Some of us, as a matter of principle, cannot get our heads around as to how and why the brassbound supporters of Mahama would assert somewhat spuriously that the former president is an indisputable anti-corruption crusader.
If you would recall, following the NDC’s 2016 humiliating election defeat, the party leadership set up a 13-member committee, presided by former Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Professor Kwesi Botchwey, with the sole mandate of travelling to the length and breadth of the country to interact with the grassroots supporters and investigate the causes of the historic defeat and put forward recommendations.
The credible sources have it that the Botchwey Committee’s report indicted former President Mahama, the NDC’s 2016 flagbearer, as the main cause of NDC’s humiliating defeat.
On the issue of corruption, the Botchwey Committee’s report is quoted to have stressed that the then flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, who is the incumbent President, took advantage of his well-received incorruptible descriptive label to the disadvantage of NDC’s flagbearer, former President Mahama, who was perceived to have endorsed corruption in his government.”
The fact is, the NDC Communication team faces an insuperable task of deflating the numerous corruption allegations levelled against Mahama and his administration (Bus branding, Brazil World Cup, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, NCA, MASLOC, Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others), which observers believe largely led to NDC’s 2016 humiliating election defeat.
If you may remember, prior to the NDC’s 2018 internal elections, we read that the then aspiring National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, allegedly accused the former President, Mr John Dramani Mahama of being corrupt to the high heavens (emphasis mine).
The said story was captioned: "Sammy Gyamfi attacks Mahama, labels him corrupt!" (ghanaweb.com, 20/08/2018).
Unsurprisingly, however, in his desperation to make amends, the then aspiring NDC Communication Officer, Sammy Gyanfi, stated in his pompous and tentative press statement that “unlike President Akufo-Addo, and the vice President Dr Bawumia, Mr. John Mahama is incorruptible.”
In fact, it would only take an inveterate propagandist or a disputatious character to insist that Akufo-Addo and Bawumiah are corrupt.
It does not take superior powers of the mind or transcendental powers to appreciate that the aforesaid gentlemen are true patriots who only want the best for Mother Ghana.
The fact however remains that there are more bribery and corruption scandals hanging on the neck of Ex-President Mahama than any other president in the history of Ghanaian politics.
A few years ago, it came to light that the Europe’s aerospace multinational Airbus deliberately paid huge sums of bribes to a few countries including Ghana in order to secure contracts during Mills/Mahama administration between 2009 and 2015.
Given the seriousness of the alleged Airbus bribery scandal, President Akufo-Addo dutifully instructed the then Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu to probe into the grave corruption scandal.
Following a rigorous investigation into the scandal, the Office of the Special Prosecutor finally concluded that the said Government Official 1 in the Airbus bribery scandal is the former president and the 2020 flagbearer of NDC, John Dramani Mahama.
The report, however, concluded that since we were in the election period and the said protagonist was a presidential candidate, the Office of the Special Prosecutor was not in a position to take any immediate action. How bizarre?
Strangely, however, former President Mahama lividly came out and rubbished the report and referred to the findings of the Airbus bribery scandal investigation as nothing but “stupidity” of the highest order (emphasis mine).
In fact, the Airbus bribery scandal involving some government officials in a few countries, including Ghanaian officials, remains the most single shameful and disgusting scandal of international proportion in the history of Ghanaian politics.
As a matter of fact, in any equitable jurisdiction, the suspects of the revoltingly ugly Airbus bribery scandal would have faced the full force of the law without fear or favour.
So, if I were an opposition NDC communicator, I would rather spend the chunk of my time trying to obliterate the descriptive corruption tag off the potential NDC’s 2024 flagbearer.
Honestly stating, if I were an NDC communicator, I would be extremely worried when four valiant Ghanaians petitioned the Special Prosecutor’s Office to probe into the alleged E.O. Group’s $13 million corporate social responsibility fund towards the development of the Western Region which the petitioners claimed to have been diverted by Ex-President Mahama (See: ‘Mahama diverted $13m E.O. Group money; probe him – Four citizens petition Amidu’-todaygh.com/ghanaweb.com, 18/06/2018).
And, who says that if I were an NDC communicator I would go to sleep over the investigative work carried out by the former Joy FM’s investigative journalist, Manasseh Azuri, which exposed former President Mahama’s furtive gift of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle worth over $100,000 from the Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe?
If you may remember, Manasseh reported that the Burkinabe Contractor Kanazoe undertook a number of contracts which were secured through sole-sourcing and handpicking, amid allegations of former president Mahama’s influence.
Manasseh indicated that Djibril Kanazoe over the years took part in the bidding process for contracts in the country. However, he was not successful until a middleman led him to meet the then Vice President Mahama.
Following his meeting with the then Vice President Mahama, Kanazoe was handpicked to build the $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso.
