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24.03.2009 Feature Article

Ekua Kwansema: Why Kwadwo Mpiani Chickened Out

Before the final report of the Transition Team on the Executive Assets Committee was presented to the president for review, the notorious former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani was reported to have pulled out the NPP team from the transition activities by stating categorically that the NPP would no longer cooperate with their NDC counterparts. His reason: The NDC members on the team were bent on painting a bad picture of the former NPP government. Mpiani also accused the NDC of spinning the whole process into inquisitional undertaking and urged Ghanaians (I believe he was referring to NPP supporters) to treat the final report as one-sided.

Any Ghanaian listening to Mpiani make such wild and unfounded allegations may be tempted to take the bait and assume that the NDC team is being overbearing, therefore it is right for Mpiani to chicken out. But a perfunctory look at the issue at state and some statements from the NDC following Mpiani's dash to the bush suggests otherwise. In fact when the transition team was about to wind up its activities and Mpiani and his NPP folks realized how damning the report would tarnish their party's image, they decided to put the cart before the horse by accusing the NDC of trying to paint them red.

By illegally (The NPP has constitutional obligation to hand over government assets to the new administration) pulling out of the transitional work, Mpiani and his folks attempted to prepare the minds of Ghanaians to cast doubt on the final report. But this ploy which the NPP masterminded would not work as Ghanaians who saw the display of opulence and reckless use of government assets among others would lend their support to President Mills to deal with those who took the country for granted by amassing ill-gotten wealth.

But if we Ghanaians are to take the morsel of information released by Dr. Don Arthur, Chairman of the Transitional Team on the Executive Assets Committee to the bank, then we must all gird our loins because something stinking is about to explode into the air. Dr. Arthur who spoke on Kyzz 89.7 FM, a radio station in Takoradi stated emphatically that some past NPP government officials took the law into their hands and sold state bungalows. In order to buttress his point, Dr. Arthur even mentioned some names of those involved in that illegal and criminal act. They are Alan Kyeremanteng, former Minister of Trade & Industry and Presidential Initiative, D. K. Osei, Secretary to ex-President Kufour, Abubakar Siddique Bonifac e, former Minister of Works & Housing, Professor Ameyaw Ekumfi, former Minister of Railways, Ports & Harbours and Professor Gyan Baffour, former Minister at the Finance and Economic Ministry.

Dr. Arthur further released some bombshells to the effect that 420 government vehicles that were noted on paper are no where to be found. Fellow Ghanaians, those 420 vehicles have vanished into thin air. Those vehicles cannot be traced. Dr. Arthur added that the NPP government used state funds to procure 986 vehicles between September 2003 and December 2008. But hold your breath until you hear how many of those vehicles have been handed over to the current NDC government. Only 60 of those vehicles have been handed over to the NDC Transitional Team with 926 uncounted for. If this information is not enough to let Mpiani take to his heels Ghanaians should wait until the whole report is published.

President Mills who is currently studying the report may have been shocked by the extent of the economic rape and havoc which the past NPP government may have caused the country hence his decision to have commented on the issue during the press conference with the Ghana Journalists Association. President Mills stated that he is studying the report with an objective and impartial mind. But he also made his point by adding that after the review of the report those who are found to have done something creepy would be made to account for it.

To me and many other Ghanaians Kwadwo Mpiani who has no respect for anyone including himself thinks that he is a law unto himself even in opposition. Otherwise this man who is constitutionally mandated to hand over government assets to the new NDC administration would not have gone on air poking his hands into the eyes of Ghanaians by stating that the NPP would no longer cooperate with their NDC counterparts on the transitional team.

Mpiani who is known in NPP circles as headmaster and wielded so much power during his tenure thinks he is dealing with school kids who have gathered behind his house to play 'Agota gota' soccer. He thinks he can continue to do the very things he did whilst he was the chief of staff. The NPP I have stated time and time again famously claim that they believe in the rule of law. Therefore, I would like to find out from Mpiani if chickening out of the transition activities of which he is mandated by law to do is part of the rule of law.

Mpiani and his NPP folks never imagined that before the NDC government came to power it gathered detailed information of government assets. Therefore, when they started the meetings and the NDC team made their NPP counterparts aware about what they knew, it sent panic waves to the spines of the NPP team. Ladies and gentlemen, that is why the NPP team made a 360-degree turn and dashed to the bush with Mpiani in the lead even before the repo rt was finalized and sent to the president for review.

But there is a popular saying that you can run but cannot hide, therefore, the bush dash by Mpiani and his other colleagues I believe is a temporal measure since the pending release of the full report would bring them back to help Ghanaians connect the dots. And I bet if for nothing else, I would be happy if Mpiani looks into the eyes of Ghanaians and inform them about what happened to the 926 vehicles and the government properties that have been sold.

By the way, as at the time of writing this article, none of those mentioned by Dr. Arthur as having illegally sold government bungalows have come forward to deny the story. This is startling considering the fact that the NPP people normally would have debunked the story just minutes after it came out.

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Ekua Kwansema
Ekua Kwansema, © 2009

This author has authored 75 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: EkuaKwansema

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