General News of Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Source: Kelvin Dartey
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has hit out at President Mahama saying he lacks integrity to move Ghana forward.
Addressing a Press Conference at the Party’s headquarters in Accra on Tuesday, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, a member of the Communication's Team of the NPP, said if not for the NPP a lot of corrupt acts would have been swept under the carpet by the NDC.
He added that President Mahama cannot be trusted adding that “a vote for him is a vote for hopelessness for the youth and a vote for corruption”.
According to the NPP, “in John Dramani Mahama, Ghana has a president who suffers from a chronic case of indecisiveness” and must not be entrusted with the task of presiding over the country for the next four years.
Below is the full statement by the NPP
GOING into a sixth election under the 1992 Constitution, Ghanaians, especially the youth, are confronted by a choice between policy effectiveness from the NPP and corruption and propaganda from the incumbent NDC.
The NPP is offering solid policy options aimed at a transformed knowledge economy for the benefit of the youth. On the other hand, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and President John Mahama, say it is impossible to do anything but have decided to bamboozle the people of Ghana with PR gimmicks and media stunts. Consequently, the NDC is spending obscene millions of Ghana cedis on billboards, flag posts and expensive vinyl posters in a desperate attempt to deceive Ghanaian voters once again on December 7, 2012.
Beyond the billboards, what represents the true NDC? The latest big billboards, one of which is in front of the Police HQ, Accra, describes President John Mahama in the following empty terms: “ACCESSIBLE, DECISIVE AND ACTION-DRIVEN”.
ACCESSIBLE TO CORRUPT FOREIGN FIRMS
We do not doubt President Mahama’s accessibility. Whilst GREDA members were knocking at his Castle door for audience, he walked past them and flew all the way to Korea to give STX Korea access to a $10 billion housing deal at an unprecedented inflated cost, MAKING THAT DEAL, PROBABLY, the most corrupt international loan agreement ever signed by any government in Ghana.
President Mahama, after travelling to Korea twice to personally negotiate this controversially corrupt deal, pushed his NDC MPs to pass the $1.5 billion STX suppliers’ credit agreement for the construction of a mere 30,000 housing units, most of them one-bedroom flats, for our security agents. As if that deal was not bad enough, he threw in an additional $264 million of free money to the Koreans for some strange animal he called “political risk insurance”.
Ladies and gentlemen, the only political risk that Ghanaians need to insure themselves against is an NDC government led by John Dramani Mahama. The only insurance against such a risk is to vote out the NDC on December 7.
President John Dramani Mahama is noted for giving access to every businessman so long as you are not Ghanaian. He gave access to the Chinese to dig the grave of our late President, Prof John Atta Mills. He has given access again to the Chinese to build a market in Cape Coast.
When STX failed, he did not turn to Ghanaian contractors, no. He looked down, to South Africa to bring GUMA. True to his new propaganda as ‘Action-driven’, nothing came out of the GUMA housing deal. With GUMA also failing, he has now turned to a group of Nigerians, with some very dubious record in Nigeria of running away with pubic funds, to now build us houses and, again, at inflated cost.
GHANA IS NOT FOR SALE
In John Dramani Mahama, Ghanaians have a leader who does not believe in Ghanaians. Our message to President John Dramani Mahama is simple: MR PRESIDENT, GHANA IS NOT FOR SALE.
We believe Ghanaians will not to be taken in by John Dramani Mahama’s PR gimmicks of a “very very nice man”, more so the covert attempts to subdue the media to his will. We have all been witnesses to the failure of their so-called Better Ghana Agenda and now, with three months to go they are rushing to China to buy school buses, outboard motors, motorbikes and sewing machines at inflated prices all to buy votes. Ghanaians should say a big ‘NO’ to this www.lastminute.com government. The NDC is running on its last tank and we must not refill their gas-guzzling tank in December.
Running a nation is a serious business and it needs serious people with a serious agenda on how to resolve the serious issues confronting a serious nation like Ghana.
If the President says he is accessible then we want Ghanaians to be also accessible to who the real John Dramani Mahama is. We want Ghanaians to know the man behind the dark glasses and we promise to help Ghanaians know who the real JDM is before December 7.
On his new billboards, we are told that the President is “decisive.” This is a very big joke. Why would the NDC want to lie to the good people of Ghana that President John Dramani Mahama is decisive when the President himself admits that his single biggest problem in this world is that he cannot take a decision?
