An artwork conveying texts that suggest Former President John Dramani Mahama has made offensive statements against Asantes has emerged on social media.
The artwork which is being shared by some suspected politically-aligned social media handles bears the logo and colours of Accra-based UTV.
“Don’t be like Ashanti Region. They are emotionally attached to the NPP that they don’t even think before voting for them. Don’t be like them. Your party and your son has led Ghana into a ditch, be bold to vote against them. Be different. Come back to the NDC in 2024 and we won’t neglect you this time – John Mahama, Ex President,” the text on the artwork reads.
A Twitter user by Nana Ansah Obofour (with handle @NanaAnsahObofou) with bio information claiming to be a former communications director of NPP UK shared the artwork with the caption “John Mahama insults Ashantis…they don’t think when voting.”
JOHN MAHAMA INSULTS ASHANTIS……..They don't think when voting….. pic.twitter.com/G0OP10IXwc
— Nana Ansah Obofour (@NanaAnsahObofou) April 13, 2023
A case of imposter content
Checks by Fact-Check Ghana show that the former president has neither made any claims like that nor has UTV published any report to that effect. Indeed, the official social media handles of the TV station shared a similar artwork with a statement John Mahama made on April 11 when he met delegates of the NDC at his three-day campaign tour in the Eastern region.
The artwork UTV shared rather had the following texts:
“By God’s grace we have the experience, we didn’t buy it in the store, we didn’t learn it in school, it is God who gave us the opportunity to gather that experience.”
“Don’t worry about what some people are saying, it is God’s will, I attend church and when I pray God speaks to me and God has said this is the time for NDC, he has given us power. If God decides no one can change it.”
Former President John Mahama has expressed optimism that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will win the 2024 elections.#UTVNews pic.twitter.com/eqqryJgI8V
— UTV Ghana (@utvghana) April 11, 2023
The artwork being shared around suggesting that the former president is insulting Asantes is therefore false and a clear example of imposter content where a media house’s colours, logos and brand name are used to share content they have not originally published.
In a statement presented by one of its broadcasters, UTV has today denied and denounced the false publication.
“I am standing on behalf of the leadership of this organization, Osei Kwame Despite, his brother Ernest Ofori Sarpong, and Father Dickson, and management to say that UTV did not publish this.
“It’s the work of some unscrupulous people who have embossed UTV’s colours on the artwork to appear as if we published it on our website. The general public should note we know nothing about it and we did not place our logo it,”
DISCLAIMER: Kindly disregard this fake news#UTVNews pic.twitter.com/kfKnReJJHL
— UTV Ghana (@utvghana) April 14, 2023