President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has taken a swipe on the Minority in Parliament, saying they are experts in “fabricating” lies about his appointees and governance as a way to sway him from working in the interest of the country.
He said this when addressing the media on Wednesday, 19th December, 2018, at the Jubilee House.
“..Since we came, so many allegations are thrown against transactions, against personalities of this government, a lot of the time, on the flimsiest of evidence,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo’s jabs follow a controversy that surrounding the planned purchase of a building in Oslo, Norway for use as Ghana’s embassy.
Contributing to the debate on the approval of budget estimates for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MP for North Tongu and Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, revealed in Parliament that the price of a six-bedroom property being converted into a chancery for Ghana’s new mission in Norway had been bloated.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP, North Tongu.
With some documents in hand on Monday, Mr Ablakwa indicated that the mansion was bought at $3.6 million in 2017, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was procuring the property at $12 million, adding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration appears to have inflated the cost of the property by a whopping $8,620,379.
Although the Minister for Foreign Affair, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey had denied the claim in the chamber, the argument continued after the proceedings between her and Mr Ablakwa.
But reacting to a question posed to him at his encounter with the media, Mr Akufo-Addo, after listening to Madam Ayorkor Botchwey’s account of the development, said the Minority’s allegations are to prevent him from focusing on delivering on his mandate and stressed he will not respond to their demands.
Asked if there will be an enquiry into the saga, the President said there was no basis for that, adding that his government will not be pushed to enquire into baseless allegations.
The alleged $12 million mansion for the embassy.
“If the allegations are made, they are found to be empty, there is not so much a word at all..no, we just move on and fabricate the next one…when you have allegations that are so empty of substance, and then you say merely because it’s been raised you’ll therefore have an independent enquiry, I know that it will be in the interest of some people to make sure that we don’t work, and we just get ourselves entangled in all of these…so before we know it’s 2020,” he said as he pledged to remain focused and fulfill his promises to the Ghanaian people.
He said: “Here is an allegation being made, I believe, on the floor of Parliament. Minority Spokesperson on Foreigbn Affairs of Parliament by a transaction that has not even taken place and yet a serious accusation of misappropriation, mishandling of public funds is made…But this is a transaction that has not even taken place, how then do you begin to make statements about corruption, misappropriation and then on the basis of this bare allegation without more?” he quizzed.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Mr Isaac Adongo, has stated emphatically that President Nana Akufo-Addo for lacking the ability to fire his corrupt appointees as he made Ghanaians believe prior to assuming power.
Commenting on the issue, Mr Adongo said the president, in the 2016 electioneering, campaigned that his government would not shield corrupt officials yet he is doing otherwise after he was elected.
“This president lacks what it takes to fire his appointees who are indicted for corruption… He can’t punish them,” he told Kwame Minkah on Ete Sen on Radio XYZ 93.1 Wednesday morning.
Corruption Fight Dying
Mr Adongo’s comments come at a time the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) is calling for the resurrection of dying corruption cases that ought to be pursued.
At a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, the anti-corruption institution mentioned about eight corruption cases including the double salary allegations.
The case of former Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwasi Nyantakyi who used the name of the president Akufo-Addo, the vice president, Dr Bawumia and other ministers to receive monies, from a businessman who, unknown to him, was Ghana’s undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has also died after Mr Nyantakyi was picked up by the CID.
Premix scandals as well as the controversial sale of Metro Mass buses where the management of the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) allegedly undervalued the buses are all corruption scandals left untouched after they appeared in the public domain.
We demand of government, particularly agencies of state-mandated to investigate and prosecute corruption the status of several alleged cases of corruption which inundated the airwaves during the course of the year but unfortunately we still do not know their outcomes,” a Programmes Manager at GII Mary Awelana said as she charged government to provide updates on those cases.