General News of Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Source: DAILY POST
*Says Party Must Not Destroy Successful Ghanaians
As if God has blessed Mr. Ibrahim Mahama with the luck of having his opponents and their media allies defend him, bitter NDC critic and Assin North MP, Kennedy Agyapong, has joined the list of people lashing out at the opposition NPP for its mischievous campaign against the CEO of Engineers and Planners (E&P) and younger brother of President John Mahama.
In an unsolicited view on the issue on the occasion of his 52nd birthday, the virulent NDC critic chastised Ghanaians for creating an environment that compels successful people to hide their wealth.
Commenting on the purchase of an aircraft by Engineers & Planners and its CEO, he expressed disquiet over the hullabaloo inspired by his own party and congratulated Ibrahim Mahama for living out his dream.
“For me I congratulate Ibrahim over this; that he has had the courage to buy a jet, Agyapong said, saying it is immaterial whether E&P owes a bank or not.
“Look at Nigeria. I have friends younger than me who own private jets. Are they not human beings? Are they not Africans? Are they not from West Africa? Why is it that those of us in Ghana allow pettiness and jealousy to lead our judgement and become the deciding factor in whatever we do? If Ibrahim is listening to me I am saying kudos. Congratulations! You can buy more jets! Whether he owes a bank or not, what he’s been able to buy is an encouragement.”
The NPP firebrand voluntarily offered this view on the purchase of an aircraft by Ibrahim Mahama when the Abeka-based Okay FM called him to wish him a happy birthday on his 52nd birthday earlier this year.
He also praised Osei Kwame Despite, owner of the Despite Group of companies and operators of Peace 104.3 FM and Okay 101.7 FM, whom he said had also purchased a gleaming, white convertible Rolls Royce to mark his 50th birthday.
The Assin North MP also hinted that he lost heavily on his investment in stocks in the US and predicted good times for Ghanaians over the rate at which Ghana’s economy was growing if only politicians would focus less on “ahonyaa” politics.
“I’ve lost heavily. From the [US] recession I’ve lost heavily. You have no idea. So for me, the rate at which Ghana is growing, if those of us politicians here would stop the ahonyaa, the economy will grow and those living outside will be returning to invest more instead of buying stocks in the US and the rest. This time the (US) market is shaky; it’s become unpredictable and you cannot predict what happens six months from now for you to even be sure that whatever you buy will appreciate. I lost heavily! I don’t want to tell you but l lost heavily with the stocks. So this time I’ve decided to focus on Ghana.”
The NPP hatchet-man also admitted that he plans to buy a jet himself.
“I’ve publicly said that I’d buy a jet by age 55. If I’m alive by age 55; whatever it is I’d buy a jet. I’ve already paid a deposit for my jet. I’ve personally gone and selected the one I want,” said the 52 year-old NPP loud-mouth.
The acquisition of the aircraft by E&P was the result of expansion in the business operations of E&P to other countries in West and Central Africa and challenges in beating deadlines to meetings and other engagements.
Agyapong’s comments on Ibrahim Mahama follows the trail of equally strong defences by some notable NPP leaders and media men.
In an interview with Asempa FM on attempts by NPP activists to link the jet bought by Ibrahim to his brother, NPP faithful and Nana Akufo Addo loyalist, Dr Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, said the attempt to link President Mahama to the business interest of his younger sibling was an envious, stupid act by a very, very mean person.
“Let’s get one thing straight in this country. When young men are coming up they have to be encouraged. Whoever brought this thing up, to me, is a very mean person. Very, very, mean person. This young man, you have to know where he came from and where he’s gotten so far. It will be very, very stupid for anybody to try and connect him with his senior brother. Indeed Ibrahim, standing on his two feet is, if l will say, better than his bother.”
The NPP die-hard had a similar advice to that of Kennedy Agyapong for his party’s foolhardy youth.
“Let’s put a stop to this. Whoever brought this up l wish l could see the person with my very own naked eyes and tell him in the face that he’s a fool. We should allow young people to build industries; we should allow young people to get involved in whatever is happening in this country. Now if this young man is not able to get jobs here and is able to get jobs outside this country, it is a big plus for this country. This sort of envy should stop now.”
On his part, former Chief of Staff and NPP kingpin, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, is also reported to have kicked against playing politics with business activities of individuals, irrespective of their political persuasion on a Choice FM programme on the same issue.
Others who have debunked the NPP-inspired mischief have included journalists and media analysts, such as Kweku Baako Jnr, Alfred Ogbamey and son of the first Chief Justice under the Kufuor administration, Edgar Wiredu.
In his interview, Kennedy Agyapong said the attempted smearing of Ibrahim Mahama reminded him of similar comments against him when he announced his decision to buy a Rolls Royce car two years ago.
As a result of his announcement, Agyapong claimed that when the Rolls Royce arrived in Ghana, it was initially held by authorities on condition that either he took it home without its documents or take the documents home without the Rolls Royce, just because he had gone and bought something no Ghanaian had at the time.
“After that hullabaloo about nine people have today bought Rolls Royce, including your boss (Osei Kwame Despite) who has also bought a nice white Rolls Royce convertible with Despite@50 inscribed on it. It’s an encouragement. What is wrong with that?
According to the owner of Kencity Media, operators of Oman FM and Net 2 TV, the fear of being badmouthed by unsuccessful Ghanaians has left that many successful Ghanaians hiding their wealth and pretending to be poor. “They can’t even live their dreams.”
“After Ken Agyapong bought his Rolls Royce, today we have nine people owning Roll Royce(s). A lot of people can buy some of these things. If people can buy houses at Trassaaco for $2 million, what is there to show that you they cannot afford a Rolls Royce or a good car.”
The NPP firebrand also had words of advice for his party.
“If we don’t allow role models in this country like Ibrahim, a young man of about 40 something, who has worked hard” to be celebrated, the country, Ken Agyapong said, could be creating problems for itself.
Noting that people like Ibrahim and him are investors in the Ghanaian economy, he said “these are the examples we have to set for our youth to emulate and not [subject such investors] to derogatory statements here and there”.
Agyapong, who claimed in the interview, that he became a millionaire through hard work and a strong savings culture, also had some advice for future business leaders.
“When you a young working man, try and save 70% of your income. You must stop living luxuriously when you marry and make an attempt as a couple to save 50% of your income. When children come into the marriage, your income reduces. But make an effort to still maintain a savings of 30% of your of income. No matter how small the money is, if you are able to save some of these monies, one day, one day you would realize you have capital you never dreamt of to begin working with” he said.