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Feature Article of Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Columnist: Amegashie, Felix Mawulolo

Obetsebi Lamptey’s Somersault On ‘Woyomegate’ And NPP Shipwreck

The Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party [NPP], Jake Okanta Obetsebi Lamptey was first to congratulate the Economic and Organised Crimes Office [EOCO] on Thursday February 2, 2012, barely twenty four [24] hours after the EOCO submitted the Interim Report to His Excellency President John Evans Atta Mills, the seventh (7) President of the Republic of Ghana.

President Mills tasked the EOCO to investigate the cause of all judgement debts paid under his administration totally GHc650, 000,000 in addition to what was paid to Businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

The NPP, even before the EOCO began her investigations, had been on the onslaught against the President and the entire government machinery will allegations of conspiracy, fraud, theft among others for what they described as the role of government officials in the deal.

Many expected the NPP, her spokespersons, agents and assign to make themselves available together with the tons of documents they claim to have from which they had been quoting, to the EOCO investigation process but that never happened. Mr, Yaw Osafo Marfo, the former Minister of Youth and Sport under whose watch some reckless decisions were taken by President Kufour and the cabinet at the time over the award of contracts for the construction of stadia for the Cup of Nations [CAN] 2006 Tournament which Ghana hosted, was first to run to court to challenge the decision of the EOCO to probe the matter. Others followed on the same tangent to stop the EOCO probe for reasons best known to them. The actions and activities of some leading members of the NPP who were at the centre of this drama began to raise suspicion among the public as to the sudden change of attitude after they had sworn their cooperation with the investigations. The NPP Chairman, on February 2, 2012 actually commended the Economic and Organised Crimes Office [EOCO] on behalf of the NPP for its finding on the controversial GHc51 million judgment debts awarded to Mr. Woyome. Interestingly on Tuesday February 7, 2012, a Press statement signed by this same National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, under the Heading, “RESPONSE TO INTERIM REPORT OF ECONOMIC AND ORGANISED CRIME OFFICE (EOCO) ON WOYOME SAGA BY TH NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY”, states, “after reviewing the report, we regret to note that it clearly confirms our initial reservation about the participation of EOCO in this matter”( the same body the Chairman earlier on commended for investigating the matter). The statement continues “we stated in our earlier position To reiterate our earlier position, we stated in our statement of 10th January 2012, that the by the President to EOCO to intervene in the matter was simply a smoke screen, charade, and a calculated attempt to cover up the involvement of the President, some of his Ministers and other Government officials in this sordid affair.

It is our considered opinion that EOCO was, and still is the wrong forum to investigate this matter if the truth should be revealed. Even to the casual observer, the EOCO Report cannot be taken seriously, and when subjected to critical analysis it collapses like a pack of cards. The Report is made up of half-truths, inherent contradictions, inconsistencies, lies, unfounded innuendos and baseless speculation.” The Statement rejected the EOCO report and stated that they will present to the people of Ghana an analysis of the rejected report at the appropriate time. It is strange that the EOCO that the NPP officially commended for investigating the matter is now being attacked for being a party in a conspiracy only the NPP has knowledge of. Again, it is highly hypocritical for the NPP to hold Press Conferences to site persons mentioned in the same EOCO Interim report for crimes and would ask the security agencies to arrest the said persons who are NDC functionaries while they have remained silent on the NPP members indicted.

How possible is it for the NPP to reject the EOCO report and then serve notice that they were going into hiding to study the rejected report and then present their so-called findings to the people of Ghana?

The EOCO was the official fact finding body mandated under the Constitution of Ghana to look into the matter and unearth circumstances surrounding all judgement debts not only the GHc51 million paid to Mr. Alfred Woyome. The NPP and her functionaries had shown disrespect to that constitutionally mandated body. They have accused the EOCO of being part of a cover up. They had boycotted sittings of the EOCO and sought refuge in our courts. They have continued levelling all kinds of accusations against people which are continuously turning out to be mere fabrications.

In Ghana today, the NPP has nothing, absolutely nothing to discuss with the media and the good people of Ghana than their fabrications and reckless commentary on the issue. The party was unable to announce a running mate to breathe some life into the ailing campaign of Mr. Akuffo Addo because they want to have time to sing the Woyome song. They have abandoned the discussion on policy and related issues affecting the development of the people of Ghana in their daily representation in the media instead they have anchored on what they have termed the “Woyomegate” as the best foot forward in this elections. The inquiry into the matter has not yet ended and Alfred Woyome is before a competent court of jurisdiction. Whatever evidence the NPP seems to have gathered within the last three [3] days, would go a long way to help the state if they freely make them available to the Attorney General who is prosecuting the case in court. It would be again disappointing for the NPP to stay away from the proceedings in court only for the party to run to the media with fresh allegations which cannot be supported with evidence.

The NPP has failed to realise that their obsession with rumours, tell tales, concoctions and media hype on the Woyome Saga has long buried the presence of their Flagbearer, his campaign, his policy alternatives if any, in the geo-politics in Ghana today.

As of today, the East African Magazine of February 6-12, 2012 has ranked President John Evans Atta Mills among four [4] other illustrious African Heads of States, who scored “A” in the “African Leadership Scorecard: How Presidents fared on governance, democracy, press freedom, corruption and Human development in the past year , 2010)”.

Other Heads of States who shared in this glory include President Jorge Carlos Fonseca of Cape Verde, President Navinchandra Ramgoolam of Mauritius, and President Seretse Ian Khama of Botswana. This latest ranking of all African leaders on the continent has grossly exposed the NPP Flagbearer’s failure to do an honest and in-depth analysis of the leadership situation in Ghana, when he said in Texas , USA a few days ago, that Ghana was in a state of “leadership Paralysis” when the facts as known locally and internationally begs Mr. Akuffo Addo’s logic. I will encourage the NDC and her supporters all over the country to persist in the discussion of the Better Ghana Agenda while the NPP is neck deep in rumour mongering and outright deceit of the people. They may choose to make fetish out of a case before the courts but the NDC should choose to tell the success story of the President Mills-led administration as we approach the 2012 Presidential and parliamentary elections in which President Mills remains a favourite to retain power and to continue executing the Better Ghana Agenda. God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.

God Bless His Excellency President John Evans Atta Mills.

Felix Mawulolo Amegashie

NDC Youth Activsist.

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