.”
The Herald, has also sighted shared emails between members of the department, particularly Dr. Gyekye-Jandor and Prof. Joseph Atsu Ayee, confirming the department had not carried out any such poll.
The emails also revealed disagreements over attempts by Dr. Gyekye-Jandor to have the department own the survey believed to have been done elsewhere without inputs from members.
The Herald findings were that the survey was sponsored by the German right-wing group Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KA-S) where the leader researcher Dr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, used to be Senior Programme Manager.
The Herald, has seen pictures of him in Germany years ago, with Nana Akufo-Addo, then a Presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in a meeting with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel with the late National Chairman of the NPP, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
Also in the picture was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey(MP), Herbert Norkplim Krapa, government spokesperson on governance and legal affairs and other Ghanaians.
The draft letter is published below.
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF GHANA
REBUTTAL OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA POST BY MR EDUDZI TAMAKLOE
1. The attention of the Department of Political Science, University of Ghana has been drawn to a social media post of one Mr Edudzi Tamakloe in which he alleged the following:
(i) That the Department of Political Science had conducted its opinion poll for the “2020 election just as they did in 2016”.
(ii) The polls “conclusively establish that the NDC is winning the election”.
(iii) The leader of the team that undertook the study was a staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who once worked with Nana Akufo-Addo when he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs;
(iv) The findings were discussed with President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was displeased with the results of the poll because his “biggest fear” is that they had favoured the NDC, which would have unintended consequence of drawing funding for the NDC campaign “this last minute”;
(v) As a result, the findings of the poll have been shelved as it will not be released; and
(vi) The Department of Political Science was an “associated department to the opinion poll observation” and even though it was not officially sanctioned, the lead researchers were from the Department.
2. These allegations would have been ignored but for their inaccuracies, inconsistencies and innuendos. To preserve the hard-won academic integrity and standing of the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana, the Department provides the following rebuttal:
(i) None of the colleagues in the Department has ever worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
(ii) It is stated categorically that the Department has not undertaken any election poll this year. A study on the 2020 elections would, however, be undertaken in due course. Indeed, the department does not conduct election polls, but rather pre-election and other surveys from time to time.
(iii) The writer does not distinguish between individual members of the Department and the Department as an entity. On the one hand, he indicated that the poll was conducted by the Department while on the other, he suggested that the Department “was associated department” but the lead researchers were from the Department. Even though the number of lead researchers were not mentioned, the point must be made that the Department has a faculty of 21, and therefore conflating some of its faculty who may engage in any form of research with the entire Department is a huge error.
(iv) The point made that the findings of the poll were discussed with the President of the Republic, and because they did not favour him and his party they were shelved is the most damaging of all the innuendos and equally disparaging. Again, the Department categorically states that this allegation is false. The Department has neither conducted any such poll nor discussed it with the President of the Republic. Nowhere in the world is an academic under any obligation to discuss the findings of a study, whether positive or negative, with any person including the funder, let alone shelve the findings. It is a mockery of academic integrity and standards and is ethically wrong.
3. The Department of Political Science is one of the most reputed units at the University of Ghana and prosecuting the University’s strategic goal of becoming a “world class research institution”. The Department has trained and mentored, and continues to train and mentor students who are doing well in all spheres of life both in Ghana and abroad. The faculty is in demand both in Ghana and abroad to perform academic, teaching and extension services. In fact, 90% of the academic staff of the public universities offering Political Science in the country were trained by the Department.
4. The Department had in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 undertaken departmental research on the elections and the findings were accordingly published as books, which are being used by students at the national and international levels. It is currently undertaking similar research on the 2020 elections to be published as a book. It should be noted that the Department is not a poll centre, but a research, teaching and extension service institution for politics, democracy, governance and development.
5. It is instructive to note that as Ghanaians, we should all be preoccupied with how to establish a just and free society as stipulated by the Directive Principles of State Policy of the 1992 Constitution. We should therefore spend our time and energies on how to achieve this monumental goal rather than rely on the publication or non-publication of the outcome of a poll in order to win the 2020 elections, which we all expect to be peaceful, free and fair. The Department of Political Science will continue to remain focused to contribute its quota to the establishment of a just and free society in Ghana and to a world-class University of Ghana.
DR. MAAME ADWOA GYEKYE-JANDOHHEAD OF DEPARTMENTDATED: NOVEMBER 1, 2020