Sources close to Nana Kwame Bediako, commonly known as Cheddar or Freedom Jacob, have revealed that the businessman has been nursing a presidential ambition, hiding behind the cloak of a new force movement.
Cheddar had claimed that his movement, the new force, had nothing to do with an ambition of seeking the presidential office but rather an agenda to liberate Africa. Speaking after a planned public lecture event he had organized was canceled, the 43-year-old businessman claimed that he had a vision for Africa.
The planned public lecture, dubbed “The Convention,” was organized under the brand name New Africa Foundation. It featured P.L.O. Lumumba from Kenya, Peter Obi from Nigeria, Julius Malema from South Africa, and Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao from Zimbabwe. The lecture was to be on the topic, “Igniting the Voices of Africa.”
At a press conference to announce the cancellation, Mr. Bediako disclosed that he was the man behind the New Force Movement, with billboards of a man in a mask mounted in town. He said the circumstances surrounding the cancellation are what have made him unmask himself prematurely, and that he would have wanted to unveil himself and talk about his policies at the right time.
He described himself as the salvation for Ghana and Africa, who has come to develop the continent. “I am nothing to be scared of. I came to you as your salvation. I don’t invest in myself alone. I am investing in you. We need to educate. We need to uplift our children. We need to voice out to them. You are about to find out about this man in the mask because I never spoke a word; you were looking for me. I didn’t tell you whether I am into politics, whether I am an evangelist, whether I am a conventionist, or a revolutionist. After this day, you will have to wait for me to share my policies and my visions with you,” he said.
However, according to sources close to him, his ambition was to run for office during the December 7 general election. The source disclosed that the claim of not being in politics was false, as he was hoping to use the Convention to launch his presidential campaign.
The cancellation of Cheddar’s convention by the government was based on the premise that the organizers were dishonest in disclosing the motive for the event. The Ministry for Information, in a statement, noted that it had taken note of a press release by the New Africa Foundation alleging a deliberate attempt by the Government of Ghana to sabotage the New Africa Convention, scheduled to take place on January 7, 2023, at the Independence Square, Accra.
The decision by the Government of Ghana to cancel the New Africa Convention was premised on the fact that the event organizers were dishonest in disclosing the motive for the event. According to the Ministry, in their official correspondence to the Office of the President requesting to use the Independence Square, the event organizers indicated that the venue was to be used for the Black Star Line Music and Arts Festival 2024.
On the contrary, reports received by the Government through the National Security Apparatus revealed that the venue had been secured under false pretenses by the New Africa Foundation for the purpose of hosting a political event. Further reports, upon closely monitoring developments regarding the supposed political event, indicated plans by another group to unleash violence and disrupt the said political event by the New Africa Foundation; a development that could potentially lead to a breach of national security.
This is the second time that Mr. Bediako and his New Force have been in the news for the wrong reasons in less than a month. In December, its spokesperson, Shalimar Abbiusi, a 30-year-old Belgian national, was deported from Ghana for allegedly obtaining a permit through fraud. She was accused of violating section 52 (1) (i) of the Immigration Act 2000 (Act 573), specifically “Obtaining for Yourself a Student Permit by False Declaration.”
The charge against her by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) asserted that Abbiusi, with the intent to evade legal requirements, falsely declared herself a student of the Ghana Christian University College on or before September 23, 2023, in the Greater Accra Region. The accusation further contends that Abbiusi knowingly made a false declaration, leading to the successful acquisition of a student permit with the number 0088754.