To be quite honest, if I were an NDC communicator, I would have been extremely disturbed when in September 2014, the officials of the Bank of Ghana met the Public Accounts Committee of Ghana Parliament (PAC) and it came to light that an amount of $656, 246.48 had been spent on the construction of a fence wall over a parcel of land belonging to the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso.
Apparently, PAC requested the Bank of Ghana to look into what it referred to as: “the outrageous” cost of the project.
However, it came to light that the procurement process was violated to the advantage of former President Mahama’s Burkinabe friend.
Astonishingly, however, during an interview with Manasseh, Djibril Kanazoe admitted that he did not put in a bid for the contract, but it was rather the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou that wrote to his company to request price quotations for the project. And, he subsequently forwarded the necessary quotes and was selected.
Subsequently, the Burkinabe contractor delivered to former President Mahama, the ‘gift’ of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle in 2012, the same year his company was selected, again through sole-sourcing, to execute more projects (See: ‘Burkinabe Contractor offers controversial gift to President Mahama’ ; myjoyonline.com, 15/06/2015).
In fact, it would only take a doubting Thomas to contend that some Ghanaians did not vote against Mahama in the 2016 and 2020 general elections largely due to the preceding scandal.
Trust me, Sammy Gyamfi and his communication team may have to explain the circumstances surrounding the Armajaro Holdings scandal before the 2024 general elections.
If we take a stroll down memory lane, somewhere in October 2010, the British media brought up chilling report about how the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama was lobbied by a British Cabinet Minister to get a reprieve for the ban imposed on Armajaro Holdings, one of the cocoa buying companies who were found guilty for smuggling the commodity out of Ghana.
Armajaro Company was banned together with a few other companies, when the award winning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposed the smuggling of uncountable bags of cocoa into neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.
Shockingly, however, the British media reported that subsequent to the meeting between the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama and the British Cabinet Minister, Armajaro Company was given a needless reprieve and then started its operations.
Besides, Sammy Gyamfi and his communication team cannot continue to brush aside Mr Martin Amidu’s damning allegation that in July 2011, there was a hue and cry about the prices for the acquisition of five (5) aircrafts for the Ghana Armed Forces which were negotiated by the then vice president, John Dramani Mahama.
Mr Amidu stressed that even though on 26th July 2011, the late Mills attempted to defend the purchase of the five aircrafts, he became convinced of the necessity to set up a Committee to investigate those purchases.
Mr Amidu added: “a Committee to Investigate the Processes of the Acquisition of Five Aircrafts (5) including Embraer 190 Aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces consisting of Mr. William Aboah, Mr. George Amoah, and Brig. Gen. Allotey (Rtd) former Judge Advocate-General was put together”.
Mr Amidu avouched : “the terms of reference of the Committee as I was instructed and drafted them for the late President were: “(i) to investigate the processes adopted in selecting, negotiating, and agreeing on the acquisition of the aircrafts; (ii) to investigate the competitive advantage, prices of the aircrafts and the level of economic and financial due diligence conducted by relevant agencies in the process of acquisition of the aircrafts; and (iii) to investigate any other matter that in the opinion of the Committee is reasonably related to the foregoing terms of reference”. “Pressure groups never allowed the Committee to take off”.
“But the very fact that the late President Mills even contemplated this Committee meant that he was uncomfortable with and suspicious of the alleged inflated prices of the aircrafts”.
So Sammy Gyamfi and his communication team think the numerous press conferences are more important than coming out to explain to the good people of Ghana the circumstances which led to the dubious aircrafts deal negotiated by former President Mahama?
More so, we hope and pray that the opposition NDC communicators can throw more light on the STX Housing deal which was supposed to provide affordable housing units to the security agencies.
Besides, we would be most obliged if Sammy Gyamfi can call another press conference and explain why the then Vice president, Mahama, is alleged to have given us a bill in an excess of $300 million in spite of the fact that the deal did not materialise?
It beggars belief that despite the wanton corruption, the arrogance of power and the crass incompetence exhibited by the erstwhile Mahama administration which resulted in massive economic meltdown, the NDC communicators would still have the moral authority to accuse others of non-existent corruption.
Given the illimitable rot in the Mahama’s administration, some of us cannot help but to giggle over the NDC communicators renewed zeal to expose and prevent perceived corruption in the NPP administration.
Apparently, the Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) estimates that monies lost to corrupt and dubious transactions under the presidency of John Dramani Mahama amounted to GHC5billion.
However, the total of my calculations in respect of all the recorded corruption and dubious transactions exceeds that of the PNF; I recorded GH7 billion.
In ending, some of us, as a matter of principle cannot end our arousing disgust anyhow and anytime soon over the erstwhile Mahama government’s irreversible incompetence and the corrupt practices which nonetheless destabilised Ghana’s macroeconomic indicators.
K. Badu, UK.