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20.04.2007 Politics

MPs 'take bribe'

By D. Guide
MPs 'take bribe'

True to Rawlings' threat to unleash him on the Kufuor government, Mr. Victor Smith, the special aide to the former president, has inadvertently exposed his boss' sworn 'agenda' of getting the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor out of power before its constitutionally mandated time frame is up.

Furthermore, he confirmed media reports that the former president, at a National Democratic Congress (NDC) 'Family Meeting' two weeks ago, poured venom on the party's Members of Parliament (MPs) for allegedly collecting bribe from the sitting government.

According to him, the legislators had allowed themselves to be 'bribed' by Government with cash, cars and other forms of largesse such that many of them had lost their sense of duty and gone to bed with the Executive.

Speaking on Hot 93.9 FM, an Accra-based radio station, Smith said the present Parliament had let the nation down by failing to impeach the President, stressing that Ghanaians should not wait till 2008 to remove the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.

Asked by the presenter of the programme, Adakabre Frimpong Mansong, why he thought Ghanaians must not exercise patience till 2008, the special aide countered: “How long does a person live?”

He underscored discussions supposedly held in camera at the Coco Beach Hotel at Nungua, a suburb of Accra, accusing the opposition NDC Caucus in Parliament of collecting 'bread and butter' from the Executive arm of government.

“In other words, they are making life comfortable for them so that they won't criticize adequately. We can't wait for Kufuor to spoil the country. A government like this is not fit to be in office,” he thundered, contending however that his utterances were not treasonable.

Victor Smith averred that members of the present legislature had sold their conscience for a scoop of porridge, and regretted not being in Parliament himself.

“Our MPs are not up and doing because he (President) is giving them appointments and Parliament is not talking. I am disappointed in our MPs,” he stated.

Smith argued that President Kufuor had lied to Ghanaians when he promised that the energy crisis would be over in a couple of days, stressing that it was heartbreaking that Parliament had failed to use that to impeach him.

He as well mentioned the deaths of the Ya Na, Alhaji Issah Mobilla and the African Regency Hotel (Hotel Kufuor) saga as some of the instances that warranted impeachment.

The special aide said the President lied also about the exact amount that Ghanaians in the Diaspora remitted to the country in 2006 arguing that the legislature should have taken advantage of it to call for impeachment.

Ex-president Rawlings, at the 'Family Meeting' at Coco Beach a fortnight ago, was reported to have alleged that NDC MPs had compromised their positions by being on the payroll of the National Security Minister, Mr. Francis Poku, and noted that they had, as a result, failed to show any commitment to kick the NPP government out of power.

He particularly frowned on his long-time loyalist and MP for Ningo-Prampram, Hon. Enoch Teye Mensah, lambasting the former Sports Minister for following President Kufuor to the United States to receive Ghana's share of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).

Also cited at the meeting and accused of complicity by Rawlings was the MP for Ho West, Hon. Francis Aggrey Agbotse.

His 'crime' was that he allegedly attempted to defend Dr. Richard Anane, former Transportation Minister when his case was being debated in Parliament.

Others were castigated for allegedly saluting the Foreign Minister, Nana Akufo-Addo, after he had read a statement on the floor of the House recently.

The ex-president's desire to alienate the government was so strong that even the NDC national chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, was also suspected of being on the National Security Minister's payroll.

However, in a swift rebuttal, many of the NDC MPs described the allegation of flirting with government as a very misplaced one.