Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has unleashed its attack dogs on social media to assassinate the character of the Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah with vile propaganda.

Despite promising issues-based campaign, the main opposition party has released its hawks to fabricate stories and smear the Information Minister over the controversial “Papa Nu” phrase.

This followed a threat by the minority leader in Parliament last Friday when Mr Oppong Nkrumah described former Deputy Minister for Energy John Jinapor as “Papa nu.”

It was not clear how the use of ‘Papa nu’, in Akan, which the Information Minister explained as “that man”, in line with parliamentary rules and procedures could generate uncontrollable anger among members of the minority.

The phrase ‘Papa nu’ became popular on social media after actress Tracey Boakye used it repeatedly to describe a married man she claimed she and popular musician Mzbel are in the same relationship with.

It found its way onto the floor of parliament Friday night during the debate for approval of the Agyapa Royalties Limited agreement by the House.

This was after Mr John Jinapor had made contributions on the motion before the adoption of the report on the agreement, which the minority caucus indicated it was not going to support.

Making his contribution thereafter in appeal for the minority side to support the agreement, Information Minister Oppong Nkrumah said “Mr Speaker, I want to encourage my colleagues on the other side. I want to encourage my good friend who just spoke (John Jinapor). In my hometown, we will say, ‘Papa nu.’ ‘Papa nu.’ I want to encourage ‘Papa nu’ to take some time and follow the structure of this conversation and support.”

Notwithstanding the explanation in English, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu demanded he withdrew the comment else they would not recognise Oppong Nkrumah as a minister, referring to him as ‘Maame nu’.

The Minority Leader did not understand why the minister will introduce popular phrases being used on social media in the house.

“You come to parliament to employ those words used on social media, we take strong objection to it. If you don’t withdraw, we won’t recognize you today as minister. We will not. Do what you will do.

“From today, we won’t recognize you as minister of this republic. And we will not accord you any respect as minister. Let’s throw it to the dogs. What do you take us for? So, ‘Papa nu’ accepted. But from today, we will not.

“We will give you a name. We will give you a name. And we are serving notice, he was elected just like you. And his constituents respect him. Because you people use ‘Papa nu’ on social media. We know what it means. We will match you. You have lost my respect as Minority leader from today. We will match with you. We too, we will call you ‘Maame nu,” Mr. Iddrisu added.

Subsequently, the members of the Minority caucus banged tables whilst their colleagues from the majority side shouted ‘Papa nu’ in the background as the debate on the agreement continued.

In the end, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joseph Osei-Owusu ruled that both sides should allow the matter to die a natural death.

“The honourable minority leader’s anger, I pretended to overlook it because I think it’s in the spur of the moment. And knowing this house, tomorrow, we will get over it. But some insist on making an issue over it.

“I don’t think we will gain anything as a house by pretending this is new. And the threats don’t come to anything. So, the house will proceed,” he said.

The debate on the deal continued after First Deputy Speaker’s intervention but the Minority MPs walked out of the house in protest of the deal, which was approved by the majority members of the House.