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Feature Article of Saturday, 7 July 2012

Columnist: Adamu, Tanko Balik

Kwesi Pratt the Galloper Salesman

I had a confirmation of what I have long suspected about Kwesi Pratt yesterday (July 3, 2012) during Peace Fm’s Kokrookoo program. I have always wondered why after all his publications about President Mills before year 2000; he suddenly turned against the very people he was working with before the elections. After listening to his sales pitch on the Gallopers on Peace Fm, I found my answer. Kwesi Pratt all along was looking out for himself and not our dear nation. He was all along working for his stomach and thought he would get to do whatever he wanted once he worked with the NPP and they came to power. When this did not happen, he had no option but to hate them with venom to the point of making up incredible stories about Nana Addo and the other NPP Leadership including President Kuffour. No country-loving Ghanaian would give Kwesi Pratt what he wants and it does not therefore come as a surprise that the NPP Leadership refused to work with him when they eventually came into power. I commend them for putting the welfare of Ghana and Ghanaians ahead of Kwesi Pratt’s stomach. Thank you President Kuffour!
Kwesi Pratt told all of us on Tuesday that he investigated the Galloper issue back in 2001 and for which he wrote a report that he presented to both the Ministry of Local Government and the then Chief of Staff. According to his report, and he read portions, he indicated to us that he used the evaluation data that had been presented to him by the Ministry. Kwesi Pratt concluded that of the 17 vehicles that had been evaluated, only one was alleged to have had a fuel consumption problem. I listened keenly to him to see if he would conclude that on that basis, the government had no business rejecting the Gallopers. As fraudulent as Mr. Pratt is, he did not make that claim. He did not say that one car having an issue did not provide you with enough basis to reject the entire fleet. His inability to make any conclusion and therefore advice on a decision exposed his intentions at the time. He sought to influence the Minister’s decision at the time without necessarily front-lining it. Thank God we had smart people leading us at the time! He failed in his quest. This prompted him to take it to President Kuffour and here too Kwesi Pratt failed to influence anybody. This failure meant that whatever was in it for Kwesi Pratt was not going to be delivered. This is where Kwesi started hating. Ghanaians should start seeing Kwesi for who he is a fraudster! I would be surprised if we do not end up arresting Kwesi Pratt and prosecuting him for attempting to unlawfully influence a Public Officer. I hope and pray that he has not succeeded in influencing any of the NDC Leadership decisions in like manner.
Listening to Kwesi Pratt go at length to explain the good in the Gallopers, I thought I was listening to a salesman for Gallopers. I wonder why AAL did not just hire him as a salesman so he could just sell the rejected vehicles on the open market. He had all the sales pitch nailed down to the extent that Kwesi asked for more time on radio to conclude the sale. Kwesi Pratt in his so-called report to the Ministry sort to discredit the claims made by the Ministry rather than conduct a value for money assessment of the Gallopers independent of any claims made by anybody and let the contradictions fall where they may. Some of the tricks Kwesi Pratt adopted included disputing odometer readings, speculating into fuel cheating on the part of the people that had to use the vehicles without any scientific claim that the vehicles were fuel efficient. He also sort to use the claims of AAL to the government which was written by their lawyer who happened to be an NPP sympathizer as a reason why the government had to cough up the money and pay to AAL money for vehicles that were not usable and were never used. In all of these, I failed to see any part of Kwesi Pratt’s investigations and report that sort to protect the people of Ghana. He did not even seem to care a hoot about the interest of Ghanaians. You would think that a journalist like him would have the interest of Ghana at heart every time he steps out to do his job. Not even once did Kwesi Pratt try to link all his efforts to the national interest. As hard as he worked to debunk the claims of the Ministry of Local Government, he did not seek to advice AAL to take their Gallopers elsewhere if Ghana was not interested in them. He presented all his interactions with the Ministry but did not say even for once, how he interacted with AAL. Did Kwesi Pratt talk to anybody at AAL? What was their position at the time and did Kwesi present any report to them as well? Ghanaians have to start demanding from Kwesi Pratt what he stood to gain if the government had bought the vehicles.
It is understandable when people like Ablakwa who has never had a job a day in his life seek to make the job of AAL easier. Ablakwa has never had to make any critical decision. He is only lucky he found himself amongst a group of people where experience is not considered when deciding on anything. This explains why he has continued to provide AAL with evidence to prove their case in court should they decide to go court. It should be easier for AAL to prove their case just by playing tapes from Ablakwa and his ilk. As a Ghanaian, I have concluded and accepted that Ghana would have to pay AAL whatever they demand not because we owe them anything but that we have been unlucky to have a bunch of incompetent, corrupt and inexperienced leaders. What is hypocritical is when people like Kwesi Pratt who claims to be a socialist and Nkrumaist start to do the exact same things. If for nothing at all, he has had so many years of experience in leading demonstrations in Ghana. He understands or ought to understand the difficulties that Ghanaians are going through in their everyday lives. I weep for this nation every time I hear to these kinds of discussions. God save us!
Now as a struggling nation whose problems are as basic as food, water, electricity and shelter, I find it very interesting that as far back as 2001, people like Kwesi Pratt were out there agitating for Gallopers. He claims to be a socialist and an Nkrumaist who cares about the welfare of people. It is shameful that his interest at the time did not cover food, water, shelter and electricity for the citizens of this country. Kwesi Pratt intended to assist in defrauding us and failed. I believe by now that Kwesi knows nobody in Ghana is interested in working to fill his stomach at least not in the NPP.
In conclusion, I would urge the current government to investigate the role Kwesi Pratt played in this Galloper deal and prosecute him for any attempt to corrupt or influence the public officers that were handling these Gallopers. If they fail to do so, the next government that comes should take this up seriously especially if a pesewa is paid to AAL at the end of the day.
Thanks for reading.
Tanko B. Adamu
Pittsburgh, PA
USA

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