Independent presidential aspirant Dr Sam Ankrah has written to rebut accusations levelled at him for alleged plagiarism in his campaign for support from Ghanaians.
On the streets of Accra city, a certain number of peculiar billboards have, for some time, been spotted by citizens. On them are the image of what looks like a man in a tuxedo, his face covered with an ornamented mask.
Also, “Leadership for the next generation,” “The new force. Embrace the change,” and “The new force. A new Ghana. A new nation,” are some of the words on the billboards standing at various vantage points all over Accra.
On social and traditional media, conversations have been had about the man behind the mask with some people guessing it was businessman Nana Kwame Bediako, alias Cheddar.
It was, however, revealed to be Dr Sam Ankrah who was behind the campaign, dubbed ‘No Masked Promises’.
Since then, a group called The New Force, in a statement released on Monday, November 20, 2023, have asserted the ‘Man in Mask’ was its idea and not Dr Ankrah’s.
“We wish to state categorically that the said Sam Ankrah has no connection to the creative concept design, and inventive process that developed the “Man in the Mask” campaign.
“We are disappointed that Mr Sam Ankrah has sought to deliberately exploit the ingenuity of young Ghanaians and coopted their vision and creativity to project dubious political ambitions,” the group said.
The New Force condemned Dr Ankrah’s alleged actions as “reprehensible and evidence of lack of credibility that undermines him as a person as well as someone capable of leading a new political vision for a country that is in need of a clean break from the kind of dirty politics we witness on a daily basis”.
“We reserve our right to consider civil action against him for infringement of our intellectual property rights including our right over the original artistic and creative works,” the New Force stressed.
The group also demanded that Dr Ankrah immediately “cease and desist from any further use reproduction, redistribution, or modification” of their intellectual property, asking also that he deletes “the images on all his platforms and put up an “appropriate statement apologising for the infringement immediately”.
Reacting to the damning allegations, independent presidential aspirant Dr Sam Ankrah has, through a statement signed by the Head of Communications for his campaign, Dr Candace Baker, asserted that he is guiltless.
“At no point during my campaign have I purported or expressly claimed to be the originator of the so-called ‘Man in the Mask’ campaign,” he said.
He also asked the “person(s) to retract with immediate effect the defamatory press release which is circulating all over the world”.
Furthermore, he reiterated: “The key point and thrust of my message is the exposure of political gimmicks and falsehoods aimed at deceiving the Ghanaian citizenry; the unmasking, as it were, of political con artists.”
Read the entire statement titled ‘No Masked Promises Campaign Sets the Record Straight on False Claims’ below:
Following the “No Masked Promises” campaign led by myself Dr. Sam Ankrah, a faceless person or group of persons has since launched baseless, malicious attacks on the person and reputation of myself; claiming amongst others that I have misappropriated their intellectual property rights.
I firmly, unequivocally, and categorically deny all those false claims, allegations, and assertions by the person or group without a face.
At no point during my campaign have I purported or expressly claimed to be the originator of the so-called ‘Man in the Mask’ campaign. Neither has he claimed anywhere that he is the ‘Man in the Mask.’ At the time of launching his campaign and disseminating his political messages, I refute the existence of a legal or natural person(s) by the name ‘The Man in the Mask’ and #TheNewForce.’
Furthermore, I had no knowledge of any intellectual property rights vested in that person(s) or name. On this note, I urge the person(s) to retract with immediate effect the defamatory press release which is circulating all over the world.
The key point and thrust of my message is the exposure of political gimmicks and falsehoods aimed at deceiving the Ghanaian citizenry; the unmasking, as it were, of political con artists. The “No Masked Promises” campaign is a transformative journey towards transparent and accountable leadership, and the driving philosophy behind my bid for the high office of the presidency of Ghana as an independent candidate. It is built on a commitment to reshape the political landscape for the betterment of Ghana through principles of truth, transparency, accountability, and civic responsibility. At the heart of the “No Masked Promises” campaign is a mission to unveil the truth behind political facades and a call to citizens to actively engage in the political process. It encourages them to voice their concerns and actively participate in holding leaders and political hopefuls accountable for their promises. I, a seasoned economist and investment banker, lead this movement with the belief that active civic responsibility and engagement are fundamental to a thriving democracy.
Furthermore, "No Masked Promises" signifies a rejection of unfulfilled political commitments, and doubles down on a commitment to prioritizing the needs of the people and bridging the trust deficit between citizens and leaders. The symbolic depiction of the “unmasking” represents a rejection of the historical narrative of veiled intentions in past and present governments. It is a representation of the need to unveil the true faces of leaders and political hopefuls alike, in order to hold them accountable for their commitments. It is also worth noting that as far as intellectual property claims are concerned, the mask used in the campaign is a stock image generated by artificial intelligence and available in the public domain.
In response to the threat of legal action, we would like to emphasize that I Dr. Sam Ankrah am well within my rights to express my views on the state of politics in Ghana and to launch a legitimate counter-campaign in response to the position of other political hopefuls. This is a fundamental facet of the democracy that holds our great nation together. The "No Masked Promises'' campaign is not an attempt to infringe on any intellectual property rights but rather a call for transparency and accountability in leadership, a principle all political movements should proudly stand united in.
As we enter the 2024 political season, the “No Masked Promises” campaign extends an invitation to all citizens and political stakeholders to engage in open and honest dialogue, and to unite under the philosophy of "No Masked Promises". Together, we must work towards reshaping the political landscape for a future where leaders are unafraid to show their true faces and subsequently deliver on their commitments. On this, note I urged Ghanaians to learn more about Dr Sam Ankrah, my policies, especially my youth policy, and how I intend to end the economic hardship, the endemic and pervasive corruption, the social inequalities, the lack of rule of law and stability in general.
Dr Candace Baker
Head of communications
Presidential Candidate Office, Sam Ankrah +233 20 725 1296