Mosquito Missing Over $20m Office Saga
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, popularly called General Mosquito, the man who holds the key in resolving the controversy surrounding the $20million National Democratic Congress (NDC) headquarters building, has gone missing as journalists seek his head to resolve the logjam.
Mr Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary, has gone underground, playing a game of 'hide-and-seek' with the country's media.
A week or so after the scandal broke, the NDC General Secretary, who dropped the hint about the building in July this year during the NDC's Sunyani congress, has declined to make any public statement on the issue as if he is running away from his own shadow.
Several calls made to his phone lines were unanswered, as his party gurus continue to distance themselves from the ultra-modern building like a plague.
However, Peace FM managed to get him with a text message. But he said he was not ready to comment on the building which he told NDC congress in Sunyani in July this year that the ruling party would move into by June next year.
Mr Asiedu Nketia, in his report to congress, said, ' Fellow Akatamansonians, ladies and gentlemen among the many new initiatives we alluded to in Tamale was the headquarters building. We have told you for a long time that the party was subjected to a barrage of incessant demands from our landlord. We had also told you that given an opportunity, the party would want to acquire its own headquarters building. I am happy to announce to you that the party has acquired its own land and is putting up an ultramodern national party headquarters. Work is at an advanced stage and it is our expectation that the office would be ready for occupation by the middle of next year (2012).'
Though leading members of the party, including Deputy General Secretary Kofi Adams, National Organiser Yaw Boateng Gyan, Joshua Akamba, deputy National Organiser, Richard Quashigah, Propaganda Secretary, Solomon Nkansah, deputy Propaganda Secretary have given conflicting accounts in their bid to proffer some answers to probing questions on said building, Asiedu Nketia has not uttered a word.
He has also not issued a statement to confirm or deny the ownership of the building, even though he has been seen at the site several times inspecting with Ato Ahwoi, a close confidant of President Atta Mills and Dr Kwabena Adjei, National Chairman.
Accra-based Citi FM online quoted Asiedu Nketia to have said he did not owe anybody an explanation about the controversial building, a virtual admission that the facility indeed belonged to the ruling party.
Other key and influential members of the NDC have feigned ignorance of the building, whilst the likes of Kofi Adams claim the building referred to by Asiedu Nketia in his report to congress could be that of a 20-acre land acquired by the party at Oyibi for the establishment of a 'party school' with transit quarters.
Others have also mentioned another land acquired by the NDC at Oyarifa, where Asiedu Nketia's plush mansion is.
It has taken the intervention of Managing Editor of The Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., to remind the NDC to change their fairy tales from one that raises doubts about the source of the funding of the project to one that said they secured the money through a special fundraising programme for the construction of a national headquarters.
But Vitus Azeem, the Executive Secretary of anti-corruption group, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Transparency International (TI), said the refusal of the ruling NDC to 'properly' explain issues relating to the controversial building could make people believe that the money for the structure was illegally acquired.
'If they can come out and say nobody has the right to ask them to explain, it could give us the impression that the monies were not had legally otherwise why would [they] be afraid to release it to us, ' he told Citi FM yesterday.
This, he said, was because 'that can make people think that it's another indication of corruption in the ruling party.'
By Charles Takyi-Boadu