Scandals: How our silence emboldened President Akufo-Addo - Final Part Three

Feature Article Scandals: How our silence emboldened President Akufo-Addo - Final Part Three
FEB 17, 2024 LISTEN

The combination of a seasoned legal brain who was supposedly uncorrupt, a human rights activist, with an economic wizard to rule Ghana was seen as the best thing that could ever happen to Ghana. The chorus and rendition of “I am incorruptible by then candidate Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo interlaced with the “we have the men” mantra were too compelling for Ghanaians to resist. Ghanaians were swept off their feet with the believe that, the Messiah had arrived with his exceptional assistant. Not only did they disappoint, they turned out to be the greatest deception that has ever happened to this country.

In the last two episodes of this article, I revisited some of the scandals that shook this country and how as a people we have sat aloof, unconcerned and unperturbed whiles the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia led administration and its appointees intentionally crafts and expertly execute scandals for their personal gains. The BOST contaminated fuel, PDS, Cash for seat and the National cathedral scandals were revisited to remind Ghanaians of the dishonesty of this administration. In this final episode, I revisit two more scandals that have exposed and embarrassed this government and the timidity of Ghanaians in reacting to these scandals.

The Sputnik V Scandal
During the Covid-19 global pandemic, countries around there world were apprehensive and eager to save lives, however, the Akufo-Addo-Dr. Bawumia led administration found a golden opportunity to enrich themselves with the pandemic. A Norwegian newspaper VG reported that, the Ghanaian government was using the services of middlemen to procure 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccines. But this was at a higher cost of $19 other than the original factory price of $10 and prompted calls for the abrogation of the procurement contract. The then minister of Health Mr. Agyemang-Manu who was recently sacked in a shambolic reshuffle had earlier claimed that the state had not made any payments for the vaccine.

The Health Committee in Parliament had also said the government was not being ripped off in the deal with its chairman, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie saying that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the procurement of the Sputnik-V vaccines require the use of middlemen whose activities will lead to an increase in the original price.

Dr. Afriyie also said no consignment has been received, but a parliamentary committee set up to probe the deal indicated that the $2,850,000 representing 50 percent of the $5,700,000 owed to Sheikh Maktoum for the supply of 300,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine was actually paid to him, although only 20,000 doses were delivered. The contract, according to Mr. Agyemang-Manu, was abrogated by Sheikh Ahmed after failure to meet his obligation.

The parliamentary committee set up to probe the deal released damning findings, including the fact that the Health Ministry did not receive Cabinet approval for the deal. The Health Ministry also breached the constitution by not seeking parliamentary approval for the agreement. In addition, the Public Procurement Authority did not seek approval from its Board before signing the Agreements.

The Minority group in Parliament pushed for the removal of the then Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, over his ‘dishonest’ role in the Sputnik-V vaccines procurement scandal, the president whiles on a visit to the minister’s home region, exonerated him of any liability. He tagged the minister as an important player in his government and that he was receiving unfair slaps for doing nothing wrong, even though, the then minister’s actions were a “direct breach of the Constitution and Laws” passed by the parliament of the land.

Appointment of Director for non-existent Keta sea Port

In 2019, President Akufo-Addo looked into our eyes and disrespectfully appoints Dr. Alexander Y. Adusei Jr as the Director of the non-existent Keta Port. The perfect description for this appointment is superfluous and a willful rape on the country’s insufficient resources. This appointment was “perplexing, outraging, preposterous and an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians. How the president conceived such an idea is deplorable, needless to say actualising it. This appointment can be likened to Ghana Education Service posting a head teacher to a community where indeed there is no school, no teachers and for that matter no students or pupils. An appointment letter dated March 19, 2019 and signed by the then Transport Minister Kwaku Ofori Asiama congratulated Dr. Alexander Adusei, a Ohio State University trained lawyer who was also a chairman of the NPP Columbus Ohio branch in the US. This is clearly a shameful attempt to reward a party faithful to the detriment of the citizenry. Yet again, Ghanaians sat aloof, with folded arms watching on whiles this act of insult perpetuates. As Ghanaians, our act of cowardice and spinelessness is nauseating to say the least. The scandals under this administration are unending, the issue of the AMERI Scandal, Australian Visa scandal, the excavators that disappeared in the air, and the list goes on and on. Why are we so unconcerned when this Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia’s led administration engages in acts that have negative consequences on our national development? This country is at a crossroads; our choices in the 2024 general elections must be devoid of emotions but of issues. We must vote wisely.