Editor’s Note: The Daily Dispatch newspaper first published this article headlined PREZ MAHAMA, WATCH OUT FOR INFLUENCE PEDDLERS on 28th October 2013.

DAYBREAK publishes the story unedited in view of the current happenings in the 9 months old Nana Addo administration.

PREZ MAHAMA, WATCH OUT FOR INFLUENCE PEDDLERS

By Oko Tetteh

It appears that there is a group of persons who do not do any work but find ways of getting favours because of their supposed influence to important personalities, particularly the President. Such persons are known as Influence Peddlers or IPs.

These IPs are persons who may know a Minister of State or the President either as relations (close or distant); as school mates (particularly at secondary schools or universities) or through politics (at various levels).

They operate on the basis that many Ghanaians will do favours for Very Important Persons (VIPs) so that they may also expect a return in the future.

One area of acquaintance these IPs use is by having photographs taken with these VIPs at state functions. These VIPs are often in a fix-if you refuse to take pictures with persons you do not know, you are likely to be accused of being snobbish. You do and there is the possibility that you are being set up. These IPs are known to have enlarged such pictures and placed them in their offices or living rooms. Visitors to such places will begin to feel how important that person is.

The next line of tricks is use of mobile phones. Having visited these IPs at home or in the office, the next trick that they play on unsuspecting victims is to phone these VIPs and put the call on speaker mode.

They may have various nicknames and once these are exchanged to the hearing of the persons the IPs want to con, the stage seems set.

Perhaps, the greatest bait that they use is visiting these VIPs at home. Depending on the level of fraud they intend to unleash on their victims, they may enter the VIPs house or allow the person to wait in the car.