President when on his working visits across the country receives goats, sheep and smocks as gifts so accepting a car from a contractor is no big deal” – George Loh, MP for North Dayi.
When I heard George Loh making the above statement, I regretted the day I was born in Ghana. A whole Member of Parliament making such childish statement to Ghanaians? And this is a man who sits in the Chamber of Ghana’s Parliament, making laws for Ghanaians! Habba, Loh, don’t you think by that statement you are showing some signs and symptoms of infantile disorder? In this ICT age, you are announcing to the world that your president receives goats and sheep during his working visits? And when a judge too receives a goat as a gift, you people jump on his shoulders. What is the difference between the president’s goat and the judge’s goat? Tell me Loh.
Stand up and let me educate you, Mr. Know Nothing. When goats, sheep and smocks are given to the president as gifts anytime he made his working visits, it was given in the open and no secrecy surrounds it. In fact, in some cases the President is made to wear the smocks and sometimes Kente clothes in the full glare of the gathering amidst applause. We always see the sheep and goats being loaded into pick-up cars in the open. Even before they are loaded into the pick-up cars you see them tethered at the durbar grounds.
So you go to the US and a private contractor gives President Obama a brand new limousine and you say it is not a big deal? Mr. Djibril Kananzoe is a private contractor who was awarded a contract to construct the Ghana Embassy Wall in Ouagadougou at a whooping cost of $650,000. Again, he happened to be the only foreign contractor to win a bid to construct the Dodo-Pepeso section of the Eastern Corridor roads. In fact, he was about to win yet another GH¢82,000, 000 contract in Ghana until the cat came out of the bag.
As a sign of gratitude to the president, the man bought a brand new Ford Expedition luxurious car for him and the vehicle was delivered to him through the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso. The mystery surrounding this blazing bribery case is that even though the car was cleared at the Tema Harbour, it had to be driven to Burkina Faso and given to the Ambassador of Ghana to that country to be sent to the president. According to Mr. Kananzoe the president personally called him on his phone to thank him for the gift. All these happened in 2012 and nobody heard of it until Manase Azure leaked the story to the media only for the Minister of Information, Dr. Omane Boamah, another pathological liar, to come out to tell Ghanaians that the vehicle has been added to the car pool at the Flagstaff House. And this man thinks we are so gullible that we will believe in his naked and shameless lies!
Listen to Professor Ken Attafuah, a lawyer and Criminologist: “There ought to have been transparency in handling the gift and it should have been declared and made public at the time it was taken. The president cannot be extricated from a scandal in which he has been accused of receiving a Ford Expedition from a private contractor.” If such a fine brain has come to such a conclusion on the issue and people like George Loh is beating about the bush, you begin to think whether this country will ever develop. When ex-president Rawlings received a fifty thousand – dollars international award, it was announced for all to hear and the money was used to establish the University of Development Studies. Somebody dashes John Mahama a Ford Expedition since 2012 and it will have to take a journalist to tell Ghanaians that the president has received such a gift. Where was Omane Boamah all these times that the vehicle was received?
I knew it will come to this one day. The Citizen Vigilante, Mr. Martin Amidu came out boldly to tell Ghanaians that in the cause of negotiating for the purchase of some aircrafts, the then Vice President Mahama who led the team inflated the price and had some kickbacks. He told Ghanaians that when the late president Mills had a hint of the whole messy deal he did set up a probe into the issue. He mentioned members of the probe team who are still alive in Ghana and kicking but before the probe could take off some powerful hands in the NDC waded into the matter and nipped it in the bud.
It has been nearly six years since Martin Amidu leveled the charges but sadly Mr. Mahama has not been heard making any comment on the matter. Why is he so silent? Should we take it to mean silence means consent? If Martin Amidu had said Mr. Mahama seduced the wife of the Paramount Chief of Bole, would he have kept so quiet? During the president’s interview he granted to the BBC recently, he exposed himself to public ridicule. When the interviewer asked him whether he had taken bribe before, this was his counter question: “As a person or a president?” The interviewer was so smart and instead of giving the president the option of answering the question whether he had taken bribe as a person or president, rather repeated the question bluntly and this time this was what he said: “No, I haven’t taken bribe before” and followed it with giggling which went a long way to convince the interviewer that the man has taken bribe before.
On several occasions, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has come out to tell Ghanaians that he is not corrupt, has never been corrupt and will never be corrupt. Anytime Nana makes such bold statements, I always expected Mr. Mahama to also come out one day to tell Ghanaians that he too is not corrupt, has never been corrupt and will never be corrupt. But nay, the man will not have the courage to make similar statement because surely he knows he has skeletons in his cupboard. This Ford Expedition gift case will never die today nor tomorrow because it is going to be an election issue. If the NDC apparatchiks think as usual they will bring something new to distract us from commenting on the issue, that is a lie because it is a serious issue. It even boarders on tax evasion because in law, we have something called Gift Tax. Did the president pay tax on the gift he received from the private contractor?
When the story of the president receiving a gift from a private contractor leaked, I was somehow not surprised because it seems to be the trade mark of the NDC in government. When Mr. Joe Gidisu was the Minister of Roads and Highways, he too received a gift in the form of a state-of-the art BMW from a road contractor. If the president who has all the state luxurious cars at his disposal could stoop so low to receive a Ford Expedition from a private contractor, you can imagine what his ministers are receiving as gifts from contractors. Even at the district level, MMDCEs are deep into this mess. They receive 10% kickback from contractors before awarding them contracts on sole sourcing. The danger in this is that, after being made to vomit out 10% of the contract sum, the contractors do shoddy works while the MMDCEs look the other way. That is why many projects cannot withstand the test of time.
And did I hear someone saying the other day that when the late Colonel Gaddaffi came to Ghana, he dashed ex-president Kufour a Mercedes Benz? Yes that is true, but when president Kufour received the gift in the full glare of the cameras, he said even though Gaddaffi gave the Mercedes Benz to him as a gift, he was adding it to the fleet of state cars. Kufour did not wait for four years for a journalist to expose him before his Communication Minister came out to say the Mercedes Benz had been added to the fleet of state cars.
As for those who are calling for the impeachment of the president, I will like to use this column to beg them to exercise patience because the days of impeachment are not far away. The parliament that we have now in Ghana, will fail if they try to impeach Mahama because the Majority will do everything possible to scuttle any impeachment process. In five months time, Ghanaians will use their thumbprints to impeach the man. What is worrisome is that, investors who intend to invest in Ghana will hold on until a new regime of incorruptible government officials take over before they will come. That, to me, will retard the progress of the nation. And is the nation progressing at all?
LAND OF OUR DEATH WE CRY TO THEE
Since the NDC took over the reins of power for nearly eight years, nothing seems to be working. Armed robbery, spousal killings, contract killings, strikes, demonstrations, picketing, naked corruption, thievery of state coffers, high utility tariffs, fatal road accidents, perennial drowning in the Volta lake, perennial flooding, teenage pregnancy, drug addiction among the youth, unemployment, broken marriages, examination leakages, excessive alcohol intake by the youth, low standard of living, high cost of living, malnutrition, hooliganism, disrespect to the courts, impunity, culture of insults and many more vices have become the order of the day. While greater number of the populace go to bed without eating three square meals a day, a very few greedy bastards continue to feed on the blood of the poor man. In the face of all these challenges, I can foresee light at the end of the tunnel because change is coming. Join me to pray, son of man!!!