He could not take a decision when he was being asked to contest for the leadership in 2006, saying he was preparing to go to South Africa to study for his PHD. Again in 2008, he first said no when Prof Mills approached him to be his running mate and had to rely on Stan Dogbe and Haruna Iddrisu to make up John Dramani Mahama’s mind for him. In fact, it took Stan Dogbe in early 2008 to tear John Mahama’s signed letter addressed to Prof Mills that he was not interested in becoming his running mate and that he was quitting politics to go back to school.
Today, by a very unfortunate accident of history, John Dramani Mahama is our unelected caretaker President who, in his wisdom, has attributed this sad accident of history to the wisdom of God. God should not be insulted.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, in John Dramani Mahama, Ghana has a president who suffers from a chronic case of indecisiveness. We are not saying this. We are simply using his words.
In his book, ‘My First Coup D’etat’, President John Dramani Mahama, concludes in the last paragraph, “All the decisions I have made in my life were regularly plagued with doubt. It can be challenging to sustain that feeling of hope or the belief that things will turn out for the best.
Again and again, I have felt like that boy Dramani, on the bicycle going downhill fast, without any brakes and not knowing which way to turn.” It is worth pointing out that that this book has just been written and was only launched in July this year. The sentiments expressed in the book therefore are very much what the President believes in today.
PRESIDENT MAHAMA CANNOT BE TRUSTED
Is this the same man that today, in an attempt to rebrand himself for the presidential election, has turned around to say one of his greatest attributes is his decisiveness? This is a big lie! The question then is this: how many other big and small lies has he told us and is he going to tell us? President Mahama cannot be trusted. You just can’t trust John Dramani Mahama.
You don’t have to take it from us, just look at the big gap between what he says and what he does; between what he promises and what he delivers; between who he is and who he says he is.
ACTION ORIENTED MAN
In 2008, the slogan for candidate Mills and running mate Mahama was very appealing: “I Care For You”. To support this, the major campaign theme and promise was that they were going to deliver on a Better Ghana Agenda. They promised to invest in people, jobs and the economy to ensure prosperity for all. After two years and the lie of creating 1.6 million propaganda jobs, they christened 2011 ‘Action Year’. Do you catch the consistency in the lie: Action Year yesterday, Action-Oriented man today!
Yet, not a single major item that they promised to deliver in that Action Year was materialized. In fact they did not even start: not STX, not Cape Coast Stadium, Not Kotokuroba Market, not Eastern Corridor Road and none of the jobs that they promised. Instead, what they delivered was hundreds of millions of dollars of action on judgment debts, most of whom came with serious question marks, steep in either gargantuan theft or reckless disregard for the use of public funds.
GHANAIANS ARE POORER TODAY
Today, Ghanaians have gotten poorer, cost of living is so high, unemployment is destroying the youth and the only response from President John Dramani Mahama and his team is to continue with the lies and propaganda. They have simply lost touch with the concerns and problems of the ordinary Ghanaian. They just don’t care. They can’t be bothered by the things that matter to you and I.
If they did, why then would they come to this 2012 election telling us that they have scored “unprecedented” success? Why would they say boldly to Ghanaians: “Still Pursuing a Better Ghana”, and “Working for you”. So where is the Better Ghana? Who are those living in that Better Ghana? It has been a Better Ghana for the few “Greedy Bastards” and their families, girlfriends and close friends. And, a very bitter Ghana for the vast majority of Ghanaians.
This is a government that has spent more money in less than four years than what President Kufuor or President Rawlings spent in each of their 8 long years. This is a government that has borrowed more money in three and a half years than what all the previous governments put together did in 52 years and yet, we do not see any real evidence of what they have done with all the money. NA SIKA NO WO HENE, MAHAMA?
We need to interrogate what John Mahama and the NDC mean when they say “Working for you.” How really encompassing is this NDC ‘You’? Do you feel a part of it? Are you one of the you?
Ladies and gentlemen, what the evidence has shown us in the last 3½ years is that “you” means “themselves”. The true meaning of “Working for you” is “Working for themselves”. For the past 3½ years all their actions, including the building of a $20 million Party headquarters, the expansion of Asiedu Nketsiah’s block factory, to the purchasing of properties by ministers and their deputies, the acquisition of private jets, inflated procurement deals that were sole sourced to cronies, are all indicative of the fact that they are “working for themselves.”
When the NDC say they are working for you, they mean that they are working for the Greedy Bastards, Babies with Sharp Teeth, and their ‘Brothers and Sisters’. When the NDC say ‘Working for You’ they mean they are working for Woyome, CP, Waterville, Rockshell, Armajaro, Africa Automobile, ISOFOTON, corrupt foreign companies willing to give them a generous cut of the deal. For the NDC, working for you means working for themselves.
