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30.07.2009 Education

Solomon School holds 2nd Graduation Day… With a call on students to be obedient and law abiding

By Isaac Akweetey, Koforidua - Ghanaian Chronicle
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A PRESSURE group in Kumasi, Democracy and Freedom Alliance (DFA), has urged President Mills to give true meaning to probity and accountability, by setting up a commission of enquiry to investigate the country's 40th Anniversary celebration, which was held in the year 1997, under the previous reign of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The Alliance, made up of members of various political parties, including the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peoples National Convention (PNC) and the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), opines that if President Mills was indeed committed to uprooting the menace of bribery and corruption in the governance of the country, as he claims, then he should demonstrate it by not only limiting himself to the previous administration of the NPP, but also what occurred during the first eight years rule of the National Democratic Congress, under former President Jerry John Rawlings.

Addressing a press conference in Kumasi to highlight a number of issues they claim are of public concern, the Spokesperson of the DFA, Bashir Tijani Mohammed, accused the government of practicing discrimination and selective justice, asserting that even though President Mills had trumpeted from the rooftops, in the heat of election campaign last year, that his government would not countenance any form of corruption and malfeasance, he has failed to fulfill his own promise.

He noted that since President Mills had developed the affinity for setting up committees and commissions to investigate every single irregularity detected on the part of the previous administration, with the view of uncovering wrongdoings, he must also do the honorable thing by setting up a body to look into the accounts and expenditures of the country's 40th Anniversary celebration, which was commemorated during his reign as Vice President.

The Spokesperson of DFA, added, “since President Mills and his government are not afraid to commit the country resources into setting up commissions and committees to embark on wild goose chases, Ghanaians would also be interested in knowing how the monies allocated for the [email protected] was expended, and also how a broken economy could spend GH¢135,000 on tea and coffee alone, when this amount could easily have been almost 50% of the budget in 1996, in nominal terms.”

He noted further, “while Ghanaians still wait for the truth, as to whether it was not the Minster of Information, Mrs. Zita Okaikwei, who was given the contract to supply the expensive tea, it will also be interesting to know how much the government spent on President Obama's visit.”

Bashir also expressed worry about how the government handled the issue of the former Youth and Sports Minister, emphasising that the treatment meted out to the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr. Albert Ampong, and Principal Accountant, Mr. Odoom, was an open attack on probity and accountability, and further raised serious questions about the government's commitment towards ensuring the passage of the Whistle Blowers Act, and the Freedom of Information Bill.

The Spokesperson of the Alliance, also reprimanded the government for worsening the plight of many Ghanaians with the increases of petroleum products, which according to him, had affected prices of goods and commodities on the market, adding, “a government which promised to reduce fuel prices drastically, has ended up increasing it drastically.”

Still hitting hard at the government for reneging on its campaign promises, Bashir said Ghanaian parents were yet to see the school uniforms which the NDC promised to provide for school children when it assumes power, insisting that the NDC government, after failing to expand laudable initiatives by the previous government, such as the School Feeding Programme and the Capitation Grant among others, had now resorted to the dismissal of workers under the National Youth Employment Programme, only to replace them with sympathizers of the NDC.

Bashir also lamented on the increasing spate of armed robbery in the society, stressing that Ghanaians were now living under an atmosphere of insecurity and apprehension, accusing the government of failing to tackle the menace.

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