President Mahama, who was and is still in charge of the country’s economic management team, will have to account to Ghanaians and tell us all how he has managed the resources of our dear nation. How much resources have they had and what have they to show for all the monies that they have squandered within this short period? He has to explain to us what went wrong with the Better Ghana they promised. What was the real agenda behind that Better Ghana slogan? President John Dramani Mahama cannot be trusted because he has been the main champion of some of the most corrupt deals ever seen in this Republic. The STX and Embraer Jet and the $17 million hangar easily come to mind.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this goes to show how dangerous the NDC is to the future of the youth, to the future of this country. A vote for John Dramani Mahama and the NDC on December 7 means a vote for bankruptcy and corruption. It means a vote for more debt, fewer jobs, more incompetence, lies, propaganda and failed promises.
It is this same John Mahama who led the Opus 7 deal, where a clay-based manufacturer offered to build 12 district hospitals at the cost of $40 million each. This is the man who brought the Koreans to build houses for Ghana and who, without laying a single block on the ground, are demanding $17 million. The question is, “If the Koreans are claiming to have spent $17 million, then into whose pockets did this $17 million go that the Koreans are demanding a refund?”
JOHN THE PATRIOT
President Mahama has called for Ghanaians to be patriotic, and yet when it comes to the construction of the Kotokuraba market, or even the digging of graves, he prefers the Chinese to the Ghanaian. President Mahama believes the Ghanaian carpenter, mason, plumber, electrician, unemployed architects from our universities looking for jobs are not qualified compared to their Chinese counterparts.
While our medical schools, including the new one at UDS, Tamale, are struggling for funding, John Dramani Mahama, during his April 2011 trip to Cuba, brokered a deal for 250 Ghanaian students to be trained as doctors at a total cost of GH¢160 million. This same amount could have trained 883 doctors right here in Ghana. Again, there is even an allegation of corruption here. According to the official website of the Cuban embassy in Ghana, Cuba stated that all 250 students will be given scholarships by the Cuban government. I quote some portions of the bilateral relations relative to the scholarship agreement, which states;
“… [U]nder the agreements, the Cuban government will provide scholarship for all the 250 students who were selected from deprived communities throughout the country and would be ready to come back to serve their communities…” So who is lying to who?
MERCHANT BANK, SSNIT AND IBRAHIM MAHAMA’S DEBT
On Wednesday, August 22, 2012, Reuters carried a report, “FirstRand Pays $91m for Merchant Bank Ghana Stake.” The story was that South Africa's FirstRand was paying 746.2 million rand (US$91m) for a 75 percent stake in Merchant Bank Ghana to expand its presence on the continent. The deal has the approval of Ghanaian shareholders, mainly the Government of Ghana. Merchant Bank, one of the very few remaining Ghanaian banks, was collapsing, reeling under some GHC330 million of loans, much of which have been turned into bad debt.
Instructively, the report added, “The transaction also excludes some loans on MBG's balance sheet, which existing shareholders will acquire and continue to collect outstanding balances.”
USING WORKERS PENSION TO SERVICE FAMILY DEBTS
Now, who are the existing shareholders of Merchant Bank who have been so kind to the South Africans that they have decided to absolve the non-performing loans on the bank’s books, amounting to some 50% of the GH¢330 million? The answer is simple: SSNIT, the pension fund, owns 98% of Merchant Bank, with SIC Life, owning the remaining 2% - a bank completely 100% owned by Ghana.
What this deal, struck under President John Dramani Mahama means is that the suffering workers of Ghana have been forced to swallow the bad debts incurred by some business people so that those business people can go on enjoying their life of luxury, including flying around in their private jets. Let me repeat, the pension of Ghanaian workers have been sacrificed to pay off debts that they knew nothing of so that some few people could continue having access to their privileged lives of comfort and opulence.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have provided for you in this statement, a list of the companies whose debts have been forced down the throat of workers’ pension. Top on the list, owing 19.1% or GHC57.2m, is Engineers & Planners Company Limited, a business owned by the junior brother of President John Dramani Mahama. We do not wish the young, very enterprising man ill, in fact we celebrate success.
But, when your company falls into bad debt and cannot service its loans and the pension fund of the workers of Ghana are forced by the President, who happens to be your brother, for that pension fund to ring fence and take on your debt, then we have to ask some serious questions.
Merbank Big Debt Customers as at August 2012
ENGINEERS & PLANNERS CO. LIMITED